The ultimate goal is a healthy soil, with a fully functioning soil food web. One of the important steps in achieving this is ensuring the correct diet for the microbes which make up the full food web.
The unique and constant interaction between plant roots, bacteria and fungi creates a fantastic symbiosis. Farmers are able to facilitate or limit this interaction through the practices they implement.
Join us for an exciting farmers’ day where Trace & Save will be hosting New Zealand soil health expert Graham Shepherd.
The soil food web represents the diversity of life that lives in the soil. Earthworm counts can be used as an indicator of the diversity of life that is present in the soil.
Carbon is one of the indicators that can be used to test for soil health. Soils with higher soil carbon are usually indicative of healthy soil. Those with low carbon indicate the opposite. Watch this simple demonstration showing how to test for carbon in soil.
Soil carbon helps with moisture retention and can get you through dry periods. Farm management practices should be wired towards sequestration of carbon from the atmosphere!
The soil is more than just a big blob of brown stuff. It has organic matter, mineral particles as well as a variety of microorganisms. The quantity of each of these determines the health of that soil.
What if we could build healthy, thriving soil ecosystems? Soil which allows plants to grow well, without excessive and expensive inputs.
I realised again that there is still a lot of work for us, as the sustainable agriculture community, to do. We need to continue improving the health of agricultural land.
Nitrogen is a nutrient that is crucial for the optimal growth of plants. Its role in plant health may very well be unparalleled, but what happens when it becomes excessive in the soil? Is it “the more the better”, or rather a case of “too much of a good thing”?