Agricultural practices that degrade the soil are responsible for a host of problems: erosion, nutrient runoff, waterlogging, acidification, compaction, crusting,…
To sustain or regenerate soil health, farmers must actively manage soil’s physical, chemical and biological components. This in turn will promote plant, animal and ultimately human health.
Designing a crop cover strategy is essential, says Barry Fisher, soil health specialist at the US department of agriculture in Indianapolis.
Barry encourages farmers to:
Soil should have the ability to withstand the forces of water. Without the desired biological components, the soil contains insufficient aggregates to ‘glue’ the soil particles together. As a result, it will not retain water well; water will either run through it or off it, causing erosion.
* Extracted from ‘Strategies to enhance soil health’ (FW, 29 August, 2014).
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