As a farmer, your primary use for soil is for growing crops. Soil fulfils this function by being an anchor for plant roots and a store for water and nutrients. One of the soil properties that ensure that this happens effectively is soil structure.
So what is soil and how can it sequester carbon? Soil is a living miracle. In one handful of soil; there are more organisms than there are humans on earth. We are now only beginning to understand this vast network of beings right under our feet.
Protists are a group of microorganisms that did not tick all the boxes to be called bacteria, fungi or nematodes. These microorganisms play a crucial role in the mineralisation process.
The original source of carbon in the roots is atmospheric carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis is a process which everyone has heard of, and probably studied at school, but I don’t think we fully realise and appreciate its uniqueness and value.
Farmers have the potential to significantly increase the productivity of their farm, and decrease their environmental impact, by implementing practices which improve the health of their soil.
The unfortunate truth is that there are no silver bullets in farming. The agro-ecosystem is way too complex, with far too many interactions, to have a simple, single solution to challenges.
Farmers that implement sustainable land-management practices can improve the carbon levels of their soils, thereby moving carbon from the atmosphere through plants into the soil.
A lot more attention has focused on plant parasitic nematodes rather than the beneficial free living nematodes in the soil. Intensive research needs to be conducted so as to better understand the role played by free living nematodes especially in the mineralisation of soil nutrients.
Rain is always welcome on our lands. It is our responsibility as good water stewards to use it as the valuable resource which it is
To ensure continued food production, we need to ensure natural resources are not depleted. This goal is achieved through sustainable farming practices.