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This entry was published on 2022-06-24
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Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 11-B
§ 151-l. Definitions. As used in this article: 1. "Soil health" means
soils that have the continuing capacity to function as a vital, living
ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. The benefits of
healthy soil include: supporting the production of food, feed, fiber,
and fuel; facilitating infiltration, storage and filtration of water and
protecting water quality; enhanced nutrient-holding capacity and
nutrient cycling; providing habitat for diverse soil organisms; enhanced
resilience to drought, extreme precipitation events, temperature
extremes, pests, diseases and other stresses; breaking down harmful
chemicals; reducing agricultural impacts on, and mitigating the impact
on agriculture of, global climate change; and sequestering carbon and
net long-term greenhouse gas benefits.

2. "Soil health practices" means agricultural and land management
practices that improve the function of soils through actions that follow
the principles of: minimizing soil disturbance from soil preparation;
maximizing soil vegetation cover; maximizing the diversity of beneficial
soil organisms; maximizing presence of living roots; and integrating
animals into land management; and in support of such principles, include
such practices as conservation tillage or no-till, cover-cropping,
precision nitrogen and phosphorous application, planned rotational
grazing, integrated crop-livestock systems, agroforestry, perennial
crops, integrated pest management, nutrient best management practices,
and those practices recommended by the United States Department of
Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and that are
supported by the state soil and water conservation committee.