The North Central Region Soil Health Nexus was initiated in 2016 with funding from the North Central Region Water Network. A North Central Soil Health Work Group with representatives from Land Grant Universities across the 12 state region convened to address the challenges of increasing access to soil health research, knowledge, extension and resources. A regional structure was initiated around the three areas of Research, Extension and Outreach, and Resources and Communications. The Nexus/MaSH interactive website serves the communication conduit for each area.

Dairy cow laying on gypsum bedding

Gypsum Use Benefits Soil Health

By-products and recycled materials may improve economic returns for many farms. During the 2017 Waste to Worth Conference, recycled wallboard was promoted as an excellent source for dairy barn bedding. Being non-organic, ground drywall is very absorptive and less likely to support bacterial growth. Therefore, cow udder health is greatly improved with recycled gypsum bedding as a low cost alternative to sand and sawdust. Continue reading


Manure and Soil Health Presentations Bring Experts, Give Voice to Wondering Minds

Farmers and ranchers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of soil quality/health to the productivity and sustainability of their agricultural system. Research and field observations have demonstrated that carefully managed manure applications can contribute to improved soil quality with limited environmental and social risks. However, a comprehensive assemblage of outputs and conclusions from research studies, field trials, soil labs databases, and other sources has never been developed. Continue reading