About the Research
The most desirable and robust information on how soil health affects profitability comes from real-world, on-farm data. However, a challenge is that every farm is different, making it difficult to know how repeatable results are from one farm to another. Insight into how reproducible results are across different soils, climate zones, and production systems can be obtained with replicated research plots; recognizing that research plots are very different from farms.
Consequently, the Institute is using a two-pronged approach for assessing profitability of soil health systems where the reality experienced by farmers is supplemented by results from nearby research sites. In each case, the Institute uses partial budget analysis as the tool for comparing expenses and returns in a soil health management system compared to a conventional management system.
A description of the partial budget analysis approach used by the Soil Health Institute can be found here.