Economics of Soil Health Systems in 100 Farms


The Soil Health Institute (SHI), the non-profit organization tasked with safeguarding and improving the vitality and productivity of soils, will release its full report on the economics of soil health on 100 farms during a webinar Thursday, September 30 at 12 p.m. ET, thanks to the generous support of Cargill.

The most desirable and robust information on how soil health affects profitability comes from real on-farm data. This study consisted of interviewing farmers who have successfully implemented a soil health management system to gain information on their management practices, yield and other production experiences. To assess their economy, SHI’s agricultural economist used partial budget analysis to compare the expenses and revenues of a soil health management system against a conventional management system.

Using data collected and analyzed from 100 farms in nine states, Dr. Wayne Honeycutt, President and CEO of SHI, will share key findings that can only be gleaned at such a scale, such as:

  1. Sixty-seven percent of farmers surveyed reported increased yield through use of a soil health management system. Two percent reported a decline in corn yield.
  2. It costs an average of $ 24.00 / acre less to grow corn and $ 16.57 / acre less to grow soybeans using a soil health management system.
  3. Soil health management systems increased the net income of 85% of farmers growing corn and 88% growing soybeans.
  4. Based on the standardized prices, the Soil Health Management System increased the net income of these 100 farmers by an average of $ 51.60 / acre for corn and $ 44.89 / acre for soybeans.
  5. Farmers also reported additional benefits of their soil health management system, such as increased resilience to extreme weather conditions and increased access to their fields.

All those who register will receive an information sheet summarizing the results.

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