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Soil is a critical and often undervalued resource in agricultural operations. Recent assessments of soil degradation and its cost to agriculture in Canada indicate that soil conservation efforts have fallen far short of expectations. There are a variety of soil management practices available to farmers that can be implemented in a systematic approach to build soil productivity and profitability to ensure the sustainability of farms and the industry. These practices, tillage in particular, and their implementations, will be examined in the context of the challenges facing agriculture. Another related issue to be addressed is the need to decouple management practices that conserve soil health from those that conserve water quality.