Keep an Armor on the Soil: Cover Soil to Protect it

Keeping an armor on the soil with living plants, crop residues or mulches protects the soil in a multitude of ways. The cultural practice of having “clean” farm fields with exposed soil had, in the past, been considered a sign of a good farmer, but that misconception is changing thanks to research that shows that a protective covering is a key element of healthy soil practices. Soil armor keeps the soil cool and moist. Bare soils will evaporate more quickly due to exposure to heat and, in the extreme, can reach 140 degrees killing microorganisms.

An armor on the soil prevents erosion from wind and rain. A soil cover buffers the impact of rain – which on a bare soil can cause compaction ­– and allows rain water to infiltrate into the soil rather than running off. Crop residues and mulches suppress weeds and as they breakdown they recycle nutrients back to the soil.

The leaves of cover crops shield the soil surface, and their living roots cycle nutrients produced by photosynthesis into the soil to sustain the health of soil microbial communities. The Natural Resources Conservation Service claims that healthy soils are covered all the time. 

Explore more of the Regenerative Agriculture media series >>

Keep Your Finger on the Pulse

Our bi-weekly newsletter provides insights into the people, projects, and organizations creating lasting change in the world.

Thousands are gathered right now for the 2018 Bioneers Conference in California. And you're part of the community too - the inspiration and solutions found at Bioneers extend far beyond our annual event! Join thousands upon thousands more by signing up for our email list! You'll receive weekly messages from our community of worldwide innovators and problem solvers, sharing their work and how you can be involved in their efforts. Turn inspiration into action with Bioneers.
PGlmcmFtZSB3aWR0aD0iNTYwIiBoZWlnaHQ9IjMxNSIgc3JjPSJodHRwczovL3d3dy55b3V0dWJlLmNvbS9lbWJlZC9QVGpIRnJjYzFSQT9zdGFydD03JmNvbnRyb2xzPTAmc2hvd2luZm89MCIgZnJhbWVib3JkZXI9IjAiIGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbj48L2lmcmFtZT4=
We’re living in a thriller that only reality could write. The challenges we face are daunting. But hope is within reach. Bioneers throughout the world are digging in and creating big solutions. The Bioneers network of innovators is vast, and a mighty portion of that network will be joining us at Bioneers 2018 in just a week and a half.

Join us, hear from those who are uncovering Pathways Forward, and be inspired.
Invest In Change! Bioneers Receives Challenge Grant
Starting today, our generous friends at Honeycomb Portfolio have made a heroic investment in Bioneers and are matching donations, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000! Double the impact of your support by giving today! Honeycomb Portfolio is a female-founded fund led by Bioneer Azita Ardakani, which invests in early-stage, nature-inspired, for-profit social enterprises. Support with Venmo or Paypal by giving to donate@bioneers.org or click the button below.
Don't forget to sign up below to be notified first when our 2019 registration opens!
To Download the 2019 Indigeneity Annual Report Please Enter Your Email Below
Thank you for signing up!
Please click the button below to download a copy of the 2019 Indigeneity Annual Report

Signup to be notified of future Bioneers Events!
Welcome Free Speech TV Viewers. Let Bioneers be your hub for information and action regarding the world's most pressing environmental and social challenges.
Welcome Free Speech TV Viewers. Let Bioneers be your hub for information and action regarding the world's most pressing environmental and social challenges.
FREE Ecological Farming Article Series
See how innovative practices are changing the face of agriculture throughout the world. Sign up now to receive our free email series containing stories and inspiration from the field.