|The best way to maintain soil is conservation. Soil conservation and maintenance may include crop rotation, mulch, fertilizer, and no-till farming. Crop rotation aids in keeping out weeds but also in making sure that nutrients remain in the soil; this process means that crops that deplete nutrients out of topsoil are planted in one growing season with a crop that adds nitrogen or carbon to the soil the next1, 2. Soils that are already depleted in nutrients need additives, such as organic and inorganic fertilizer and manure. Organic fertilizers include plant and animal materials such as animal manure, green manure, and compost 3. Animal manure improves soil structure, adds nitrogen and increases the beneficial bacteria and fungi where as green manure is green vegetation that is plowed into the soil to increase the organic matter and humus4, 5. Compost is produced with the presence of microorganisms that break down organic matter5. Inorganic fertilizers, on the other hand, include compounds made of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium as well as other trace amounts of nutrients5.
Soil maintenance in the Willamette Valley has attributed to the pollution of the Willamette River and the surrounding ground water. It is important, then, to maintain the nutrients with the least amount of additives and be aware of the run off.
|Soil Maintenance / Mantenimiento de Suelo Translation Needed
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1. Oregon State Extensions Service (2009) Growing your Own. Available at extension.oregonstate.edu/ (accessed August 2009).
2. National Resource Conservation Service (2000) Conservation Crop Rotation. Available at ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/ (accessed August 2009).
3. Oregon State Extension Service (2007) Small Farms: Organic Fertilizer Calculator. Available at smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/ (accessed August 2009).
4. Oregon State University (2009) Managing Manure Fertilizers in Organic Systems. Available at www.extension.org/ (accessed August 2009).
5. Oregon State Extensions Service (2009) Growing your Own. Available at extension.oregonstate.edu/ (accessed August 2009).