Farmers who manage their land in ways that improve and sustain soil health will benefit from optimized inputs, sustainable outputs and increased resiliency. Healthy soils benefit all producers: from managers of large farms to people with small, organic vegetable gardens. Healthy soils provide financial benefits for farmers, ranchers and gardeners, and environmental benefits that affect everyone.
Some benefits of healthy soils are:
Increased Production - Healthy soils typically have more organic matter and soil organisms which improve soil structure, aeration, water retention, drainage and nutrient availability. Organic matter holds more nutrients in the soil until the plants need them.
Other benefits include:
•   Added nutrients into the soil
•   Improved soil structure, texture and aeration
•   Increased water-holding capacity of soil
•   Loosen clay soils and helps sandy soils retain watern
•   Promotion of soil fertility
•   Stimulation of healthy root development
•   Reduction on reliance of petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides
•   Reduction for need for irrigation
•   Control erosion and stormwater sediment
•   Reduces weeds naturally when applied as mulch
Increased Profits - Healthy soils may require fewer passes over fields because they are only minimally tilled and they aren’t over-reliant upon excessive nutrient inputs such as fertilizers to grow crops. Healthy soils can increase farmers’ profit margins by reducing labor and expenses for fuel, and optimizing inputs.
Page Content Source: USDA (2013). Unlock the Secrets of the Soil: Basics & Benefits.
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Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries
Government of Jamaica