soil sampling, hyphae, cultivation, cover crops

Soil Health is…

  • Holistic. Think about your own personal “health.” Health is a measure of overall well being.
  • Chemical, physical, and biological. Most soil health properties fall into these three categories which are interrelated and equally important.
  • Feeding the soil, not the plant. Modern sustainable agricultural practices are invested in maintaining and improving soil health, working with biological processes in the soil to minimize inputs and maximize productivity.
  • Good Stewardship. Healthy soils perform essential ecosystem services – some of which we are only beginning to understand.

About This Site

Ohio State resources on this site are placed into two categories.

  • Soil Health Assessment - quantifying and measuring soil health in the field and laboratory. 
  • Soil Health Management - fostering soil health through holistic soil and crop management. 



  1. Dr. Rattan Lal

    Ohio State soil scientist awarded World Food Prize

    Jun 15, 2020

    Over five decades, Rattan Lal, a Distinguished University Professor in the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), has reduced hunger by pioneering agricultural methods across the globe that not only restore degraded soil but also reduce global warming. Read more at https://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/ohio-state-soil-scientist-awarded-world-food-prize.

  2. A flooded field

    2019 Challenges Linger

    Mar 12, 2020

    As farmers are preparing for the 2020 cropping season, the challenges of 2019 may still linger.  There are basically 3 scenarios which will influence 2020 cropping practices.

  3. Article snapshot

    Can Soil Microbes Slow Climate Change?

    Mar 29, 2019

    Scientific American recently published a news article discussing the role Microbes may play in Climate Change mitigation. The article showcases work of Dr. David Johnson of New Mexico State University. He reocmmends that "to tip the soil’s fungal-to-bacterial ratio strongly toward the fungi". "As the ratio of fungi to bacteria increases, the soil biome becomes more efficient in utilizing carbon and other nutrients and that the soil therefore releases less CO2 to the atmosphere." In general, good soil health practices promote fungi growth in agroecosystems.