Soil testing leads to better soil health, productivity
May 24, 2019 By Shannon Yokley Filed Under: Podcasts, SoilSmart Podcast
For decades, soil testing has given farmers an idea of the nutrient density and makeup of their soil. “But at some point, we started to realize there’s more to the soil than just a warehouse for nutrients,” said Bob Schindelbeck, director of Cornell University’s Soil Health Laboratory. “We need to consider some other aspects of the soil as well; the fact that it’s a living entity that’s teaming with biological life.”
That soil, according to Schindelbeck, needs to be respected, addressed and managed. “Some farmers even call that the ‘underground herd’ of animals that they manage and feed and care for,” said Schindelbeck, “and of course husband.”
Schindelbeck recommends periodic testing “to see just how our soil is acting as a house, a repository, a place where all these creatures and plants live and spend their entire lives,” he said, “and how we can put all that together in a functioning ecology towards better production and just better understanding.”
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