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Economics of Soil Health Systems – South Dakota (Fact Sheet)

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 10 farmers interviewed in South Dakota grew crops on an average of 1690 acres, using no-till on 95% and cover crops on 22% of those acres. Those using no-till had been doing so for about 23 years, and those using cover crops had been doing so for approximately seven years. Seventy percent of the farmers interviewed reported increased yield from using a soil health management system, and none reported a yield decline. Farmers also reported additional benefits of their soil health system, such as increased resilience to extreme weather and increased access to their fields. The current adoption rates of no-till (52%) and cover crops (2%) in South Dakota indicate that other South Dakota farmers may improve their profitability by adopting soil health management systems.

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