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Regularly adding organic material helps enhance soil quality, soil structure, water and nutrient holding capacity, and helps protect the soil from erosion and compaction.
Tillage is a necessary practice for preparing fields, but unfortunately it makes soil more susceptible to erosion, causes compaction, and can alter the productivity of the soil. By reducing tillage practices you can minimize these problems, diminish the loss of organic material and increase the amount of residue on the land.
Bare soil is much more susceptible to erosion than land that has crop or residue cover. Many farmers leave the residue on their land between growing seasons for the purpose of reducing erosion. In addition, cover crops, once decomposed, can add important nutrients and organic material to the soil. Ground cover needs to be managed for diseases, pests, and phosphorus build-up.
The use of fertilizers and pesticides can greatly impact your soils health and vitality. Development of a pest management and nutrient plan are crucial for success. Use only the products necessary for each application. Follow recommended rates, timing, and restrictions for each compound. Be aware of local and federal guidelines. Forth those organically certified or seeking certification, research and validate the use of a product before application.
Different crops provide unique beneficial factors to the soil. These factors help control pests and weeds naturally due to the diversity of organisms in the soil. By rotating vegetation or crops and increasing the diversity, you can increase the types of insects, microorganisms, and wildlife that are present on your land.
Day-to-day observation and the development of a soil management plan will assist property owners in identifying changes to their soil and its productivity. Periodic soil tests can assist with identifying necessary soil amendments.