Increased soil organic matter provides numerous related benefits to soil health.
- enhances your soil's ability to absorb water, leading to less water stress during both dry and wet periods
- provides better conditions and a food source for soil biota, leading to improved biodiversity;
- enhances soil structure through better aggregation and water movement;
- improves nutrient retention and cycling.
Key Strategies to increase soil organic matter
- Add a perennial crop to your rotation. Recent research shows this is the most effective way to increase soil organic matter. The combination of long-term root growth in the soil and less disturbance creates ideal conditions for increased biomass and biological activity.
- Incorporate compost, manures, or other stable organic materials.
- Grow and incorporate a cover crop.
- Add a sod crop to your rotation.
- Reduce tillage to provide less disturbance to soil biota and soil aggregates.