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Temperature a Factor in Soil Health

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.

Soil Health

Soil Health is needed for healthy plants.

Daily temperature range a factor in soil health

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 is the main factor considered in the paper and the findings can be summed up in these two sentences.
Soil temperature fluctuations affect viability of bacteria and fungi. Warmer soils favor bacteria.
That final sentence is worth repeating ” warmer soils favor bacteria”. So farmers and growers would be better off if they use techniques to keep their soil warm during the colder months and cooler during the hot months.

Nutrient Uptake

Nutrient uptake was also considered. It’s well known that beneficial soil microorganisms improve nutrient uptake. Not surprisingly, a more stable temperature range was favored by the microflora population.
McMichael says the microflora population also affects nutrient uptake. A more stable daily temperature range (DTR) favors fungi and improved nutrient uptake.

 Cover Crops

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.”

Custom Biologicals specializes in beneficial soil microorganisms for agriculture, farming and home gardening. We manufacture Biota Max™, as well as a number of other biofertilizers.

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