Temperature a Factor in Soil Health
Here’s an interesting article from Texas Tech professor Bobbie McMichael. The article ties in a few factors for soil health including; cover crops, soil temperature, beneficial soil microorganisms, no-till, and soil erosion.
Maintaining residue–cover crop or old crop stubble–helps stabilize soil temperature and improve soil and plant health, according to Texas research presented at the Beltwide Cotton Conferences.
Soil temperature fluctuations affect viability of bacteria and fungi. Warmer soils favor bacteria.
McMichael says the microflora population also affects nutrient uptake. A more stable daily temperature range (DTR) favors fungi and improved nutrient uptake.
Cover crops are important for a number of reason. They stabilize soil temperature, DTR. Cover crops help the beneficial microorganisms, including fungi, thrive. They also help the plant grow better, more efficient root systems.
“We are beginning to understand the need for stable DTR for the soil to be healthy. We develop a regime for really good fungi to thrive. The cover is important for better roots, better microbes, and temperature stability.”