Soil Health Project

Project Overview

Project Type: Youth
Funds awarded in 2008: $400.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: North Central
State: North Dakota
Project Coordinator:

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: buckwheat, canola, millet, oats, peas (field, cowpeas), triticale, vetches
  • Vegetables: radishes (culinary), turnips


  • Crop Production: cover crops, fertilizers
  • Soil Management: soil microbiology, soil quality/health

    Proposal abstract:

    The purpose of this project will be to continue to learn about and study cropland soil health. This is a continuation of an ongoing project. In the first year of the project we planted a seven way warm season cocktail cover crop mix on one field and a seven way cool season cocktail cover crop mix on another field. I wanted to see if cover crops could be successfully grown in our area. Our cover crops grew very well, even with very little moisture. I also accomplished the goal of testing both fields with a Soil Foodweb Analysis and a Soil Quality Health Kit that gave me some baseline data that showed how many of which microorganisms my Grandpa's fields had in them. Having accomplished these two goals last year I would like to split each of the two fields in half. One half of each field would be fertilized like normal and the other half would only receive a little starter fertilizer. This may show me if last year's cover crops will provide this year's cash crops with natural plant nutrients and save my Grandpa lots of money. I would also like to continue planting cocktail cover crops to see if they continue to grow successfully in my area. A third goal of mine would be to continue to see if our beneficial soil microorganisms are increasing in number and diversity.

    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.