Top Crop Manager

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Soil Your Undies for soil conservation

The Soil Conservation Council of Canada (SCCC), along with Canadian senator Rob Black, University of Guelph's Dean Rene Van Acker, and John Poel from Heartland Soil and Crop, will be planting cotton underwear in the ground to reignite the importance of soils and soil health on July 23, 2018 in Elora, Ont.


July 20, 2018
By Top Crop Manager

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The Soil Your Undies experiment is a fun way to test the biological activity in the soil. The experiment involves planting 100 per cent cotton undergarments in the ground and digging them up two months later. At the end of two months, the ideal result is there’s “virtually nothing left except the elastic,” shares Alan Kruszel, chairman of the SCCC. The amount the undies degrade is a good indicator of the level of biological activity.

Healthy quality soil is filled with organic matter that will eat up the cotton underwear. The simple experiment is an easy way to look at soil quality and compare different tillage systems. Kruszel says that reduced tillage systems perform best, the least tillage the better, but acknowledges that no-till is not an option for all crops.

The experiment is an awareness campaign for the life in the soil and a staple in SCCC’s efforts during National Soil Conservation week in April. 

The one-hour event will take place at the Soil Health Interpretive Centre at University of Guelph’s Elora Research Station at 10am and the SCCC welcomes everyone to attend.