Soil Health

When it comes to yields, the health of your soil cannot be understated. Soil stores and cycles the water and nutrients that your crops need to grow. When the health of your soil declines, your whole operation suffers. Your South Dakota Soybean Association is committed to helping you bolster and maintain the health of your soil by providing you readily available resources to ensure you have the best soil management practices in place.

Five Principles you can implement Today

There are five principles that you can implement right now to increase your soil health.
  • Soil Cover

    Before you can begin to build soil health, erosion needs to be minimized as much as possible. Taylor recommends keeping plant residue on the surface.

  • Limited Disturbance

    In order to start building soil aggregates, pore spaces, soil biology and organic matter, try minimizing tillage as much as possible.

  • Living Roots

    Cover crops can add carbon to the soil, providing a great food source for microorganisms. Try feeding the soil with plants growing throughout the year.

  • Implement Diversity

    Diversify with three or more crops and cover crops. Try using cool and warm season grasses and as many broadleaf plants as possible.

  • Integrate Livestock

    Proper grassland management is vital for soil health. Try livestock grazing of cover crops in the fall and winter.

Find a Mentor

No one is better suited to walk you through these conservation tactics than South Dakota ag producers. When you connect with the South Dakota Mentor Network you’ll be connected to other area producers who will share their conservation experiences with you and provide you with free, personalized advice – saving you time and money. Contact the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition to get set up with a mentor near you.

Find more information on each of these soil health pillars.

Have questions about where to start or what is the best fit for your operation?

Ask the local expert.