The North Central Region Soil Health Nexus is a university-led team dedicated to increasing access to research-based soil health knowledge, extension and resources.
The team was created in 2015 with funding from the North Central Region Water Network. The team is structured around research, extension and outreach, and resources and communications with representatives from all 12 North Central Region states.
Soil Health Digital Cafe Series
The Soil Health Nexus is hosting a series of informal soil health webinars featuring Extension soil health experts and researchers from across the region discussing the latest soil health research, resources, and news. The webinars will take place monthly; they will be an hour in length with 20-minute presentation, followed by 10-minutes of Q&A and then a casual 30-minute Digital Café where attendees can continue to discuss the topic in more depth with Soil Health Nexus members.
Citizen Science for Great Lakes Cover Crops
Wednesday, October 19th at 2pm CT
Many cover crop benefits depend on successful cover crop growth, or biomass, but cover crop biomass can vary widely across farms because it is influenced by a range of environmental and management factors. Using citizen science, we’re partnering with farmers across the Great Lakes region to better understand how and why cover crop growth varies across real farms to help identify ways to maximize their benefits for soil health, water quality, and other environmental and agricultural outcomes.
This Digital Cafe will feature Etienne Herrick, a Ph.D. student in the Blesh Soil and Agroecosystems Lab at the University of Michigan, who will provide an overview of the citizen science project and preliminary findings from our first year of data collection.
Most Recent Webinar:
Soil Health Practices and Water Behavior: Efforts to Quantify Soil Function
Wednesday, September 21 at 2pm CT – View the Recording
Soil health is defined in terms of soil function, and some of the most important functions are related to water-holding and water infiltration. Farmers and policy-makers both care about these properties, but they can be elusive to measure. In this edition of the Soil Health Digital Café, Dr. Anna Cates, University of Minnesota Soil Health Specialist, discusses on-farm efforts to quantify changes in soil function with soil health practice adoption, including soil organic matter pools, soil aggregates, and water infiltration.