Incorporating Soil Biology into Soil Health Assessment
Soil quality is defined as the capacity of soil to function for different uses, such as a growing medium for plant production (commonly measured as yield), in the regulation of water flow in the environment, and in the recycling of organic residues. Soil quality has intrinsic and dynamic components. Soil mineralogy and soil texture (percentages of sand, silt, and clay) are intrinsic properties that affect a soil’s ability to function and are not easily altered. Dynamic characteristics of soil quality, which respond to changes in management, include pH, nutrient status, density, organic matter, and soil biology. Farmers and gardeners commonly manage specific soil amendments by incorporating limestone, humus, compost and cover crops.
Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension
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Soil fertility, soil health, nitrogen, soil CO2, Solvita system
New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station
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