Top Crop Manager

News Soil
Many small practices can make a big difference for soil health

September 24, 2020  By Top Crop Manager

Earlier this week, Christine Brown, manure management specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), published an article titled “Unraveling the mysteries of soil: Manure’s contribution.”

We hear enough about the importance of nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) in soil and plant health, but Brown clearly explains why an unbalanced C:N ratio, often caused by repeated applications of commercial fertilizers, can reduce soil carbon. This can even happen in otherwise healthy, porous soils.

Brown also provides a list of practices that will improve soil conditions in current cropping systems, including using manure as an organic amendment more often. Additionally, she notes that reducing the water content of liquid manure concentrates the solids and increases carbon content, which have added benefits.

The emphasis that farms don’t have to completely revolutionize their cropping practices is appealing; making several small changes is more likely to stick than trying to overhaul an operation. |READ MORE


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