Soil is where life on farm begins. To achieve good crop growth a farmer should cater well to the needs of the soil, as a high quality soil would always help crops perform better than a low quality one. But how does a farmer ensure soil is always of good quality?
There are various factors contributing to a good soil quality. Factors include Soil nutrient, soil moisture, soil texture and organic matter. This post looks at how these factors can help farmers grow better
SOIL NUTRIENT IS CROP FOOD
Farmers can ensure good crop growth by making sure soil has all the nutrient needed by plants. Crops have different nutrient needs, and perform differently over a wide range of soil type.
A good soil provides adequately for all the nutrients needed by a plant in optimal quantity. Nutrients such as nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P2O5), potassium (K2O) are usually needed in high quantity. While traces of other elements such as iron (Fe), boron (B), zinc (Zn), and manganese (Mn) help boosting soil quality.
It is important to note that having traces of all of these elements in the soil is better than having too much of any of them. This means moderation should be applied in the application of fertilizer or any nutrient fixing substance.
BETTER SOIL MOISTURE FOR HEALTHIER PLANTS
Soil moisture is the water held in soil spores. If the water is good for plant, they would readily absorb it. Water for plants use usually comes in form of a solution, containing already dissolved salts and nutrients.
By absorbing soil water, plants take up moisture and nutrients for its need. A good soil should have a good water-holding capability. This would ensure that water from irrigation is well retained and can be accessed by plants at all times.
BETTER SOIL TEXTURE HEALTHIER PLANTS
Soil texture refers to the structure of the soil. Different soil are made up of different properties. These properties result from how the soil’s particles are shaped or organized. A soil with larger round particles would have more space for water and air penetration, a good example of this is a sandy soil. However a soil with a lot of spaces, would have low water retention capability.
Soil best fitted for crop production would have moderately shaped particles, that combines good water retention capability and finely spaced particles for air and water penetration. An examples of this is loamy soil.
To find out a soil’s texture, take a handful of it and rub between your fingers. Gritty soils are sandy and they would fall of fingertips easily. Loamy soils would feel greasy especially when wet. Clay soil would always feel greasy, stick to fingers and form ribbons especially when wet.
ORGANIC MATTER MATTERS
The soil can be said to contain 3 major inhabitants. Living organisms, fresh residue, and well-decomposed residue. Each of these inhabitants play a role in the quality of the soil.
Living organisms such as worms bore in and out of the soil, helping to avoid compactness. When living organisms die, they serve as an important source of humus. Which is nature’s best way of fixing nutrient into the soil. It also decomposes into CO2 and water, which are among the basic components of plant feed.
Every successful farmer knows the secret to having good crop growth is paying attention to little detail on your farm. By noting down farm activities such as tilling, application of fertilizer and irrigation, a farmer can easily review activities and compare them to crop growth.
Modern technologies have made it possible to share farm information with expert farmers and get tips on how to improve on crop production.
ProbityFarms is a solution designed to ensure farmers can cater to farm needs by reviewing farm procedures and operations. As a free app, farmers can improve productivity in just one season by utilizing this solution.
Visit www.probityfarms.com and start farming the right way.