Soil health is defined by the USDA NRCS as the continued capacity of a soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans. These functions include maintaining plant productivity, regulating and partitioning water, filtering and buffering against pollutants, and storing and cycling nutrients.
Soil health as we know it depends on management and generally boils down to organic matter and porosity, two physical properties that are highly dependent on soil texture. When we have higher organic matter we have, greater water infiltration, lower bulk density, higher EC (Electro Conductivity), higher respiration, greater soil nitrogen, greater aggregate stability, more earthworms and more soil microbes.
To improve soil health farmers should consider implementing a practice or combination of practices that depend on soil texture, soil health status, and constraints of their farming system. The practices include minimizing disturbance, maximize time with living roots, keep the soil covered, and diversifying rotations.
Published on June 13, 2022
By using the best manure management practices, the field application of manure produced in the feedlot can enhance soil productivity and contribute to overall farm profitability while maintaining proper environmental stewardship.
Published on May 27, 2022
Corn, soybean, and wheat heads are emerging!
Published on May 26, 2022
This year's Dirt to Glass conference will focus on soil health, soil identification and soil fertility. Each year, the conference chooses a specific area of study based on the results of an annual educational needs assessment survey.
Published on May 12, 2022
Inflating tractor tires properly is an important way to save fuel and time during field operations.
Published on April 25, 2022
Choosing a suitable site for Christmas tree production prior to planting will set your farm up for success. If your site has less than ideal properties, having management strategies to minimize those problem areas can still be successful.