Advancing Soil Health Through Innovation and Education
The systems approach management enhances erosion protection, sunlight harvest, plant diversity, carbon, pollinators, beneficial insects, wildlife, salinity control, livestock forage and more.
The Menoken Farm is a conservation demonstration farm located in central North Dakota. Some of our values:
Menoken Farm is divided into 10 fields, each about 12 acres. The cropping system includes no-till seeding, high crop diversity, and rotations with cover crop combinations seeded after harvest and as season-long plantings.
Each fall compost is made from a number of organic materials, including common ingredients such as hay, straw, wood shavings, fish, and manure. Upon completion, the compost is applied to available cropland and gardens.
A number of windbreaks have been planted and serve as an arboretum for information and education on energy, wildlife, and forestry topics.
Rotational perennials are part of the crop rotation. These fields are seeded to 21 species of perennial grasses, legumes, and flowering forbs. The grazing system is managed with short livestock exposure periods, followed by long plant recovery periods.
Menoken Farm has a high tunnel greenhouse garden and an outside garden. The soil health principles and compost are used to manage both gardens. Healthy, fresh produce is donated to the Bismarck/Mandan food pantries, in cooperation with the Hunger Free North Dakota Garden Project.
With continued support from the North Dakota Department of Health and NRCS-USDA, Menoken Farm provides natural resource education.
Learn more about soil health principles through our article database.
Cover crops are receiving a lot of attention by nearly everyone involved in agriculture. They are once again becoming a very versatile tool that can provide many ecosystem services while also improving a producer’s bottom line.
Cover crops are loosely defined as something planted to serve a multitude of purposes while not typically being harvested as a cash crop. One purpose that is universal to any cover crop is that it can benefit the soil. Since most of the important functions the soil performs (nutrient cycling, as well as water capture and storage, in particular) are biologically driven, cover crops can facilitate an increase in soil health in a big way.read more