Soil Health Management Increases Farm Income, Assessment Finds

The Soil Health Institute (SHI) and Cargill partnered to assess the economics of soil health management systems. SHI researchers interviewed 100 farmers across nine states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Tennessee) who adopted soil health systems to acquire production information such as tillage practices, nutrient management, pest management, yield changes, and more. SHI found that soil health management systems increased net income for 85% of farmers growing corn and 88% of farmers growing soybean. In addition, they reduced the average cost to grow corn by $24/acre and soybean by $17/acre, and they increased net farm income by an average of $52/acre for corn and $45/acre for soybean. “In addition, 97% of the farmers we interviewed reported their soil health management system increased crop resilience to extreme weather,” noted Dr. John Shanahan, Project Manager for the study.