Boost your ROI with new soil health practices

Here’s a mind-blowing fact: healthy soil means less money spent on inputs. You have to adopt a long-term mindset when adopting new soil health practices, because it takes a minimum of three years of commitment to start seeing the impacts. It’s not instant gratification, but it will be highly beneficial in the long run.

That said, there are several ways to realize savings along the way. Here are the top five practices that can instantly affect the return on your investment in adopting new soil health practices:

  1. Reducing tillage – With the continuing rise of diesel fuel costs, reduced tillage means you make fewer passes across the field, which reduces not only fuel costs but labor cost as well. (Remember to account for your time in your input costs.) 
  2. Residual herbicide management  – Pay attention to your residual, because it can impact your ability to establish a cover crop after harvest, which in turn impacts your ability to sequester carbon and leaves money on the table. 
  3. Accomplishing two things at once – Determine how to combine two jobs into one pass across the field. For example, you could spread fertilizer and cover crop seed together in the fall (choose varieties that broadcast well) or add a hopper on your tillage equipment. 
  4. Sticking to fewer species of cover crop – While it can be fun to design multi-species mixes of cover crops, it can start to add up quickly if you aren’t intentional about the purpose of each species.
  5. Accessing public funds to support your new practices – Take dvantage of public dollars that can be layered with RegenConnect as this can increase payments by two to four  times. Working with and organization like  FarmRaise can help add value to your farm.

Read more about cost savings here.

Anna Teeter

Anna Teeter recently joined Cargill as Conservation Agronomist with Cargill’s regenerative agriculture program. Her goal is to help farmers successfully implement soil health practices while continuing to advocate for agriculture. Anna brings extensive hands-on experience having worked with the University of Wisconsin-Madison extension services, private ag consulting services, and most recently the Soil Health Partnership, which led her to Cargill. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and Life Sciences Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Science in Soil Science.