☰ Menu
× Close
Sign up

Soil Health


The Colorado Saving Tomorrow’s Agricultural Resources (STAR) Program is a free and voluntary tool to inspire producers, give bragging rights, and structure conversations around soil health. STAR is a practice-based rating system that assigns points for the following soil health practices: cropping, tillage, nutrient application, and other best management practices based upon a 10-minute form that producers fill out about each field. As a result, the farmer or rancher receives a STAR rating from 1-5 stars that help them understand how well they are doing in promoting soil health and upholding the 5 principles of soil health.

Learn More

5 Principles of Soil Health

Soil Armor

  • Control water and wind erosion
  • Reduce evaporation
  • Suppress weed growth

Minimize Disturbance

  • Biological disturbance limits photosynthesis
  • Chemical disturbance disrupts soil food web
  • Mechanical disturbance disrupts the physical system

Plant Diversity

  • Increased resource use and efficiency
  • Rooting depth and water infiltration/use
  • Variable water use between species
  • Diversity above ground –> diversity below ground

Continual Living Root

  • Captures nutrients and locks them in place for the next crop
  • Reduces erosion by holding the soil in place with its roots
  • Continues to capture C
  • Feeds microbes throughout the year

Integration of Livestock

  • Cycling nutrients in place
  • Reducing C:N in residue for mineralization
  • Increases biodiversity (bugs) within the field
    • Reduction and redistribution of crop residues and amendments