Soil Health Concerns
Five Principles of Soil Health
South Dakota Healthy Soils Handbook
This book is your guide to soil health principles, practices and options for your operation. If you want to learn more about soil and find advice on how to implement good soil health practices, the South Dakota Healthy Soils Handbook is just what you need. You can read and download the entire book here. For the best viewing experience, we recommend the following web browsers: Chrome, Safari, Edge or Firefox. If you would like a hard copy of the book, please contact the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition.
Interested in talking to another producer or technical experts about how they have used soil health practices? This free mobile app houses a network of individuals willing to mentor and answer your questions! Giving advice, finding solutions, and growing connections for healthier soil, healthier crops, healthier livestock, and healthier people!
Soil Health Improvement and Planning Project
This project offers financial and technical assistance to producers willing to adopt certain soil health management practices for land within specific watershed areas in South Dakota.
Mesonet at SDState
Mesonet at SDState is a network of automated weather stations that provides high definition weather coverage: areas of just a few hundred square miles and time intervals of several times per hour. The network features many tools useful for making agricultural decisions and excels in providing high precision data particularly with highly variable elements like wind and precipitation.
Soil Health Assessment Card – English and Spanish
The South Dakota Soil Health Coalition has created a Soil Health Assessment Card which agricultural producers of all types, ranchers, gardeners, and others can utilize on site to assess their current level of soil health. Download the current version of the card, and utilize it in one of your fields, or production areas today! A mobile app version of the assessment card is available on the Google Play Store or Apple App Store – just search for “Soil Health Assessment App.” Contact us if you would like a Soil Health Technician to visit with you about your results or assist you in completing the card.
Grazing Cover Crops Worksheet
Use this worksheet to caculate the available forage in a given acreage of cover crops and the number of days it can be grazed.
Structuring Grazing Leases
A great lease can be the key to not only a good relationship between landowner and renter, but also the key to improving land. This guide to creating a grazing lease by SDSU Extension Range Field Specialist Pete Bauman includes ranch resource goals to improve landowner-lessee relationships. It also includes helpful photos, definitions for useful terms, discussion of common concerns, and example lease language.
605 Strong Behavioral Health Voucher Program
The Behavioral Health Voucher Program offers funding assistance and support for mental health and substance use services for farmers and ranchers.
- Soil Quality Indicator Fact Sheets- USDA NRCS
- Soil Texture Calculator- USDA NRCS
- Soil Quality Test Kit Guide-USDA NRCS
- Soil Structure Backgrounder – USDA NRCS
- South Dakota Drought Tool
- South Dakota Grazing Tool
- Cover Crop Table 1
- Cover Crop Excel Worksheet
- Reading the Range: Range Readiness, Grazing Timing and Drought Considerations – SDSU Extension
- Ranch Drought Planning – SDSU Extension
- Regenerative Rangelands: Five Range Management Principles – SDSU Extension
- Five Range Management Principles: Adaptive Management – SDSU Extension
- “How To Avoid Soil Compaction: True, False, Q&A”- Corn+Soybean Digest
- “Managing Cover Crops Profitably” Third Addition PDF
- “Building Soils For Better Crops” By Fred Magdoff and Harold Van Es PDF
- “Recommendations for Managing Corn Residue at Harvest” Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
- Palmer Amaranth ID Pamphlet- SDSU Extension 2020
- Identification and Information: Cool-Season Grasses of South Dakota – SDSU Extension
- Identification and Information: Warm-Season Grasses of South Dakota – SDSU Extension
- Identification and Information: Poisonous Plants on Rangelands – SDSU Extension
2024 Soil Health Conference Registration Open!
The 2024 Soil Health School will be held Jan. 23-24 at the Best Western Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City, SD! Keynote speakers include Jay Fuhrer, Jerry Hatfield, Glenn Elzinga, and Zach Smith. There will be many other speakers, breakout sessions, and opportunties to network and socialize! Join us and be a part of our 2024 Soil Health Conference!
News & Events
By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – It’s often said that the best time to start improving your land was 20 years ago, but the second-best time is right now. That statement might be harder for ranchers to swallow with winter on their doorstep, nothing growing in their pastures,...
By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – Agricultural producers often base their land management decisions on the living things they can see above the ground – crops, livestock, forage, weeds, insects, wildlife, etc. However, new research is showing they should also consider life...
As part of the 2024 Soil Health Conference, the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition has announced two exciting contests for students in South Dakota. The student video and essay contests have been designed to give students the opportunity to learn more about soil...