Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2023: $11,863.00
Projected End Date: 09/04/2025
Grant Recipient: Kansas State University
Region: North Central
State: Kansas
Graduate Student:
Faculty Advisor:
Chuck Rice
Kansas State University
Faculty Advisor:
Dr. Carlos Pires
North Dakota State University
Ignacio Ciampitti
Kansas State University, Department of Agronomy
Reuben McLean
Grain Craft


  • Agronomic: soybeans, wheat


  • Crop Production: cover crops, cropping systems, crop rotation, no-till
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: agricultural finance, financial management, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, carbon sequestration, soil stabilization
  • Soil Management: organic matter, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: community development, leadership development, local and regional food systems, quality of life, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Kansas State University, Grain Craft, Intent, and in collaboration with farmers (Knopf, Jordan, Flickner, and Guetterman Brothers) built a team to provide integrated research, extension, and education efforts to farmers and future agriculture generations in understanding the role of regenerative agriculture practices on grain nutritional quality. The adoption of conservation practices has the potential to be a relevant path not only for food security but also for biofortification. Despite the wide range of soil health benefits through the adoption of no-tillage systems and cover crops, the effect of these practices on grain nutritional quality remains unknown. This project builds upon the two current on-farm networks (RAIN Farmer to Farmer Network and the Kansas Soil Health Network) and will be conducted in collaboration with farmers across the state (Knopf, Solomon, KS; Jordan, Beloit, KS; Flickner, Moundridge, KS; and Guetterman Brothers, Bucyrus, KS). The goals for this project are to: i) evaluate the effect of the adoption of cover crops in grain nutritional quality of wheat and soybean crops, ii) assess the interaction between management, environment (soil x weather), crop yield, and grain nutrient density under enhanced agricultural practices, and iii) inform farmers on potential opportunities to obtain a differential price due to grain quality segregation and explore premium prices via new markets. We believe that by setting a database for farmers to receive premium prices through specialty markets, we will be promoting regenerative agriculture practices, enhancing the overall sustainability, profitability, and well-being of the farmer’s operations and rural communities. The long-term goals for this project are to sustainably increase the nutritional quality of grains produced by adopting cover crops as an improved agricultural practice; understanding the link between soil health-plant-health-human health is critical for future farming conditions. In addition, this project also aims to promote the farmer’s financial well-being via the exploration of new markets for grain commercialization that will pay premium prices for major field crops grown under regenerative agricultural practices and with better nutritional quality. At the end of this project, farmers will: i) improve the nutritional value of grains produced on their farms, ii) improve the sustainability and profitability of their farming operations, and iii) identify and access of new grain commercialization possibilities. These outcomes represent critical steps toward farming systems sustainability, financial well-being, and promote access to more nutritious food by the overall community. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Learning outcomes: (1) provide integrated and continued extension and education benefitting farmers to understand  the advantages of regenerative agriculture practices on grain quality; (2) develop new foundational knowledge that can help farmers access to differentiated grain markets and receive premium prices for their products; (3) assist on improving quality of life, as well as the financial well-being, of farmers and surrounding communities through the use of regenerative agricultural practices, food production with improved grain quality, and conservation of natural resources. The action outcomes for this project will be: (1) improve wheat and soybean grain nutritional quality through the adoption of regenerative agricultural practices (cover crops); (2) explore new market niches to commercialize grain with better nutritional composition; (3) assist on improving farmer and community’s overall quality of life, economic well-being, and knowledge about better agronomic practices that can improve short and long-term sustainability. The sum of all these outcomes will help us to understand better the relationship between management, yield, and nutrient content on wheat and soybean grain. Furthermore, we also expect to generate knowledge that will improve farming practices in the North Central region. 


    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.