University of Maryland Extension


Below are resources and links to other sites with research-based information on the principles and farming practices that can improve the health of your farm soils.


Maryland Soil Health Card

A user-friendly tool for evaluating a field's soil health. A how-to demonstration video for using the card in the field is here:


Maryland Cover Crop Design Workbook

Helps design cover crop recommendations that meet the requirements of NRCS and MACS cover crop incentive programs. Search for  “Cover Crop MD 340 Design Workbook”


Cornell Soil Health Lab


Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Health Portal

Gateway to all NRCS Soil Health resources, including videos, technical publications, and fact sheets

NRCS Soil Health logo 

NRCS Cover Crop Chart

Assists producers with decisions on the use of cover crops in crop and forage production systems with info on 66 species

Cover Crop Chart

NRCS Web Soil Survey

Online soil mapping tool; very powerful with many features and data sets; takes a while to learn


UC Davis Soil Resource Lab: SoilWeb

Online soil mapping tool (also works well on smartphone browser); more user friendly than Web Soil Survey


National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health

Materials from 2014 national conference with focus on cover crops


Building Soils for Better Crops

An in depth handbook on managing farmland for soil health; available free online or hard copy for purchase


Cover Crops Topic Room (USDA Sustainable Ag Research & Education)

Extensive written and video resources on cover crops


Managing Cover Crops Profitably (USDA Sustainable Ag Research & Education)

An in depth handbook on maintaining profitability while using cover crops


NRCS Local Service Center Directory

Tool for contacting your local NRCS office



User Friendly Soil Respiration Test


Soil Health Self Evaluation Tool

An interactive questionnaire to help producers evaluate their soil health management strategies


Haney test (Ward Laboratories)

Soil Health test lab


Northeast Cover Crop Council

A regional research-driven group promoting cover crop adoption and best practices; online decision tool in development


NRCS Cover Crop Economic Analysis Tool

Economic assessment tool to assess the costs and benefits of incorporating cover crops into a crop rotation

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