Soil Health Important For Good Crop Results


By Brandon Redmond

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Keeping your farm field's soil healthy is a year round job. Healthy soil means better crops and better crops bring more money to your pocket book.

"There are several things that our growers can do. One of them is as we like to say, keep their soils covered," said Amber Moore, a Soil Specialist with the University of Idaho Extension Office.

Tilling can often damage your soil's nutrients.

"One is just tilling less. Our growers till often to prepare their seed beds and it is necessary but that tillage also breaks the soil structure and does compromise the health of our soils," said Amber Moore.

When you have crops like wheat, barley or any small grain, it's recommended that you not till them in over the winter. By letting the residue or stubble sit over the winter, you will help build nutrients in your soil. Rotating crops in your fields will also improve your soil's health.

"If you are going to build your soil health, there are a couple different things you can do. Rotations as we know definitely help. If you grow corn year after year after year, that definitely compromises your soil health. But if you rotate with other crops that in and of itself helps," said Moore.

There's also one particular crop you might want to plant to increase nutrients in your ground.

"Growing alfalfa really helps to build soil health. For a minimum of two to three years if you can. Any grower will tell you that if they grow a crop right after their alfalfa that it looks better than any other crop that they grow so we know that has a lot of helpful properties towards building soil health," said Moore.

Keeping your soil healthy to ensure a good crop yield.