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 … There’s more to maintaining soil fertility than just applying fertiliser and hoping for the best. The key to precision agriculture is to make smart farming decisions based on data from your fields, not guesses! Water is essential for fertility and proper growth. The whole point of charging your biochar is to add nutrients and microbiology to the biochar before adding it to your soil. The goal of soil nutrient management is to sustainably produce profitable crops. It not only helps maintain the soil moisture but also keeps the soil temperature in check. Units: Causes of loss in soil fertility. The quality of irrigation water is very important to maintain soil fertility and tilth, and for using more soil depth by the plants. © Farm Management Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved. When referring to the soil mineral nutrients, there’s a wide gap between the total amount of mineral nutrients in the soil and their availability to the plant. Managing soil fertility with biologically-created inputs ensures that organic production is a dynamic biological process. Read more. But the Accushot system is currently only available at a limited number of suppliers in the USA… is there another option? They help check against soil erosion which … Visit https://gardening-abc.com/how-to-increase-soil-fertility-3/ to know more about how to improve garden soil quality. This is an excellent fertilizer material in high-value horticultural crops but would probably be too expensive for field crops. It is a continuous works that you need to do or maintain throughout your gardening activities time. It is key to maintain a fertile and healthy soil in order to avoid the catastrophic consequences of crop failure. An estimated 80 million tons of liming materials are needed annually to maintain soil fertility and permit maximum crop yields. If the land cannot produce, encourage farmers to plant trees and forests like our forefathers used to do to maintain soil fertility,” he said. Share your story with us: +2348135229228 (call and SMS only) Email: You have entered an incorrect email address! Effecten van verse organische stof. You need to start monitoring your fields… hardcore. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Sow soybeans in spring 2 to 3 weeks after the average last frost date when the soil has warmed... Agrobusinessngr.com is Nigeria’s premier national magazine on agriculture and its related businesses. Incorporation of cover crops or perennial crops and judicious additions of animal and green manure and compost can also be used to increase or maintain soil organic matter. A point to note is that the presence of earthworms in the soil is an indicator of soil activity and good soil structure. Minimum tillage also ensures that the organic matter the soil is allowed to decay and increase nutrients. Meanwhile, blogs.worldwatch.org advises that using wastewater for irrigation; especially in urban areas, is a way of improving soil fertility. Just recently we reported on Accushot, a fantastic new system that’s available as a planter attachment. Compared to crop farms, fewer nutrients leave farms when livestock products are the main economic output. A lesser-known way to improve soil fertility is to plant different crops in the same field in order to prevent soil erosion and control the spread of soil-borne plant disease. 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. 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. Applying compost and practising mixed cropping contribute significantly to making soils less prone to erosion. 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. You may be surprised at the results. Mineral composition – knowing the mineral composition of the soil, we can predict its ability to retain plant nutrients. Building Soil Fertility. This would involve applying fertilizer only when the crop is there (or nearly there, as when it has just been planted or just before that) and able to take it up. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Below we’ve briefly covered 3 areas where you can probably improve your budget, resources and resulting crop yield. By pulsing the fertiliser in precisely around (before, after or on top of the seed), you are saving money on fertiliser and ensuring it’s exactly where the plants need it. Try to use deep rooted vegetables, which will improve soil fertility naturally. Apply fertilizers only at certain seasons. At the end of this Module, Pupils should be able to know about: Causes of loss in soil fertility. If they are suggesting that your soil is seriously lacking in one nutrient, or a nutrient continues to be low despite year on year application of fertiliser, you really shouldn’t cut back on it! According to fieldcropsnews.com, amendments derived from legumes and immature cover crops are of high quality and boost fast growing microbes in addition to aiding short term release of nitrogen, while the more efficient microbes feed on amendments derived from mature grasses and manure, thus building a more stable and longer term SOM. 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 determined by the source rock, the climate, biological and chemical processes. A Complete Guide to Nitrogen and How it Works in Your Soil, Tips for choosing the most appropriate management software, Precision Farming – Use Farming Tech to Improve Agronomy, Trimble Launches Farmer Core to Connect the Entire Farm Operation, The Role of Smart Farming in Developing Sustainable Agriculture, Modern agricultural technology adoption and its importance, Vegetation Control: Profitable Investment. For example, addition of twice the amount of fertilizer may not double the yield of the crop. © 2014-2020, AgroBusiness Times - www.agrobusinessngr.com. This is a good way of providing nutrients without the potentially harmful chemicals. 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. As further measures, green fences or stone walls can be built around fields. Farmers often apply fertilizers in the fall instead, and most then simply leaches out from the soil. Article. When soil is irrigated with high alkaline water, unwanted sodium salts build up in the soil which would make soil draining capacity very poor. This will give the biochar, a super-charged effect. Soil pH has a major effect on soil nutrient availability and farmers should aim to maintain mineral soils at pH levels of 6.3; peaty soils should have a pH of 5.5-5.8. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Unwholesome tilapia in Lagos markets, 10,000 Kogi Farmers To Benefit From World Bank $200m Grant. This improves soil fertility. Another benefit is that organic mulch is it will add nutrients to your soil. Read this article to learn about Soil Fertility – Its Meaning, Causes and Maintenance! Soil fertility may be defined as the ability of soil to provide all essential plant nutrients in available forms and in a suitable balance whereas soil productivity is the resultant of several factors such as soil fertility, good soil management practices availability of water supply and suitable climate. READ MORE: Harvestplus Plans To Reach 1.2m Households With Vitamin A Cassava, Maize. However, we cannot afford to take millions of years to do so as nature did — we need intelligent intervention. Soil productivity is the ability of the soil to produce crop / unit area. If you want to see true yield improvement you need to master soil management. This it says is because it contains most of the essential elements of fertiliser in suitable quantities. In fact, onl… develop and maintain soil health and fertility in organic farming systems. N.P.K – (Nitrogen , Phosphorus and Potassium) Alfalfa meal or pelletscontain around 3 percent nitrogen and are commonly used as an animal feed. In times past, nature built healthy, vital soils, and there is value in copying nature in rebuilding soil health. However, wastewater should not be mistaken for polluted water and only properly treated wastewater should be used for this purpose. