Soil Health in the High Plains

FARMS:
Farmers Advancing Regenerative Management Systems

About us

A successful soil health management system is one which improves soil health while maintaining profitability.

The FARMS Project supports producers who are building comprehensive soil health management systems on their land in the High Plains of CO, NE, and KS.

Led by Farmers

Long-term soil health practitioners will guide and mentor early starters as they tackle soil health in the High Plains. In addition, most of the project staff are family farmers or ranchers.

Contextual

Soil health is rarely achieved through isolated methods, but rather through a producer’s integration and adaptation of a suite of practices to their local context.

Systems-based

The project will encourage and cultivate systems thinking over isolated practice implementation.

Incentive payments

Comprehensive Soil Health Management Planning as well as acre-based payments for new conservation practices

Local mentorship

Facilitated mentoring relationships with more experienced producers and professional technical assistants.

Comprehensive analysis

Soil health testing, nutrient density testing, economic assessment, and social surveys.

FARMS Project Results and Outcomes

Case studies

Diverse Cropping Under Ogallala Irrigation

Having an irrigated circle doesn't mean I should farm like I'm in Illinois.

Practice guides from FARMS producers' experiences

Interseeding / Companion Cropping

Management and seed options, and results so far.

Grazing on Cropground

Infrastructure, management, and advice

Compost

Options and ideas for large-acreage operations

Social dynamics

1 Page Summary

Interviews and Social Network Analysis

Key Takeaways (Yr 3)

Interviews analysis by Helios

Full Report, Social Science

Interviews and Social Network Analysis

Key Takeaways (Yr 1)

Interviews analysis by Helios

Soil Health

On-Farm Soil Health Practices Affected Potential Soil and Organic Carbon Losses by Wind Erosion (30MB)

Presentation given at the American Society of Agronomy, November 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland

Aggregates and Infiltration

Presentation given at the final FARMS Field Day Aug 2023 in Bladen, NE

Economic

Profitability & Breakevens

From FARMS' 2016-2022 management data

Data

Email us if you'd like to discuss getting access to anonymized, aggregated econ data from FARMS

Nutrient Density

Nutrient Density Report

Grains grown in soil health management systems and grains grown in the prevalent production system of the area were evaluated for mineral content over a three-year period from 2020 - 2022.

General Project Updates

Project Final Report

(Still in process, ETA Feb 2024)

Year 1 Update

Soil health, economics, and social dynamics of soil health innovators

Year 2 Presentation

Given at the Soil and Water Conservation Society meeting.
Denver CO, Aug 2022

In the News:
FARMS Spotlight

Colorado Department of Agriculture newsletter

Soil Health Planning Toolkit

Soil Evaluation Tool (SET)

In-field soil evaluation guide, with additional support for how to use the results to guide management decisions

Comprehensive Soil Health Management Plan (CSHMP)

Document that guides you through the creation of a soil health plan

CSHMP Instructions

Document that guides you through the creation of a soil health plan

Subscribe to the newsletter