Organic farm rows of produce growing

Iroquois Valley’s farmers recognize that soil is a living system and they have an important role in improving and keeping it healthy. Healthy soils enable healthy plants, animals, and humans. Through practices such as diverse crop rotations, cover cropping, and integrated livestock Iroquois Valley farmers work to mimic the processes of the natural environment without synthetic inputs. Organic farming systems are prohibited from using synthetic inputs.

Iroquois Valley encourages its farmers to go beyond the USDA organic standard and manage soil health closer to how nature would, reducing the need for inputs overall. This enables healthier soil and more financially healthy farms. 

Organic farmers, in the absence of pesticides, often use tillage to combat weeds. Tillage, if done incorrectly can disturb the soil and contribute to soil compaction, erosion and loss of organic matter. The impact of tillage as a management tool for organic farmers depends on context: the type of tillage tool used, for what purpose, and under what conditions are all factors in a system of organic management.

Iroquois Valley works with all types of organic systems, acknowledging that systems of soil health management may look different from farm to farm.


  • Pesticide application negatively impacts soil health by significantly decreasing the microbial abundance and diversity of the soil.

  • Soils on organic farms can average 19% higher total soil organic carbon, a central component of soil organic matter which is critical in the fight against climate change.

  • Soils treated with synthetic fertilizers are more likely to be affected by soil compaction, which can decrease nutrient retention & increase runoff.

  • Iroquois Valley supports whole farm system change, which provides greater enhancement of ecosystem services over single practice approaches.

  • Organic farming can decrease soil erosion by 30% over conventional farming.

  • Iroquois Valley encourages farmers to keep soil covered. Cover crops can double the amount of water absorbed in the soil in organic systems.

Read more on Soil Health


It is vital that agricultural production does not continue to degrade soil and pollute waterways. Despite billions of dollars offered through voluntary cost-sharing programs, farmer adoption of conservation and soil health improving practices remains low. By focusing on organic farming, Iroquois Valley supports a network of farmers to do just that through a variety of approaches.


Iroquois Valley takes a systems-based view of soil health management. Our approach recognizes soil is a living system and that managing that system well has environmental as well as socio-economic benefits. Organic farming systems that work to improve soil health have positive economic impacts for both the farms and the communities in which they are embedded.

Overlook of a organic field with trees in distance


Iroquois Valley supports organic and transitioning farmers because of the soil health benefits organic agriculture provides. Organic agriculture works to mimic natural processes by eliminating off farm synthetic inputs.

Likewise, tillage is one tool that a farmer has to manage their system to meet a variety of economic and environmental outcomes. Although tillage has been correlated with some negative soil health outcomes, organic management has shown to improve soil health through a reduction in erosion, an increase in soil organic carbon below the soil surface, and an increase in nutrient availability. An increase in diversity and soil cover is also shown to be an important factor that can mitigate impacts of tillage.

Iroquois Valley supports the integrated use of tillage, when implemented with careful planning and done in concert with other soil health-promoting practices.


Iroquois Valley presented at the 2021 Regenerative Food Systems Investment Forum

October 8, 2021
The 2021 Regenerative Food Systems Investment (RFSI) Forum was held September 28-29 in Oakland, CA, and we were honored to have two of our staff members present at the conference. The RFSI Forum catalyzes conversation, advances education, and drives increased investment in regenerative agriculture and food, and attendees include global stakeholders that are committed to transforming our food system.


Iroquois Valley recognized as 2021 Best for the World B Corp

August 18, 2021
Iroquois Valley Farmland REIT, PBC is proud to announce our recognition as a Best for the World B Corp: Governance for 2021. This award honors Iroquois Valley for our exemplary governance and commitment to long-term stakeholder-minded business practices.

What We're Reading

Iroquois Valley joins Will County, IL farm alliance to improve soil health, water quality and local economies

August 20, 2021
We need a regional agricultural food, nutrition and conservation business plan that incentivizes farmers to continue producing economic, environmental and social benefits for another 100 years.  

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