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Soil fertility and agricultural production can be maintained only by efficient management of nutrient addition to the soil from external sources. Of course, your work doesn’t stop there. Soybeans are tender warm-weather legumes. Also, roots release a more stable carbon than inputs and residues applied on top soil. Supplements offer an overview of Nitrogen is essential and one we encourage you to use in accordance with your soil management data that you’ve been collecting. Two lectures describe the objectives and components of soil health management and the various practices used to develop and maintain healthy, fertile soil. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. 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? Their presence reduces evaporation of water present in soil. To fight poverty, hunger and starvation, by encouraging more Nigerians to engage in the business of food production. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. Urea (animals dung especially Poultry, Pig & Bat feces). We recommend one test per acre, or more if you really want to be precise. Or how about planting some cover crops the year before and allowing them to mulch down? This means that factors such as cost (amendments, fuel, and equipment) must be evaluated for their contribution to increased yields. Meanwhile, blogs.worldwatch.org advises that using wastewater for irrigation; especially in urban areas, is a way of improving soil fertility. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. 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. 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. READ MORE: We Shall Return Nigeria To Days Of Groundnut Pyramids, Says Awofisayo. 4. Longer term application of SOM translates into higher water retention by the soil. There are a couple of things you want to look for in your soil management test results: first of all, the recommendations that are being made by whomever tested the soil. Focus on your data and providing your crops with what they need! How to maintain soil fertility? Soil fertility is the inherent capacity of soil to supply plant nutrients in sufficient amount and appropriate proportion & free from toxic substances. TOPIC: HOW TO ENRICH AND MAINTAIN THE SOIL FERTILITY. If done correctly, mulching can greatly improve soil fertility. 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. 8 Plant-Based Recipes to Maintain Your Blood Pressure During the Holidays. You need to start monitoring your fields… hardcore. Doing this with legumes will have the benefit of adding nitrate to the soil. If you want to work your biochar in faster, you can use a biochar-compost mix with more biochar. If you want to see true yield improvement you need to master soil management. The other factor you want to look out for is soil pH. It is key to maintain a fertile and healthy soil in order to avoid the catastrophic consequences of crop failure. 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. Maintaining pH is something you need to consider in the long run. Look at your expenditure and look at your yield improvement to work out if these changes have been profitable or have made minimal difference. All this will be pointless if you don’t accurately record farm data following the changes: how else will you know how these changes have affected your farm? Start by doing proper tests of your 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. Stop buying fertilisers you really don’t need! This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Did you know it only costs a few dollars to have your soil scientifically tested? Make progress, not perfection This it says is because it contains most of the essential elements of fertiliser in suitable quantities. 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. Required fields are marked *. You might even find that your acidic soil is eroding fertiliser before it even gets absorbed by plants. Take a look at “starter band” fertilisation. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. As mulch slowly decomposes, it offers nutrients of the worms and insects underneath and keeps the soil cycle going. Your email address will not be published. This is a great strategy to build long term soil fertility. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. This implies that it is vital to maintain a good root system in building SOM. Ways of making soil fertile. So, a farmer must determine if the cost of additional fertilizer will be repaid by the predicted additional yield. Mulch also helps to regulate soil temperature. As a result, nutrient management in organic farming systems is more complex. There are various factors that define and contribute to soil fertility. There are many different methods of maintaining soil fertility. After a pest outbreak, however, discard affected plant material and do not apply mulch over the winter so as not to provide protection to overwintering pests. It might be even less if you approach your local university or agricultural centre. ... deposit fertility building nodes in the soil… Again, growing cover crops such as cowpea and soya beans maximises root growth and balances residue quality. If they’re not worth the effort, try something else for the next season instead. To maintain soil fertility, water and wind erosion should be prevented. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. add organic material back into the soil to maintain fertility, tilth, biological activity, and soil structure. 1. This is in addition to serving as buffer against changes in soil pH and supporting biological activities of soil microorganisms. By applying fertiliser way in advance of planting your seeds, you’re leaving a nice band of nutrients at root level, ready for your crops to germinate into. Ways of making soil fertile. 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. This will save you both time and money. Synthetic Fertility Although cover crops and green manures are gaining popularity in conventional farming systems, many non-organic operations Soil fertility is often maintained by using these three matters Lime (white lime) often placed around fig and plantain plants. Also, growing perennial forage crops like wheat helps in improving SOM. 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. Soil scientifically tested one test per acre, or more if you to... Website in this browser for the next time I comment Nigerians to engage in the soil… there are factors. 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Plant-Based Recipes to maintain soil health of providing nutrients without the potentially harmful chemicals most of the crop to smart! Before it even gets absorbed by plants focus on your data and providing crops! Such as cost ( amendments, fuel, and website in this browser for the best Cassava,.. Microbiology to the biochar, a super-charged effect Bat feces ) or more if wish... Not double the yield of the essential elements of fertiliser in suitable quantities 8 Plant-Based Recipes to soil! Will give the biochar before adding it to your soil scientifically tested some! Fertilizers in the fall instead, and for using more soil depth by the plants:!, says Awofisayo benefit from World Bank $ 200m Grant about planting some cover crops such as cost amendments! Bat feces ) microbiology to the soil cycle going to maintaining soil fertility soil... Maintain the soil stays cooler ; during cooler days how to maintain soil fertility the soil from sources... 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