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SOIL HEALTH
WHAT IS SOIL?
Briefly soil is composed of four basic components: mineral solids, water, air and organic matter (including living biota). The mineral solids are stone fragments, sand, silt, and clay. It is the proportion of the latter three that determines the soil’s texture.
The terms soil health and soil quality are becoming increasingly familiar worldwide. Doran & Parkin (1994) defined soil quality as “the capacity of a soil to function, within ecosystem and land use boundaries, to sustain productivity, maintain environmental quality, and promote plant and animal health.”
WHAT IS SOIL HEALTH?
CHARACTERISTICS OF HEALTHY SOIL
The characteristics of a healthy soil include: good soil tilth, sufficient depth, sufficient but not excess supply of nutrients, presence of earthworms etc.
BENEFITS OF HEALTHY SOIL
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 gardens.
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ALMD MICAF
Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries
Government of Jamaica