Farmers have an intimate relationship with the land. Many Illinois farmers are living and working on the land where they grew up, and that has been passed down through the generations. The most important land resource on a farm is its soil. Healthy soil is complicated, but farmers are learning more each day about the physical, biological, and chemical properties of soil that make it healthy. Farmers protect their soil by:
- Reducing tillage and using cover crops to improve the physical structure and biological health of the soil.
- Using practices that allow air, water, and insects to move through the soil, break down organic matter, and enhance nutrient cycling.
- Planting grassy buffers and terraces to keep the soil in place, and to prevent erosion and nutrient loss.