Technical Resources

Physical Properties

Chemical Properties

Biological Properties

Research Resources

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.

Mentor Network

Interested in talking to another producer or technical experts about how they have used soil health practices? Take a look at this network of individuals willing to mentor and answer your questions! Giving Advice, Finding Solutions, and Building 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.

2023 Soil Health Conference Registration Open!

The 2023 Soil Health Conference will be held Jan. 24-25 at the Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel in Sioux Falls! Keynote speakers include Dr. Kris Nichols, Rick Clark, Mitchell Hora, and Roy Thompson! There will be breakout sessions, discussion panels, award presentations and more! Join us for all the fun!

News & Events

Video: 2022 Soil Health School Distinguished Researchers Panel

Video: 2022 Soil Health School Distinguished Researchers Panel

At the 2022 Soil Health School, Aug. 31- Sept. 2 in Garretson, SD, retired USDA-ARS soil scientist Dr. Don Reicosky, retired Dakota Lakes Research Farm manager Dr. Dwayne Beck, and Ward Laboratories founder Dr. Ray Ward took time to answer questions from the school...

Adding life to the soil: Experimenting with compost

Adding life to the soil: Experimenting with compost

By Stan Wise PIERRE, SD – Healthy soil requires healthy, active biology beneath the surface. This includes bacteria and fungi. While the five principles of soil health – soil cover, minimal disturbance, living roots, diversity, and livestock integration – all work to...

SDSHC Provides Scholarships to FFA Regional Land Judging Winners

SDSHC Provides Scholarships to FFA Regional Land Judging Winners

South Dakota FFA Bath (October, 2022) – The South Dakota FFA Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of four $100 scholarships for students placing first in one of the four SD Regional Land Evaluation Competitions this fall. 2022 scholarship recipients are:...