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Soil Health

Soil health is defined as the continued capacity of a soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans. Some important functions of healthy soils include nutrient cycling, water storage, habitat for soil organisms and growth medium for plants. Ultimately, healthy soils are more productive and lead to healthier crops and more resilient agricultural systems. Management practices that improve soil health include minimizing disturbance, keeping soil covered, maintaining living roots, increasing biodiversity and incorporating livestock when possible.


  • Empower local producers to adopt practices that improve soil health on their farms.
  • Support ongoing research and innovation for increasing soil health.
  • Contribute to the productivity, profitability and resiliency of agriculture in southern Idaho.
Soil health framework graphic
Soil Health Framework (select to view a larger image)
Four soil health principles graphic


Courtney Cosdon, Soil Health Extension Instructor

Phone: 208-364-4692