Farmers can turn to a new set of case studies to learn about the experiences of southwest Minnesota farmers in adopting soil health practices. University of Minnesota research assistant Kathy Dooley visited farms and interviewed farmers in late 2018 to develop case study profiles of nine farms in southwestern Minnesota. Farmers were selected to participate in the project based on having at least five years of experience incorporating soil health principles into their production practices.
Farmers interested in adopting new practices to increase soil health and long-term sustainability can use these case studies to learn from others and connect with experienced producers. The practices described in the case studies include keeping living roots in the soil, keeping the soil covered, using diverse crop rotations, and reducing soil disturbance. In addition, many of the participating farms integrate livestock into their systems.
The soil health case studies report is available online at z.umn.edu/SoilHealthCaseStudies. In the future, the farm profiles will also be listed in an online database with more detailed information, such as soil test results.