Soil. It’s a natural, life-giving resource.
You hear people constantly discussing the importance of soil health in farming. After all, optimal soil will help aid in a higher yield for your crops. By using smart principles in day-to-day farming activities, not only can farmers increase their organic matter underground, but they also have the ability to improve microbial activity.
Unfortunately, what you don’t often hear people discuss is HOW you can achieve this. Let’s take a deeper look into how you can best increase the health of the soil used to sustain your crops.
5 Tips to Improve Soil Health
- Increase diversity & use cover crops. Rather than planting the same crops year after year, increase plant diversity and health by alternating crops and adding more cover crops to your rotation.
- Avoid erosion & decrease disturbance. This doesn’t mean you have to switch to full-on NO TILL practices, but try focusing on anything that can reduce the intensity or depth of your tillage.
- Add organic material. Organic matter improves soil physically, biologically AND chemically. Not only does it increase the organic material, but it also adds micro-organisms to improve overall structure.
- Lengthen the life of your plants. Try your best to have something growing in your fields as long as possible. Having continuously growing roots will help you capture more sunlight and in turn, pull that energy into your soil – improving the overall health for your crops.
- Test your dirt. It’s hard to determine what your soil needs to be productive without having an analysis done. There are many ways in which your soil can be tested, but the most common is for nutrient content. If you can determine what the underlying issue is, you can derive an appropriate plan of attack to get your soil on the road to healthy.
With proper testing, care and amending you can have biologically healthy soil to help you grow your best crop yet.