This is in addition to serving as buffer against changes in soil pH and supporting biological activities of soil microorganisms. However, when it comes to nutrients like phosphorous and potassium, you only really need to add these as fertilisers if your fields are severely deficient and your crop needs them to grow properly. The key to precision agriculture is to make smart farming decisions based on data from your fields, not guesses! Methods of Maintaining Soil Fertility Cover cropping: This method involves the planting of crops that provide shield or covering for soil resources against depletion. This is a good way of providing nutrients without the potentially harmful chemicals. Read this article to learn about Soil Fertility – Its Meaning, Causes and Maintenance! However, wastewater should not be mistaken for polluted water and only properly treated wastewater should be used for this purpose. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. develop and maintain soil health and fertility in organic farming systems. Look at your expenditure and look at your yield improvement to work out if these changes have been profitable or have made minimal difference. Or how about planting some cover crops the year before and allowing them to mulch down? Just recently we reported on Accushot, a fantastic new system that’s available as a planter attachment. We recommend one test per acre, or more if you really want to be precise. Required fields are marked *. Longer term application of SOM translates into higher water retention by the soil. Did you know it only costs a few dollars to have your soil scientifically tested? Meanwhile, blogs.worldwatch.org advises that using wastewater for irrigation; especially in urban areas, is a way of improving soil fertility. Ways of making soil fertile. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Minimum tillage also ensures that the organic matter the soil is allowed to decay and increase nutrients. There’s more to maintaining soil fertility than just applying fertiliser and hoping for the best. However, we cannot afford to take millions of years to do so as nature did — we need intelligent intervention. Two lectures describe the objectives and components of soil health management and the various practices used to develop and maintain healthy, fertile soil. Growing crops with high quantities of residues plus frequent use of green manures and composts from vegetative residues helps maintain soil organic matter and soil health even without animals. If you want to see true yield improvement you need to master soil management. If you’re not ready to let go of your expensive fertiliser, or unsure about the new ways to apply your nutrients, why not section off a small part of your fields to give it a test run on first? This is a great strategy to build long term soil fertility. Mineral composition – knowing the mineral composition of the soil, we can predict its ability to retain plant nutrients. No matter how much you adjust your fertiliser, if the soil is too acidic or to alkaline, you’re creating a difficult environment for your crops to grow in. Make progress, not perfection It not only helps maintain the soil moisture but also keeps the soil temperature in check. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Soil productivity is the ability of the soil to produce crop / unit area. ... deposit fertility building nodes in the soil… Below we’ve briefly covered 3 areas where you can probably improve your budget, resources and resulting crop yield. READ MORE: We Shall Return Nigeria To Days Of Groundnut Pyramids, Says Awofisayo. For most gardeners, a heavy mulch in the off season provides protection beneficial soil organisms against the elements and reduces soil erosion from heavy rains. This is determined by the source rock, the climate, biological and chemical processes. You need to start monitoring your fields… hardcore. To maintain soil fertility, water and wind erosion should be prevented. Organic farmers build and maintain soil fertility through a number of practices that mimic the natural ecosystem, rather than supplying crop needs through application of chemical, fossil fuel-derived commercial fertilizers. Mulch also helps to regulate soil temperature. Managing soil fertility with biologically-created inputs ensures that organic production is a dynamic biological process. The goal of soil nutrient management is to sustainably produce profitable crops. When soil is irrigated with high alkaline water, unwanted sodium salts build up in the soil which would make soil draining capacity very poor. The same can really be said for nutrient enhancers that claim to allow your crops to better adsorb the nutrients and utilise them – unless you’ve run a test and can compare how much better your crops grow with these enhancers, they’re most likely just a waste of money. Meanwhile, blogs.worldwatch.org advises that using wastewater for irrigation; especially in urban areas, is a way of improving soil fertility. Another benefit is that organic mulch is it will add nutrients to your soil. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. In doing so, it is important to build the Soil Organic Matter (SOM) whiach stores and supplies nutrients to roots, improves water infiltration and soil structure. © Farm Management Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Soil fertility and sustainable agriculture practitioners know that most soils today need their health and vitality rebuilt. Nitrogen is essential and one we encourage you to use in accordance with your soil management data that you’ve been collecting. How to build, maintain soil fertility Soil forms the bedrock upon which plants grow, but the effects of climate change and other destructive land practices like deforestation contribute to depletion of soil nutrients which inorganic fertilisers alone cannot substitute, thus … Doing this with legumes will have the benefit of adding nitrate to the soil. Soil organic matter content can be monitored over time if you request an organic matter analysis when submitting soil fertility samples to your soil testing laboratory. This it says is because it contains most of the essential elements of fertiliser in suitable quantities. PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVES. Focus on your data and providing your crops with what they need! Compared to crop farms, fewer nutrients leave farms when livestock products are the main economic output. As a result, nutrient management in organic farming systems is more complex. Record everything from soil moisture levels to acidity to nutrient density – build up a picture of your fields before you start to implement the changes suggested in this article. You need to start monitoring your fields… hardcore. Applying compost and practising mixed cropping contribute significantly to making soils less prone to erosion. 8 Plant-Based Recipes to Maintain Your Blood Pressure During the Holidays. The more you can do to keep your soil healthy, the more productive your garden will be and the higher the quality of your crops. If they’re not worth the effort, try something else for the next season instead. During hot days, the soil stays cooler; during cooler days, the soil is warmer. 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