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What do you want to learn about soil health?

Salute Soil Health: During this time of transition, let us know what topics you’d like to see.

Don Donovan

May 7, 2024

3 Min Read
Cover crops in a field
QUESTIONS? Do you want to learn more about different cover crop options? Or is there another soil health-related topic you have questions about? Let the team who writes the Salute Soil Health column know what topics you want to know more about. Tom J. Bechman

Back in 2016, members of the Indiana Conservation Partnership approached the Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine with a proposal. Members of the partnership involved in the promotion of soil health across the state would be willing to write articles on various aspects of soil health each month — but would the magazine be willing to use them?

Tom Bechman, then editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, and the magazine graciously agreed to the proposal, and thus, the Salute Soil Health column was born. Monthly soil health articles are featured both in the printed magazine and on

Over the last eight years, the soil health team has written articles about all aspects of soil health, cover crops, no-till, nitrogen management, roller-crimping, manure management and anything else we could think of that involved soil health in the state of Indiana.

We strive to make the articles timely when they are published, which is not always easy because we are writing them two months or so prior to publication. We have tried to address issues such as a dry summer or wet spring as quickly as possible with information to help farmers deal with ongoing issues.

Our goal is to provide enough technical information so farmers can seek out the information they need to make their soil health journey a success. Sometimes the sole purpose is to get Indiana farmers thinking about that journey or even helping get that journey started.

What would you like to see?

Even with as much thought that has gone into these articles, there has still been discussion among the group of authors about what additional topics need to be addressed.

We would like to offer our readers the opportunity to suggest topics you would like to learn about. Have we missed something you think should be discussed? Is there a topic we need to dive into deeper? We want to offer the opportunity to provide potential topics directly to us, and we will try to address them in an article.

If you have an article idea, email Amanda Kautz, Indiana Natural Resources Conservation Service state soil health specialist, at [email protected]. She will share those topics with the group, and we will then address them as we can. Remember, we are writing several months ahead of publication, so articles may not be immediate.

While we look back at the articles we have written, we look forward to the articles to come. We would also like to take this time to thank Tom Bechman for all his support, guidance and advice over the years. Tom is moving on to other projects, but he will always be a part of the soil health articles we write. We look forward to working with Indiana Prairie Farmer editor Allison Lund as we continue to provide timely soil health articles to the farmers of Indiana.

Keep taking those steps forward on your soil health journey. If you have any questions concerning soil health on your farm, contact your local soil and water conservation district or NRCS office.

Donovan is a district conservationist with NRCS. He writes on behalf of the Indiana Conservation Partnership.

About the Author(s)

Don Donovan

Don Donovan is a district conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service based in Parke County, Ind. He is a contributor to the Salute Soil Health column that appears regularly in Indiana Prairie Farmer on behalf of the Indiana Conservation Partnership.

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