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South Dakota Poll Says Soil-Health Farmers Less Stressed, More Optimistic

A poll conducted by South Dakota State University, in partnership with the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition, shows that a significantly higher percentage of producers who are using soil health-improving practices on their operations experienced less stress, are more satisfied with farming and/or ranching, and are more optimistic about their futures than their conventional peers. Soil-health producers reported having lower input costs and a higher degree of confidence that their operations would be better positioned, both in terms of natural resources and economics, for generational succession. Specifically, 31% of soil-health farmers and ranchers reported increased profitability during the past year, while only 12% of conventional producers did. Additionally, when asked to look ahead three to five years, a significantly higher percentage of soil-health producers predicted that their farm profitability would increase. The survey also asked farmers and ranchers to predict the future resiliency of their farming and ranching operations. Soil-health producers were significantly more optimistic than their conventional counterparts (83% vs. 60%) that their operations would be more resilient to weather extremes.