Soils

Soil health

Soil health is a concept where all aspects of soil, that is, physical structure, chemical components and biological life are considered together. A soil does not have to be agriculturally productive to be healthy. However, many agricultural practices can make soils less healthy than they were in their natural state.

By managing structure, nutrients and biology in the soil, farmers can use soils within their capability so that the soils can be used productively without being degraded.

To maintain and improve soil health, farmers need to manage their production system so that it doesn’t degrade the soil by;

  • maintaining soil structure
  • controlling erosion
  • maintaining or improving soil organic matter levels
  • maintaining or improving nutrient levels and water holding capacity of the soil
  • fostering beneficial soil biological activity

Soil issues in Agriculture

Soil issues are those things that impact on soil functions, reducing its health. NSW DPI has information on several of the soil issues facing agriculture today.