As farmers, our soils are our primary resources, our soil influences crop production and yields and higher profits. No two farms are the same and no two soil are the same. Our primary resource is soil, our soil influences crop production and yields, cultivation systems, farming methods, agronomic practises, weed pressure, fertiliser requirements and farmer profitability.
Soil is formed when rocks are gradually broken down by weather and erosion. It comprises many components that combine to support plant life. These components include minerals, water, air and organisms. It takes nature a long time to make soil, but man can mess it up in just a minute if not careful.
Soil is usually made up of 45% mineral content, 25% water and 25% air. The remaining 5% of the soil is formed by organic matter and living organisms. It takes nature a long time to make soil, but man can mess it up in just a minute if not careful.
The mineral content in the soil supplies the crop plants with necessary nutrients, including phosphorous, potassium and calcium. Plants can access nutrients buried deep inside the minerals, using the following:
- the effects of weather
- root-produced acids
- microbial-produced acids
- chelating substances