Soil can be kept healthy by planting cover crops that hold soil and nutrients in place, protecting the area from leeching and erosion. They can also be mowed over and incorporated into the soil for added nutrients. Using crop rotation, instead of monoculture farming, can also help keep soil healthy by protecting against weeds, insects, and pathogens that could damage the soil.
Healthy soil is absolutely essential to growing healthy crops, and there are many things a farmer can do to keep their soil healthy. To begin with, the practice of crop rotation is a great way to maintain healthy soil composition and structure by systematically planting different types of crops on the same area of land every year. Different crops take different nutrients from the soil and give different nutrients back, so by planting crops in the right order, you can naturally replenish the soil’s nutrients. Green manuring is a practice often associated with crop rotation in which a cover crop is grown on the land and then immediately incorporated into the soil to add nutrients and organic matter. Another way to make agriculture better for soil is to add organic matter obtained from natural byproducts of farming (such as plant parts and animal manure) into the soil through mulching and composting. Protecting soil from getting packed down or erroded are also important factors in maintaining healthy soil. Limiting the amount of heavy equipment and actively fluffing up soil can help prevent soil from being packed down, and pPlanting protective crops around an area where crops are grown can protect soil from wind and water errosion.
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