As part of the Soil Health Nexus Digital Cafe Series, Tayler Ulbrich, a graduate student researcher at Michigan State University, presents “Exploring how farmers’ perceptions of soil health affect their management decisions (preliminary data and future plans)”. This presentation was originally broadcast on June 3, 2020.
Despite widespread interest in soil health among farmers, adoption of soil health practices is low. This project seeks to describe how farmers’ understanding of soil health, or mental models, influence their management decisions and can inform agricultural advisors’ outreach and training activities. For the Soil Health Digital Cafe Series we present preliminary data about farmers’ soil health views and practice adoption collected from a survey across 4 states in 2018. We also discuss and look for feedback on upcoming projects, including interviews and a workshop, where we hope to gain a deeper understanding of farmers’ soil health perceptions and, further, learn how these perceptions could inform agricultural Extension and outreach activities.