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.

Check out our Soil Health Toolbox, including our newly released whitepaper on the connection between Soil Health and Water Quality and our newly created Soil Health Nexus Matrix Decision-Tool!

New: The Financial Implications of Conservation Agriculture: Insights from Analyses of Farms in the Upper Midwest. This booklet aims to inform farmers’ key partners about the costs and benefits of conservation agriculture to assist their work with farmers.

Soil Health Digital Café 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.

Upcoming Webinar:

Manure and microbes: Are they the key to sustainable crop production?
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 2pm CT/3pm ET

The Nutrient Management Spear Program (NMSP) at Cornell University aims to improve the profitability and competitiveness of New York dairy, livestock, and cash grain operations while maximizing environmental protection. Their moto is “relevant questions and sound science for agricultural profitability and protection of the environment”. Working with farmers in the New York On-Farm Research Partnership, the team is evaluating the value of manure for crop production, climate resilience, and environmental protection. Tune into this Digital Café as Quirine Ketterings, leader of the NMSP, shares the value of manure project and discoveries related to soil microbial health indicators thus far.



Exploring nine years of the Wisconsin’s Producer Led Watershed Program and the new Soil Health program

In this Digital Café, Randy Zogbaum, Soil Health Specialist for DATCP, discusses Wisconsin’s growing Producer-Led Watershed program and DATCP’s soil health programming. This webinar was originally broadcasted May 15, 2024.


Soil health and nutrient management: What it can and cannot do

Improved soil health provides several benefits to crops and water quality. However, there are limitations and as a result, some misconceptions exist. This presentation features Chad Penn, Research Soil Scientist at USDA-ARS and Adjunct Professor of Agronomy at Purdue University, who addresses how improved soil health impacts soil fertility and nutrient transport, as well as dispelling common myths.This presentation was originally broadcast on April 17, 2024.