Madison County Soil Conservation District 

Serving to Conserve Madison County's Soil & Related Natural Resources Since 1941

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Soil Health


Local Farmers Speak on the Benefits of Cover Crops & Soil Health

Farmers and agronomists around the world are focusing on soil health as a better more profitable way to farm. Building soil organic matter and soil biology is key to improving soil health. Farmers are finding that true no-till and the extensive use of cover crops is important to increasing soil organic matter and to increasing farm profits. Add animal manure and the results are better and faster. Farmers have found that tilling does just the opposite. Tillage burns what organic matter that doesn't wash away and the required input costs erode farm profits.  Farmers who have increased their soil organic matter have reported many physical and chemical improvements to the soil. They claim these physical and chemical improvements have made their crops more efficient; requiring less water, less fertilizer, and less pesticide with yields above their county average. Some soil health farmers say that they may not have the highest yields but they have the highest farm profits. There is an abundance of information on the web discussing soil health and its benefits along with stories by farmers of what they are doing to improve it and how they are profiting from it. Several links to soil health are listed below.  The pictures below show the benefits of conservation practices that build soil organic matter and nurture soil biology. 


A diversity of living plants growing in the soil year round not only protect the soil from rain but they do several important things to improve soil

So what is Soil Health?

More Links to Soil health Follows the Soil Health Introduction   

  • Soil health lessons in a minute:

  1.    How healthy soil should look

  2.    Discover the cover               

  3.    Soil stability test                   

  4.    Benefits of no-till farming