Transformative Soil Health Measures for Resilient 21st Century Illinois Agriculture


Reid D. Christianson (PI)
Crop Sciences

Paul C. Davidson (Co-PI)
Agricultural and Biological Engineering

Nathan E. Schroeder (Co-PI)
Crop Sciences


The overall goal of this project is to investigate important soil health measures relating to water quality. The “hands-on” nature of this project allows the integration of research and outreach, while focusing on challenges and decisions Illinois producers are currently facing. With the comparison of land management activities including rowcrop agriculture with and without cover crops as well as perennial grass based pasture systems, we can start to address how the management decisions being made impact system resiliency, long-term soil health, and water quality. Specifically, we’ll be investigating infiltration and water holding capacity of the soils under different conditions as well as distribution of plan-parasitic nematode populations and general microbiologic diversity.

Project Resources

Fact Sheets

Status Update


Papers (published/unpublished)