The Five Principles of Soil Health

Soil Cover

Keep plant residues on the soil surface. Look down, what percentage of your soil is protected by residue? Erosion needs to be minimized before you can start building soil health.

Limited Disturbance

Minimize tillage as much as possible. You will start building soil aggregates, pore spaces, soil biology, and organic matter.

Diversity

Try to mimic nature. Use cool and warm season grasses and broad leaf plants as much as possible, with three or more crops and cover crops in rotation. Grassland and cropland plant diversity increases soil and animal health.

Living Roots

Keep plants growing throughout the year to feed the soil. Cover crops can add carbon to the soil, providing a great food source for micro-organisms. Start small to find the best fit for your operation.

Integrating Livestock

Fall/winter grazing of cover crops and crop residue increases livestock’s plane of nutrition at a time when pasture forage quality can be low, increases the soil biological activity on cropland, and improves nutrient cycling. Proper grassland management improves soil health.

News & Events

“Cover Crop Chats” With SDSHC Directors 7/3

“Cover Crop Chats” With SDSHC Directors 7/3

Join us this Friday, July 3rd, for a chance to chat all things cover crops with a few of our very own SDSHC Directors! Pre-registration is required to gain access to the Zoom Meeting and the flyer above contains details on how to do so. This is the last of our...

“Cover Crop Chats” With SDSHC Directors 6/26

“Cover Crop Chats” With SDSHC Directors 6/26

Join us this Friday, June 26th, for a chance to chat all things cover crops with a few of our very own SDSHC Directors! Pre-registration is required to gain access to the Zoom Meeting. The flyer above includes details on how to join us, the next discussion is...

“Cover Crop Chats” With SDSHC Directors 6/19

“Cover Crop Chats” With SDSHC Directors 6/19

Join us this Friday, June 19th, for a chance to chat all things cover crops with a few of our very own SDSHC Directors! Pre-registration is required to gain access to the Zoom Meeting. The flyer above includes details on how to join us, keep an eye out for upcoming...