In order to have healthy soil, farmers must make sure a favorable root environment exists, since roots are the primary conduit for acquiring essential nutrients and water. A favorable root environment involves oxygenated water, adequate and available nutrients accessible by plants, appropriate microbial activity, and the absence of toxins. Determining if favorable root conditions exist can be evaluated through soil testing. Results from the soil tests provide a baseline for understanding what nutrients are available, how active the root environment is, and what can be done to alter the root environment to the farmer's advantage.
There are many factors that may cause problems regarding to soil health, however, having a systems approach to soil, air, and water can provide solutions to many of these problems. Ag Spectrum has participated in ongoing studies of air and water management at the USDA National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory at Purdue University. This research has led to recommendations that reduce hardpan, compaction, and soil erosion, while improving drainage and the exchange of air and water in the soil. We believe in using this information to not only improve the soil environment for the next crop, but to leave a legacy and enable productive soils for the future.