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Economics of Soil Health Systems – Indiana (Webinar)

The Soil Health Institute and Cargill conducted this project to provide farmers with the economics information they need when deciding whether to adopt soil health practices and systems. The 16 farmers interviewed in Indiana grew crops on an average of 3473 acres, using no-till on 88% and cover crops on 79% of those acres. Seventy-five percent of the farmers interviewed reported increased yield from using a soil health management system, and none reported a yield decline. Based on the information provided by these farmers, it cost an average of $24.69/acre less to grow corn and $17.60/acre less to grow soybean using a soil health management system. Based on standardized prices, the soil health management system increased net income for these 16 Indiana farmers by an average of $63.18/acre for corn and $46.88/acre for soybean. For one of the farmers growing wheat net income increased by an average of $38.56/acre for wheat production when adopting a soil health management system. The current adoption rates of no-till (41%) and cover crops (8%) in Indiana indicate that other Indiana farmers may improve their profitability by adopting soil health management systems. Farmers also reported additional benefits of their soil health system, such as increased resilience to extreme weather and increased access to their fields.

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