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Soil Fertility

All Soil Fertility Content

A screenshot of the website shows a map of the United States with green squares indicating where soil fertility trials have been conducted

New digital Fertilizer Recommendation Support Tool launches nationwide

April 11, 2024

South Dakota State University Extension and project partners are proud to announce the nationwide release of the Fertilizer Recommendation Support Tool (FRST), a decision aid that provides an unbiased, science-based interpretation of soil phosphorus and potassium values for crop fertilization.

Producer holding soil in cupped hands over a bare field in early spring.

Carbon to Nitrogen Ratio of Healthy Soils

The ratio of carbon to nitrogen in the soil is essential for soil biochemical functioning. Learn some expert tips on managing soil to create an ideal ratio of these critical elements.

A hand holding a soil sample taken from a soybean field.

Soil Testing Labs

This page contains a list of nearby state or private laboratories that can be used for crop production fields, gardens and lawns.

Vast, rolling agricultural landscape with a variety of plant life.

The Nitrogen Biochemical Cycle in Soil

Nitrogen is an essential element for plant growth and is contained in many forms in the soil. Soil microbiology is essential for transforming nitrogen into different forms in the soil.

Spring wheat growing in a no-till field. Courtesy: USDA NRCS South Dakota, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Chloride Fertilizers May Be Beneficial in Spring Wheat Production

Chloride, the ionic form of chlorine, although not considered an essential nutrient, has long been observed to be highly beneficial to field crops. Chloride is known to play an essential role in plant development and osmoregulation.

Two producers inspect the soil in a no-till field early in the growing season.

Managing Soil for Carbon Storage

Did you know that adopting soil health principles can lead to increased soil carbon concentrations? Learn about some recent studies in South Dakota that evaluated the potential of land management activities to increase soil carbon.

Farmer standing in a no-till field.

Farming Practice Comparisons in South Dakota: A case study across the fence and implications for the future

This extension study intends to provide some new insights on the financial and carbon storage comparisons between neighboring farms using conventional farming versus conservation practices (mainly no-till and cover crops).

Hands holding a clump of healthy soil with worms and other living organisms throughout.

What Makes Up a Healthy Soil?

Healthy soil has strong soil structure that stays together whether it’s wet or dry. Learn about the many components that combine to make soil healthy.

Two researchers analyzing soil in a no-till field with cover crops growing throughout.

Does the COMET Carbon Model Address Soil Health Principles?

The COMET-Farm model, developed by USDA/NRCS and Colorado State University, is a whole farm and ranch carbon and greenhouse gas accounting system. Learn how it addresses the Five Soil Health Principles.

Farmer standing in a no-till field at sunset.

Does the GREET Carbon Model Address Soil Health Principles?

Learn how the recent Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Technologies (GREET) production model lines up with the Five Soil Health Principles.