Soil Health Explained

The concept of “soil health” has received a lot of emphasis lately. The phrase shows up in magazines, it’s discussed at farmer meetings and in scholarly articles, research projects are designed to study it and federal programs attempt to promote it. Soil health is a crucial topic and it’s well worth all the attention. But it may also be one of those subjects that seem straight-forward, but then when you stop and think about it or try to explain it to someone else, you suddenly realize you don’t really know what the heck it is. It’s one of those simple-yet-complicated topics. Here’s a little overview of what soil health is and why you should care about it. Soil is a mixture of living and non-living things – sand, silt and clay particles, organic matter, air, water, soluble nutrients, and organisms. The combined effects of these components give a soil its important characteristics – pH, nutrient content, erodability, drainage class, suitability for various uses and many more. We rely on soils to provide a number of different functions or services to support our lives. College soils courses typically begin by describing the 5 basic functions of soil: 1) natural medium for the growth of plants, 2) regulation and purification of water, 3) recycling organic wastes and nutrients, 4) habitat for soil organisms, and 5) physical support for building and con

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