Soil management
Soil management concerns all operations, practices and treatments used to protect soil
Soil is a natural body consisting of layers of mineral constituents of variable thicknesses, which differ from the parent materials in their morphological, physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics...

 and enhance its performance.


Soil management practices that affect soil quality
Soil quality
The proposed a definition, stating that ' is an account of the soil’s ability to provide ecosystem and social services through its capacities to perform its functions under changing conditions...

  • Controlling traffic on the soil surface helps to reduce soil compaction, which can reduce aeration and water infiltration.
  • Cover crop
    Cover crop
    Cover crops are crops planted primarily to manage soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife in agroecosystems , ecological systems managed and largely shaped by humans across a range of intensities to produce food, feed, or fiber.Cover crops are of...

    keep the soil anchored and covered in off-seasons so that the soil is not eroded by wind and rain.
  • Crop rotation
    Crop rotation
    Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of dissimilar types of crops in the same area in sequential seasons.Crop rotation confers various benefits to the soil. A traditional element of crop rotation is the replenishment of nitrogen through the use of green manure in sequence with cereals...

    for row crops alternate high-residue crops with lower-residue crops to increase the amount of plant material left on the surface of the soil during the year to protect the soil from erosion.
  • Nutrient management
    Nutrient management
    Nutrient management is a system used by farmers to manage the amount, form, placement, and timing of the application of nutrients to plants...

    can help to improve the fertility of the soil and the amount of organic matter content, which improves soil structure and function.
  • Tillage
    Tillage is the agricultural preparation of the soil by mechanical agitation of various types, such as digging, stirring, and overturning. Examples of human-powered tilling methods using hand tools include shovelling, picking, mattock work, hoeing, and raking...

    , especially reduced-tillage or no-till operations limit the amount of soil disturbance while cultivating a new crop and help to maintain plant residues on the surface of the soil for erosion protection and water retention.
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