Soil
 

i) The physical and chemical properties and functions, organic matter and biological activity of the soil are fundamental to sustaining agricultural production and determine, in their complexity, soil fertility and productivity. Appropriate soil management aims to maintain and improve soil productivity by improving the availability and plant uptake of water and nutrients through enhancing soil biological activity, replenishing soil organic matter and soil moisture, and minimizing losses of soil, nutrients, and agrochemicals through erosion, runoff and leaching into surface or ground water. Though soil management is generally undertaken at field/farm level, it affects the surrounding area or catchment due to off-site impacts on runoff, sediments, nutrients movement, and mobility of livestock and associated species including predators, pests and biocontrol agents.

ii) Good practices related to soil include maintaining or improving soil organic matter through the use of soil carbon-build up by appropriate crop rotations, manure application, pasture management and other land use practices, rational mechanical and/or conservation tillage practices; maintaining soil cover to provide a conducive habitat for soil biota, minimizing erosion losses by wind and/or water; and application of organic and mineral fertilizers and other agro-chemicals in amounts and timing and by methods appropriate to agronomic, environmental and human health requirements.

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