Published: February 19, 2024

Category: Regenerative Agriculture

A collaborative project from the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the Soil Health Institute (SHI) found that soil health management systems increase both environmental and economic benefits on farms.

Supported by the William Penn Foundation, the project assessed the economics of soil health management systems (SHMS) in farms of different sizes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

NACD interviewed three farmers using no-till production and cover crops for corn, soybeans, and other crops to determine impact on net farm income, water quality, and the health of the surrounding watershed. New Jersey’s Mitchell Jones decreased corn and soybean production costs while increasing corn yield; farm income increased $22/acre for corn and $9.52 for soybeans. The Hicks Brothers IV farm in Pennsylvania increased net income by $34/acre, using a 50% corn and 50% soybean/wheat double crop rotation. Pennsylvania’s Deerfoot Farm used no-till to increase income $63/acre in a soybean and wheat rotation.

Beyond profits, the experiment increased operational resilience—improved field access and consistent yields during droughts. Improved water infiltration, increased soil organic matter, and reduced compaction and erosion also occurred.

For more information about the soil health management systems report, including video interviews with the farmers and fact sheets that provide more details about the budget analysis, please visit

Organic & Non-GMO Insights February 2024