Have you ever wondered what is going on beneath your soil? Do a basic visual soil assessment and compare it to the sustainability indicators in order to predict when soil quality starts deteriorating.
The carbon in plants is then transferred to the soil when plant roots and vegetation die and are incorporated into the soil by microorganisms in the soil.
Do you have large cracks in your soil? This could be the result of excess sodium. Read this blog to see the positive impact of gypsum application on excess sodium and an improvement in soil structure.
The challenge for farmers is sieving through all these techniques at their disposal and finding that one technique which they understand and identify with – one which is simple and informative enough for them that they would be able to use the results and implement directed management practices on their farm.
One of the challenges for farmers with regards to soil life is knowing whether the practices they are implementing are positively contributing to healthy soils, which are conducive to soil organisms flourishing. To this end we have been measuring various indicators of life in the soil.
The Woodlands Dairy soil lab analyses are used as soil sustainability indicators that form a part of the SWAN sustainable system.
Life contains energy, and all life requires energy to function. Energy is found, and needed, in various forms. In soil, the greatest source of energy is in the form of organic matter and carbon therein.
Here is an example of how improved soil life and good soil structure can unlock unavailable nitrogen into a form that is readily available for pasture uptake. You can possibly reduce your nitrogen fertiliser costs.
As a farmer, he said, he sees the soil life on his farm as another ‘herd’ which he has to provide for, especially with regards to food. If he looks after his soil life ‘herd’, then they will look after the soil and ensure that it is healthy.