The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is once again encouraging Nebraska farmers to "keep the stubble" on their harvested crop fields and improve soil health during No-Till November.
First launched in 2017, the NRCS project is mirrored after the national cancer awareness No Shave November campaign that encourages people not to shave during the month. The NRCS campaign encourages farmers to keep crop stubble on their fields and keep tillage equipment in their machine sheds this fall. In the past two years, the campaign has reached more than 1 million people.
"No-till farming is a cornerstone soil health conservation practice, which also promotes water quality while saving farmers time and money," says Craig Derickson, Nebraska NRCS state conservationist. "One of the first soil health principles is 'do not disturb.' This campaign is a fun way to remind farmers about the important relationship between no-till and soil health."
Improving soil health increases soil biological activity, which provides erosion control and nutrient benefits and can simulate tillage.
The campaign grew from an idea shared by NRCS area soil scientist Neil Sass.
"The impact has been much wider-reaching than I'd expected," Sass says. "I've seen #StubbleSelfie cutouts in co-ops and ag services offices, but also in labs, schools and lots of fun media. I think that this promotion has been a fun way to draw awareness to soil health, just like the No Shave November promotion has done for cancer awareness."
For information about soil health and the No-Till November campaign, visit nrcs.usda.gov.