Category Archives: Uncategorized

Coming Soon: SHI Grants

Coming soon! The Soil Health Institute plans to accept applications for grants supporting compilations and reviews of soil health-related scientific literature.

Food and Conservation Groups Invest in Soil to Sustain Food Production

“MINNEAPOLIS, April 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — A national effort to enhance farm sustainability through soil health has additional backing from a major consumer foods manufacturer. Leaders from General Mills, The Nature Conservancy, the Soil Health Institute and the Soil Health Partnership announce a collaborative effort to advance soil health on America’s farms and ranches, paving the way for measurable economic and environmental gains for farmers, businesses and communities for generations to come.”

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5th National Cover Crop Survey

Farmers who complete the survey by Mid-May are eligible for a $100 gift card and it should take no more than 5-10 minutes.

Soil Health Institute Newsletter Spring 2017

The Soil Health Institute Spring Newsletter is available. Highlights include announcing our 2nd Annual Meeting, July 12-14 in St. Louis, Missouri; upcoming release of our Action Plan; future soil health events; and more. Please read the full newsletter below:

SHI Newsletter Spring 2017-1

Organic Farming Research Foundation Call For Abstracts

Please take a moment to read this letter from the Organic Farming Research Foundation. You may turn the page at the bottom left of our embed.

call for abstracts

Farmers improve soil health, increase productivity

“The Soil Health Institute estimates farmers manage some 70 percent of the land in the United States and the individual decisions they make on a daily basis influences soil, air and water quality and other natural resources.

The Soil Health Institute was launched in 2013 in Morrisville, N.C. Wayne Honeycutt, president and CEO of the institute, said the mission is to safeguard and enhance the vitality and productivity of soil through scientific research and advancement. Conducting work that is economically viable and increases productivity for farmers and ranchers is vital, he said.

“Increasingly farmers are more innovative,” Honeycutt said during a forum on improving soil health at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Research Triangle Park Feb. 22.”


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Help Us Create a Research Site Master List

Dear Friends,

The Soil Health Institute requests your assistance in cataloging long-term (≥ 10 years) agricultural experiment sites in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Once compiled, this database will be made publicly accessible for building teams and planning agricultural research requiring inter-institutional collaboration on large scales, including soil health. Only a minimal amount of information is requested. Please submit your site’s information on the page provided by clicking here or on the button below.

Thank you for helping advance the science of soil health!


C. Wayne Honeycutt, Ph.D.
President and CEO
                     Soil Health Institute


Economics of Soil Health: Key to Adoption

The current world population of approximately 7.4 billion is projected to increase to approximately 9.7 billion by 2050.  Growing enough food, while also sustaining and improving our natural resources, is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

Recently, the concept of “soil health” has captured wide-ranging interest as a focal point for simultaneously achieving food production and environmental goals.  Peer-reviewed, scientific research has in fact shown that many of the same farming/ranching practices to improve soil health can also reduce nutrient losses to ground- and surface water, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce erosion, increase yield, suppress plant diseases, and provide pollinator and other wildlife habitat.  However, we must recognize that farmers and ranchers are not only land stewards, but are also business men and women.  Therefore, the economics of soil health-promoting practices play a critical role in their adoption.

There are several aspects of economics that can influence land management decisions.

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The Progressive Farmer: Underground Movement – 1

“It’s not hard to find a soil-health or cover-crop field day. Someone usually has a spade showing off earthworms and their tunnel work. There’s generally a 6-foot-deep pit to look at the root systems, filtration and soil compaction.

What’s missing, though, is data about whether cover crops and other soil-health practices actually pay. The science of penciling out the economics of such practices is still in the early stages. However, groups are working to document what soil health means to a farmer’s bottom line.”

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Iowa Farmer Today: Corn growers urged to improve soil health

“Soil quality is a hot topic in crop production circles these days, with farmers digging more vigorously into the dirt beneath their feet to find answers about what kind of shape it’s in.

That’s why the South Dakota Corn Growers chose to devote a couple hours of the organization’s annual meeting, held recently at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, to a discussion of soil health.

The session featured three experts on soil health who shared their perspectives about what producers can do to improve the bottom line while acting as good stewards of the land.

Wayne Honeycutt, president and CEO of the Soil Health Institute, made a connection with the audience in a down-to-earth presentation that focused on basic concerns of growers.

Honeycutt said better soil health improves crop performance, giving farmers a “fighting chance” to produce the ever-increasing amount of food needed by an increasing world population; increases producers’ ability to handle extreme weather events, from drought to excessive rainfall; and helps keep a rising tide of unwanted governmental regulations at bay.”

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