Washington State University Extension

Irrigated Agriculture

soil health

Soil Organic Matter Boosts Water Holding Capacity

Posted May 7, 2014

The amount of water in the soil that is available to crops is another soil property that can be improved by increasing organic matter content. B. D. Hudson, in a 1994 paper, presented data on this for sands from Florida and silt loams from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin (Hudson, 1994, as redrawn in Franzluebbers, 2010): Read more »

Concentrate Organic Matter at Surface to Improve Soils

Posted April 15, 2014

Researchers are finding, in the US and in many other countries, that concentrating soil organic matter in the top 2″ promotes several aspects of soil health including nutrient cycling, resistance to erosion, and water infiltration and storage. They find that maintaining a high proportion of organic matter at the soil surface, relative to deeper layers, is more important than the total level of organic matter in a soil. Read more »

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