Linda Poole

NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist
Isabelle Jenniches of the New Mexico Healthy Soils Working Group shared the information that due to the horrific fires across New Mexico, the deadline for New Mexico Department of Agriculture's Healthy Soil Program has been extended by one week, to May 19.



NMDA Healthy Soil Program
The Healthy Soil Program (HSP) was created when the Healthy Soil Act was signed into law on April 2, 2019. The purpose of the program is “to promote and support farming and ranching systems and other forms of land management that increase soil organic matter, aggregate stability, microbiology and water retention to improve the health, yield and profitability of the soils of the state.” This purpose is achieved by funding projects aimed at improving soil health, as well as related education and outreach efforts. The application window for FY23 Healthy Soil Program grants will open on March 18, 2022 and close May 12, 2022. Check the website for more information and to get started.
The NMDA website states that:
Each Healthy Soil Program project that competes for grant funding must occur in New Mexico, aiming to improve soil by implementing one or more of five soil health principles:

  1. keeping soil covered;
  2. minimizing soil disturbance on cropland and minimizing external inputs;
  3. maximizing biodiversity;
  4. maintaining a living root; and
  5. integrating animals into land management, including grazing animals, birds, beneficial insects or keystone species, such as earthworms.
Which principle(s) — and which corresponding agricultural / conservation practices — you implement will depend upon the natural resource concerns on the land you manage. These resource concern guide sheets (cropland and rangeland) could help you generate project ideas after you have identified the land’s soil health-related resource concerns.
Questions? Contact NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program: 575-646-2642

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