Know Your Crop
Maize silage is the perfect partner for pasture because it is a high carbohydrate lower protein feed…
Ryegrass and clover are the most common pasture mix in New Zealand conventional farming systems…
Good Soil Structure
Good soil structure is vital for growth
Maintaining a good soil structure is essential for farmers and growers, especially as intensive farming systems and operations can impact the quality of a soils structure. A good soil structure allows water, air and plant roots to move through the soil for plant growth.
Good soil promotes:
- Seed germination and emergence
- High crop yields
- Good crop quality
Good soil structure is vital because it impacts:
- Soil aeration
- Transmission and storage of water
- Soil temperature
- Root penetration and development
- Nutrient cycling
- Resistance to structural degradation
- Susceptibility to soil erosion
Good soil structure benefits:
- Increasing the window of opportunity for cultivating
- Minimising tillage costs (tractor hours, number of passes, size of the tractor and implements required)
Good organic matter is vital for soil structure
If you do not replenish nutrients and organic matter and carefully time your tillage operations, you may well be damaging your soil structure. Soil organic matter is an important element of soil structure, so are you mining, maintaining or building your soil structure?
Having good organic matter in your soil is vital for:
- Improving soil health
- Regulating biological, physical and chemical processes
- Promoting infiltration and water retention
- Developing and stabilising soil structure
- Cushioning the impact of wheel traffic and cultivation
- Reducing the potential for erosion
- Containing and supplying plant nutrients and energy for organisms
Unfortunately cultivation reduces organic matter levels.
Pasture and no-till improve or maintain organic matter levels.
Crop residues, compost and organic matter based fertilisers help build up organic matter.
Low organic matter levels can cause damage by:
- Reducing soil fertility
- Increasing nitrogen and phosphorus requirements
- Enhancing leaching losses
- Increasing dependency on fertiliser inputs
- Increasing cultivation requirements
- Increasing susceptibility to erosion