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An Economic Perspective on Soil Health

To sustain and improve the health of their soil and reduce erosion, farmers can implement various management practices that have both costs and benefits to the farmer. When farmers make decisions about soil health practices, they are often concerned with whether a practice will improve crop yields and/or reduce agricultural input costs. Soil health practices can also have benefits for society, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, increased carbon storage, and improved water quality through reduced nutrient and sediment pollution. These public benefits have the potential to affect present and future generations, but farmers may not be considering them when they make decisions about adopting soil health practices.

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