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Soil Health

Our Soil Health research develops sustainable on-farm practices from the ground-up, creating innovative solutions to improve soil health from measurement to adoption.

Program Contact

Dr. LaKisha Odom

Development Contact

Catherine Maxwell

Our Research Focuses on:

  • Resiliency and adaptation
  • Site-specific decision making
  • Farmer wellbeing
  • Novel pathways to adoption

Learn more about our Soil Health research goals.

Advancing UN Sustainable Development Goals

Soil Health supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), 17 global goals to enhance peace and prosperity, eradicate poverty and protect the environment. Specifically, this research bolsters the following SDGs:

Why Are We Tackling Soil Health Challenges?

Some farming practices harm soils, depriving them of nutrients, killing the beneficial bacteria and fungi in the soil, or leaving them vulnerable to washing away. Climate change is further accelerating the loss and degradation of soils.

Yet, we need nutrient-rich soils to grow healthy, flavorful food. Thriving soils also bolster crop yields, increase water retention, protect water quality, prevent erosion, sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve biodiversity.

We created the Soil Health Challenge Area to develop sustainable on-farm practices and empower farmers to implement these practices. Our Soil Health research develops and deploys the latest technology and knowledge to help farmers build and maintain healthy, productive soil. Ultimately, this research protects farmer’s livelihoods and the environment, while increasing productivity.

We Pioneer Soil Health Research

Congress established FFAR to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement USDA’s research agenda. Our public-private partnerships match federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment.

Our Soil Health grants, programs and consortium produce data-driven results to help farmers make sustainable decisions that support thriving farms.

Learn more about our Soil Health grants, programs and consortium.

Soil Health Awarded Grants

Scaling Quantified and Verified Soil Health, Climate and Natural Resources Outcomes from U.S. Agriculture in an Innovative Ecosystem Services Market Program

Awarded Amount $5,150,000   
Year 2023
Matching Funders Ecosystem Services Market Consortium

Protecting Florida Corn from Tar Spot Outbreak

Awarded Amount $120,509   
Year 2023
Matching Funders University of Florida

Advancing DEI in Sharing Carbon & Ecosystems Services Information

Awarded Amount $100,000   
Year 2022
Matching Funders American Society of Agronomy (ASA), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and the Soil Science Society of America

See all Soil Health Awarded Grants

Soil Health Consortium

The Latest


As an inclusive organization, we host Insights from thought leaders across for food and agriculture community on DEI. Learn more about their unique experiences and perspectives.

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