Soil Health for the Southern Region: Online Course

southern soil health course

Maintaining and building soil health is nowhere more important than in the southern U.S. – but that’s also where it’s most challenging. A new, free online course aims to help farmers in the region rise to that challenge.

In the southern states, temperatures are higher, and the growing season lasts longer, extending the conditions under which soil organic matter tends to be lost – and often creating soils which are more limited in fertility from the get-go.

At the same time, pressures from weeds, insect pests, and plant pathogens are all higher than in more northerly latitudes, increasing the incentive for tillage and other practices destructive of soil organic matter.

The Organic Farming Research Foundation recently published a guidebook to help southern farmers build soil organic matter even under these daunting conditions. Now, the organization has gone one step further, developing an online course based on the book’s content.

According to the course website, “The goal of this new course is to help the region’s current and aspiring organic producers develop effective, site-specific soil health management strategies that support successful, resilient enterprises.”

The course is free, and self-directed, allowing students to work at their own pace as time allows. It explores ways of applying organic soil management principles, highlighting practical approaches developed by farmers in the southern region. It also includes links to additional resources, including more in-depth information on particular topics, common soil types, and current soil health research.

Soil Health Strategies for the Southern Region is available free from the Organic Farming Research Foundation website.


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