The southwest soil health coalitions:
First priority: is to advocate accessibility, inclusion and participation in all rural programs that benefits the rural underserved producer or customer.
Second Priority: is to promote discussions about healthy soils and the Biological, Chemical and Physical aspects of soil health for better understanding.
Third Priority: is to discuss how to get started in the implementing a Soil Health Management System which will tie farmers and ranchers priority to the land.
To accomplish building Healthy Productive Soils To Produce Healthy Crops.
A healthy soil produces healthy crops with minimal amounts of external inputs and few to no adverse ecological effects. It contains favorable biological, physical and chemical properties.
A biologically healthy soil harbors a multitude of different organisms — microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, amoebae and paramecia, as well as larger organisms like nematodes, springtails, insect larvae, ants, earthworms and ground beetles. Most are helpful to plants, enhancing the availability of nutrients and producing chemicals that stimulate plant growth and produce soil glues like Glomailen.
A soil’s physical condition — its degree of compaction, capacity for water storage and ease of drainage — is also critical to soil and plant health. Good soil tilth promotes rainfall infiltration, thereby reducing runoff and allowing moisture to be stored for later plant use. It also encourages proper root development.
Among the important chemical determinants of a soil’s health are its pH, salt content and levels of available nutrients. Low quantities of nutrients, high levels of such toxic elements as aluminum and high concentrations of salts can adversely affect the growth of your crops. Healthy soils have adequate — but not excessive — nutrients. Excessive available nitrogen can make plants more attractive or susceptible to insects, and overabundant nitrogen and phosphorus can pollute surface and groundwater. Well-decomposed organic matter helps healthy soils hold onto calcium, magnesium and potassium, keeping these nutrients in the plants’ root zone.