Project Details:

SHARE Farm Research Projects in Mooreton and Logan Center ND

Parent Project: This is the first year of this project.
Checkoff Organization:North Dakota Soybean Council
Categories:Agronomy, Crop management systems
Organization Project Code:QSSB
Project Year:2021
Lead Principal Investigator:Abbey Wick (North Dakota State University)
Co-Principal Investigators:

Contributing Organizations

Funding Institutions

Information and Results

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Project Summary

The Soil Health and Agriculture Research Extension (SHARE) Farm project started with the original location in Mooreton, ND (2013) and expanded to a second location in Logan Center, ND (2019). Each site is unique in soil type, crop rotation and climatic challenges. Both SHARE Farms provide opportunities for field-scale, long-term research associated with goals originally assigned to the project by commodity council members. Field-scale research means that cooperating farmers are heavily involved in each project, using their equipment to seed and manage and harvest the location. Research is then conducted by NDSU, within this framework, using sampling and analytical approaches suited to the field variability associated with the projects. Long-term sites have high value when assessing how a combination of soil health management approaches can be used to achieve on-farm goals. After all, soil health does not change quickly and issues, such as salinity found at both sites, can take time to remediate. Multiple faculty members from NDSU's main campus and Research Extension Centers have come together to assess systems at each SHARE Farm location. This allows us to make science-based recommendations to farmers interested in adopting soil health building practices that can be relatively high risk and require specification to each system. This proposal includes research for both locations and is accompanied by an Extension proposal to the education/outreach committee.

Project Objectives

1. Evaluate field-scale soil moisture and temperature under no-till and conventional tillage practices (Daigh)
2. Evaluate field-scale cover crop establishment in each part of the rotation, yield and soil dynamics under (a) no-till/cover crop and (b) conventional tillage/no cover crop treatments (Berti, Ostlie, Endres, Wick)
3. Evaluate changes in soil properties under (a) no-till/cover crop and (b) conventional tillage/no cover crop treatments (Casey, Gasch)

Project Deliverables

1. Data-supported information to be shared using Extension media development
(print and online) and activities (field days, workshops, Café Talks)
2. Academic publications and presentations (state, regional and national meetings)

Progress of Work

Updated December 1, 2020:
attached file

View uploaded report PDF file

Final Project Results

Updated June 29, 2021:
See attached

View uploaded report Word file

View uploaded report 2 Word file

Through two years of research at Logan Center and eight years at the Mooreton Soil Health and Agriculture Research Extension (SHARE) Farms, research efforts have:
• Demonstrated and evaluated field-scale, whole system strategies on saline and non-saline soils
• Evaluated the economics of soil health improving strategies
• Evaluated soil health testing and how it applies to our region
• Studied the differences under conventional and no-till practices
• Studied the impact of tillage practices on crop yield, soil quality, soil moisture, and soil temperature
• Transferred science-based knowledge to ND farmers

Why the research is important to ND soybean farmers
Research being carried out as part of the SHARE Farm projects provides regional, science-based information to farmers so they can reduce risk when adopting new soil health building practices. Though the SHARE Farms are regional, there are basic concepts shown and management practices that can be adopted by farmers across the state. The SHARE Farms also let farmers see the practices first-hand: “it’s a field I can drive by where I know research is being done on the whole field and I can see how it might work on my farm” (Farmer, Richland Co).

Final findings of the research
Several conclusions can be drawn from the SHARE Farm projects:
• Tile-drainage can help manage soil salinity when used with other soil health building practices like reduced tillage, salt-tolerant crop selection and cover crops
• Soil temperature is, on average, lower and has less daily fluctuation in no-tilled as compared to conventionally tilled systems
• No-till systems help to increase soil water content under most conditions
• No-till systems (no-till plus cover crops) have a slightly lower or non-significant yield differences compared to conventional tillage

Benefits/Recommendations to North Dakota soybean farmers and industry
Following harvest this fall, final sampling at the Mooreton site will be carried out, so stay posted for final results and recommendations from that location. For updates on the SHARE Farm project, and other soil health news visit the NDSU Soil Health webpage ( or follow Abbey Wick on Twitter (@NDSUsoilhealth).

Benefit to Soybean Farmers

Information regarding soil health building practices can be found on social media and in many of the farm magazines. It's difficult to sift through information that can be predominately observation-based (and very specific to famers operations who are sharing the information) to find approaches suited to broad-scale agriculture in North Dakota. Science-based, university-vetted information can reduce the risk associated with on-farm adoption of practices. NDSU recommendations on which practices to use in combination to achieve farmer specific goals can increase the chance of a successful outcome for soybean growers.

Performance Metrics

Project Years