World-Soil-Day-feature
Dec 05, 2017 • By

Investing in the future through soil

Let’s talk dirt.

It’s World Soil Day, after all.

It may not be something you think about every day. Or ever. But healthy soil is important for everyone who eats. Soil is imperative for farmers to cultivate healthy crop yields, which General Mills then uses to fulfill our purpose of making food people love.

So General Mills has supported The Nature Conservancy’s development of a Soil Health Roadmap 

Rethink-soil-health-roadmap

(Click to enlarge) Courtesy: The Nature Conservancy

The roadmap makes the case for investing in sustainable soil practices to achieve unprecedented economic benefits for U.S. farmers and businesses, as well as significant conservation outcomes for generations to come. 

The Nature Conservancy says adopting soil health practices on all U.S. corn, soy and wheat croplands could deliver nearly $50 billion in social and environmental impacts annually. 

Learn how a three-generation farm family uses technology and the principles behind the Soil Health Roadmap to help manage their soil sustainably, in this video.

The roadmap outlines 10 key steps spanning science, economy and policy priorities to achieve widespread adoption of adaptive soil health systems on more than 50 percent of U.S. cropland by 2025.  

The benefits are immense. According to The Nature Conservancy: 

  • 25 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions mitigated
  • 116 million metric tons of soil erosion eliminated
  • 344 million pounds of nutrient loss to the environment reduced
  • 3.6 million acre-feet of available water capacity in cropland soils

“As a global food company, we’re reliant on Mother Nature to do well in order for our business to succeed,” says Jerry Lynch, chief sustainability officer at General Mills. “And as a society, the health of our planet is based on a few key things, one of them being soil. Therefore, we must do what we can to be good stewards of the land for future generations.”  

Lynch also says that the overarching goal is to provide a thoughtful strategy, raise awareness about the critical role that soil health plays in environmental sustainability and to encourage transformation in agricultural supply chains.  

Farm-equipment-in-field

“Soil is the cornerstone of life,” says Larry Clemens, North America agriculture program director for The Nature Conservancy. “It’s estimated that 95 percent of food comes from soil. Healthy soil practices not only help farmers, but they improve drinking water quality, wildlife habitat, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to extreme weather conditions like drought and flooding. Investing in soil health is an investment in the health and well-being of generations to come.”  

Want more dirt? You can hear more from Lynch about the impact General Mills is making in healthy soil initiatives in our latest podcast, along with an interview with Clemens, and two farmers.

Listen (20 min)

SHOW NOTES – Episode 28: December 5, 2017

Link: The Nature Conservancy

Link: “A Roadmap to U.S. Soil Health”/The Nature Conservancy

Link: “reThink Soil” (Infographic)

Link: The General Mills History Minute/Pillsbury Cookie Kits (Video)

General Mills recently announced its latest contribution of $735,000 to the National Wheat Foundation, to invest in soil health practices on U.S. agricultural farmland. The foundation, along with the Soil Health Partnership, will advance widespread adoption and implementation of these practices.

It’s easy to listen to our podcast when you’re on the go. Just listen on any podcast app on your mobile device (search for General Mills) or through Apple Podcasts or right here on our blog.

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