Soil Health FAQs

What is the Soil Health Partnership?

The Soil Health Partnership is a farmer-led initiative of the National Corn Growers Association that brings together diverse partner organizations including federal agencies, universities and environmental groups to work toward the common goal of improving soil health. We have a network of more than 100 farmers in 12 states, mostly in the Midwest, testing practices that can improve soil health.

At least a ten-year scientific program, we collect data with the guidance of the robust SHP Science Advisory Council. Results will be shared through SHP events, networking, and technical assistance.

What practices does the Soil Health Partnership support?

We work with farmers to identify their soil health concerns and identify which practices would be most practical and beneficial to incorporate into their existing management. Those practices include:

  • Cover Crops:Growing them can improve water infiltration, and prevent erosion and unwanted nutrient losses.
  • Conservation Tillage:Implementing no-till or strip-till can improve soil structure by disturbing the land less.
  • Advanced Nutrient Management:Science-based nutrient management techniques, like split-application, can reduce nutrient loss to air and water.

A trained SHP field manager works with full partner farmer sites every step of the way, typically with the help of an agronomist.

This process allows farmers to customize how they implement soil health improvements on their farm. Our rigorous data collection process helps evaluate how well that management change is performing for soil health improvement and economic feasibility.

Why attend a Soil Health Partnership field day or other event?

The goal of an SHP event, like the many field days we host, is to engage with farmers and other experts at a local level. Each SHP event is planned with guidance from local farmers to help provide expert speakers and information most relevant to that community.

SHP events provide a venue for networking among farmers about how to most effectively adapt management practices for their local growing conditions and cropping systems.