What Are Soil Health Management Systems?

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Soil works effectively when you use the best soil health management practices to increase productivity and improve soil health. Healthy soil helps produce maximum yield while keeping costs at a minimum. If you want to maximize your profitability, it’s time to consider soil management practices that work.

According to experts, soils won’t work if people abuse them. Therefore, you need to maintain suitable environmental conditions and water stable aggregates in order to improve soil function and soil quality. In addition, it’s also worth knowing the beneficial soil organisms that run the soil food web. So, what do these soil health management systems do and how do you achieve healthy soils and organic systems? Keep reading to find out the answer.


decomposers in soil

What Is Soil Health Management?

Soil health management systems refer to agricultural systems that focus on improving soil health by reducing soil disturbance while maintaining living roots. Quality soil protects soil nutrients and carbon, promotes beneficial microorganisms, and stores soil water. By disturbing sod less, you improve the diversity of soil surface while making them more livable for plants and other plant pathogens or organic matter.

The health of the soil ecology depends on how well the soil microorganisms in the soil food web are fed. You should provide them with enough food so that the soil organisms can cycle nutrients to boost soil fertility management and plant growth. Some of the accessible foods include soil organic matter, plant residues, mycorrhizal fungi, dead plant roots, and sugars from plant roots.

Tips on How to Maintain Soil Health and Its System

Biodiversity plays an important role in many organic farming systems. If not, the potential of cropping systems is limited while acidic soils, arthropod pests or insect pests, and plant disease problems increase. To improve nitrogen fixation and soil health while managing soil ecosystem, here are some expert tips to follow:


Compost & Manure


1. Integrate livestock. Livestock green manure is beneficial in the activities of soil biology, phosphorus inputs, and residue management. It helps farmers grow more cover crops for pasture as well as perennials. Livestock in row croplands also allows fall and winter grazing of crop residue and cover crops, and summer and spring grazing of perennial and annual plants.

2. Minimize disturbance. This can be physical, chemical, or biological which develops natural soil fertility through large pores that infiltrate rainwater while small pores store water for the dry season. The natural soil composition, nutrient uptake, and soil moisture protect organic matter while beneficial organisms increase crop rotation and crop productivity.

3. Maintain live plant roots. When you incorporate live roots throughout the year, it helps maintain soil structure and biology. Soil microbes feed plants and enhance nutrient cycling and weed control, which is essential for crop rotations and soil ph.

4. Increase plant diversity. This mimics the resiliency and functionality of natural plants. By increasing plant diversity and land management, you also reduce pests and soil erosion while avoiding the pressure of using herbicides and pesticides in organic form. Farmers can achieve economic stability and bring in cover crop markets while they spread out labor.

5. Armor the soil. Soil armoring is a principle that keeps the soil covered and improves cation exchange capacity. Instead of cultivating the soil type, leaving crop residues is a better way to keep the ground covered. The residue protects the soil against water and wind while reducing soil evaporation to keep it moist for better plant health.

To enhance soil carbon, make sure that food webs and energy chains include more types of animals or plants. Soil aggregation can increase bulk density while biological control is one of the soil health indicators that help maintain agrarian systems and environmental quality for better disease management and more productive yields all year round.