What Are the Types of Soil?

Soil is everywhere, but not all soil is alike.

Soil types vary so much that one pasture on one farm can have several soil types.

“Every farm is different, and that makes it hard to generalize,” Ghajar said. “However, when it comes to well-managed dairies, there are some commonalities. Practices like well-managed grazing and careful management of nutrient cycles on a farm can result in soils rich in carbon and teeming with life, with a healthy blend of many types of organisms. Soil like that often has a rich, dark coffee color from the carbon and has a pleasant aroma.”

The types of soil on an organic dairy farm can vary based on factors like location, climate and specific farming practices. However, there are a few common soil types found on Organic Valley dairy farms, including:

Is There a Risk to Our Soil?

Ghajar notes that we are in a precarious era for all natural systems and for the species that depend on them — including us. “Organic dairies have the capacity to be paragons of soil stewardship,” he said.

There are many things he sees organic dairies doing right. The best organic dairy producers are fundamentally “grass farmers” because certified organic operations like Organic Valley graze their cattle on pasture for much of the year.

“Maintaining a perennial ground cover, minimizing off-farm inputs and cycling and recycling nutrients conscientiously are all things I’ve seen many organic dairy producers doing right,” Ghajar said. “Ultimately, soil is the source of both food and income, so working with its processes instead of against them is both economically and ecologically wise.”

Take Charge of Your Soil

Celebrate soil. Today, on World Soil Day, take a moment to be grateful for farmers who are stewarding our organic soil and creating a diverse ecosystem.

Shop local and buy sustainable. By supporting brands like Organic Valley, you are helping build a healthier planet and ecosystem and supporting small family farms that focus on soil health.

Speak up. Advocate for government policies that support organic farming practices. Read more about current farm bill legislation that will play a critical role in shaping our food system. If we are to succeed in tackling the climate emergency, politicians must be part of the solution.

Plant a tree. We can all play a role in reversing climate change by planting trees either individually or as a community. Read more about how one organic farmer, Tucker Gretebeck, planted more than 1,100 trees to reduce carbon emissions directly on his farm.

Advocating for soil is one of many things Organic Valley farmers do to protect where your food comes from. Visit Rootstock later this week for more on one of our favorite subjects, soil. We will dive into soil’s association with senses — touch, smell, taste, sight and sound.

Lisa Hill is a seasoned public relations professional based in Portland, Oregon, and serves as the Pacific Northwest public relations contractor for Organic Valley. With a passion for strategic communication, she specializes in crafting compelling narratives and building strong media relationships. Her expertise spans various industries including sustainable food systems, farm-to-table restaurants and natural grocery.

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