Soil Microbes Flourish with Reduced Tillage

October 6, 2016 |

Soil microbes generally increase quality of soil by cycling nutrients and breaking plant residues down into soil organic matter. Currently, a third of US farmers no longer till their farms with more farmers resorting to conservation tillage after farmers started abandoning ploughing in favour of a practice known as no-till agriculture.

Stacy Zuber who is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois described microbes as workhorses of the soil as they break down crop residues, release nitrogen and other nutrients.

Also, the study suggests that as microbial biomass and enzymatic activity can stand in as proxies for soil quality, there was the need for no-ill or conservation tillage to be considered by farmer.

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