NRCS Soil Health Initiative

Soil Health InitiativeDemonstrating soil health management across Nebraska

Farmers in a field

The University of Nebraska, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Nebraska farmers and ranchers are participating in a state-wide effort to enhance the adoption of soil health and rangeland health management systems through the Soil Health Demonstration Farms and Ranch Initiatives. These initiatives will establish in-field management comparisons across the state to showcase grazing management and cropping system comparisons.

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Farmer field testing two cover crop management options

Farmers Find Solutions Through Nebraska Soil Health Initiative July 11, 2019

How can we manage cropland to improve soil health? To test and encourage adoption of soil health practices, the Soil Health Demonstration Initiative was launched as a collaborative effort of growers, UNL and NRCS. Now a network of farm research sites is providing valuable information from in-field studies.

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Farmers, Nebraska Extension educators, and NRCS employees at the NRCS-Nebraska Extension Soil Health Initiative Meeting held in York earlier this year. (Photo by Laura Thompson)
Figure 1. Farmers, Nebraska Extension educators, and NRCS employees at the NRCS-Nebraska Extension Soil Health Initiative Meeting held in York earlier this year. (Photo by Laura Thompson)

Why Growers are Adopting Practices to Build Soil Health July 11, 2019

Growers conducting on-farm demonstrations as part of the Nebraska Soil Health Initiative met with UNL and NRCS staff to share about what they were doing and learning on their farms. Their work offers valuable insights for other growers considering how they too can build soil health on their farms.

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3 Resources on How Animal Manure Can Benefit Your Soils June 4, 2019

Animal manure can be a valuable soil nutrient. Three stories at Water.unl.edu explore how manure improves soil fertility and productivity, how poultry manure can be managed in crop production, and how composted beef manure can be added to sugar beet production.

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Rye cover crop

Soil Microbial Communities under Cover Crops March 12, 2019

This study examined impacts of using a cereal rye cover crop in corn systems in eastern Nebraska and found that it boosted the microbial community in the upper two inches of the soil. This may improve soil aggregation, nutrient cycling, and other soil health benefits.

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Cattle grazing cover crops
The benefits of grazing cover crops will be one feature of the Southeast Nebraska Soil Health Conference March 6 in Beatrice.

Southeast Nebraska Soil Health Conference March 6 February 4, 2019

Soil health, cover crops, and grazing annual cover crops will be among the topics at the Southeast Nebraska Soil Health Conference on Wednesday, March 6, in Beatrice.

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