Rooted in soil health - Nematodes
Crops draw nutrients from the soil through their roots. The roots in turn, release food that sustains the beneficial organisms in the soil. This is how the soil food web works.
However, roots are not immune to threats. A variety of factors can destroy roots. One of the least understood threats is harmful or bad nematodes, which are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye but have the power to ravage a crop and cause significant yield loss. Control of harmful nematodes is essential to keeping your crops healthy.
Contrary to what many people think, the number of harmful or bad nematodes in the soils is easily outnumbered by the number of good or beneficial nematodes that promote natural fertility and quality over time
Beneficial nematodes feed on bacteria, fungi, insects, or bad nematodes in the soil, stimulating soil nutrient cycles, and keeping populations of damaging plant pests and diseases at bay.
Therefore, it is crucial to adopt farm management tools that work in harmony with the beneficial nematodes.
Why should we care about soil health?
A healthy soil is the foundation of crop productivity and sustainability. And every season, we have the opportunity to take actions that help improve soil health, promoting good crop yields and long-term soil sustainability.
How can we improve long-term soil health?
Farmers can take several actions to preserve and promote the health of their soils, including:
- Minimizing disturbance by adopting practices like no-till or minimum tillage
- Planting cover crops to preserve moisture and reduce erosion
- Promoting biodiversity in their soils by minimizing farm inputs or wisely choosing inputs that are less disruptive to the beneficial organisms in the soil
- And when using nematicides, selecting the ones that conserve beneficials and stop bad nematodes
Continuing the cycle
Healthy soil equals an ecosystem where all life can thrive. It promotes healthy crops and abundant yields for years.
A simple shift from merely managing the soil to proactively advancing soil health and recognizing the greater role it plays in benefiting farmland and the planet can create long-term value. As farmers you can take action today to leave behind a legacy for the future.