Farmers: rely on ecology, not fertilizers and pesticides, says NRCS soil expert.

A recent article on the Progressive Farmer website features Ray Archuleta, a 33-year employee of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

Archuleta’s views on fostering soil health reflect the best management practices for raising grass-fed beef. One of the recommended practices is using no-till cover crops for soil health and fertility and carbon sequestration.

“Our [conventional] farmers are running on ancient carbon, and it’s how we’re growing broke,” he says in the article, pointing to the reliance on fossil fuels that characterizes conventional agriculture. “We want our farms to run on new sunlight.”

According to the article, titled “Underground Movement 4,” Archuleta’s superiors at USDA headquarters have heard complaints in the past from lobbying groups that don’t want to hear an NRCS staffer talk about farm practices that rely on natural ecological systems and reduce inputs such as fertilizer or other chemicals.