As farmers you know the importance of soil in all that you do. At EZ Machinery we are committed to protecting and developing the quality of the soils in Australia. As part of this we wanted to take some time to talk about the importance of soil structure in agriculture and explain how our machines play a role in ensuring the future of your farm for generations.
What is soil structure?
When we’re talking about soil structure, we’re referring to the arrangement of your soil particles, the different materials in your soil, and the oxygen contained in your soil. When your soil structure is good, it contains a range of aggregates, a good network of space between particles and soil types, and it has good drainage to ensure that your plants can grow.
An example of a poor soil structure might be a sandy soil type or a clay soil type. These soils usually have poor structure to allow plants to grow. The factors that have an impact on your soil structure include:
- The amount of organic matter contained in your soil
- Organisms (such as worms and bugs) which are present in your soil
- The amount of tillage you perform with your soil
- Any freeze/thaw that occurs with your soil
- Water flow and movement
- The presence and size of soil colloids
Why is soil structure important?
Soil structure is important because it allows for the growth of healthy plants and crops. Soil structure is important for the future of agriculture and farming in Australia, and without effective soil management, we run the risk of our farms and producers being unable to produce the large yields required by a growing population.
Improving your soil structure
While clay or sandy soil can be a headache, it’s not impossible to improve the structure of your soil.
Increase (or decrease) the amount of organic matter in your soil
It is quite simple to increase the amount of organic matter in your soil; you simply need to add fertilisers such as manure to your soil. Manure works by helping soil that is degrading to regain strength. Applying manure to your crops does double duty because manure also provides your plants with nitrogen which is vital for healthy growth. You can also improve the organic matter in your soil by introducing cover crops. These crops improve your soil surface and adds organic matter back to the soil when these plants die.
If you want to decrease the organisms in your soil, it’s a matter of tilling and turning the soil – but be careful to monitor your soils closely to ensure that the balance of organic matter does not get thrown out.
Increase your soil organisms
The natural critters and bacteria present in your soil do a great deal to hold your soils together and to digest and stabilise the structure. Bacteria are vital when it comes to holding your soils together, but in addition to critters and bacteria, fungi also work to decompose particle and ensure a healthier soil.
There is a certain amount of tillage and soil disturbance that needs to be done in order to keep your farm operating. But the key here is to use machinery that has minimum impact on the overall soil structure of your farm while still being efficient and effective in the role of aeration. At EZ Machinery we have spent a great deal of time and effort developing aerators that work hard and effectively.
Manage weather conditions
There’s very little you can do about the weather, unfortunately. But something you can do to prepare your soil for the onslaught of drought, flood, frost, or extreme heat is to ensure that your soil is well-conditioned in the first place. Whether this means working with extra fertiliser, rotating your fields for soil continuation, planting cover crops, improving irrigation or draining, or a combination – you are sure to see at least some results based on your efforts.
Machinery for Aussie farmers
At EZ machinery we are committed to making the lives of Aussie farmers easier by supplying high-quality farming equipment and machinery that makes short work of even the toughest jobs. Our machinery is built tough to last and to perform in even the harshest of conditions. Take a look at our range of high quality, durable machinery then get a quote online if you’re interested in making a purchase.