There are many components to prepare soil for cultivation but organic matter is probably the most important but perhaps the least understood component of its function.
It is widely recognized as a critical component of quality and productivity, due to the influence it has on the nutrient cycle process. Organic matter serves as a reservoir of nutrients in the soil structure, helps to decrease compaction, increases water retention with a better distribution of it, achieves more effective temperature regulation in the rhizosphere area, in addition to contribute other physical, chemical and biological properties to the soil.
After abundant rains, there is a waterlogging of the crops, which produce a washing of nutrients and lack of oxygen in the root zone can lead to suffocation. Well, the presence of organic matter will fluff up the area and allow oxygen to remain present, will reduce compaction and will help to maintain levels of nutrients and microorganisms without which the assimilation of essential nutrients such as Nitrogen cannot take place. It will also dampen the rise of salts from lower water tables when the ground dries. On the other hand, in very dry periods it will help retain moisture and disperse the accumulation of salts in the root zone.
These are some of the great virtues of its application and for this reason; it is so indicated in over-exploited soils where crops with high productivity demands are established.
Usually plant or animal remains that can be applied to the soil, materials such as leaves, stems and other parts of plants or manure, are considered organic matter, but this is actually simple organic material, not organic matter. In this case, we are talking about organic material that is something that had life and now does not and is simply applied to the soil.
To be organic matter it must decompose into humus. The humus is an organic material which has been decomposed by microorganisms reaching a state of decomposition of which is not changing anymore.
Organic material is unstable in the soil, changing mass and shape as it decomposes, up to 90 percent of it disappearing quickly due to this decomposition.
Organic matter is stable in the soil because it was decomposed until it reached its final form and is resistant to further decomposition. Not being used to mineralize more than 5% annually. This rate increases if the temperature, oxygen and soil texture change, beginning to be favorable to decomposition, which frequently occurs when there is excessive labor.
The application of organic matter in the soil has a series of advantages that will improve our crops for many reasons …
The use of liquid organic materials have come to partly replace the disuse of livestock manure by practically doing the same and more comfortably than this.
A good organic matter has its degree of complexity, to prepare it takes a while to heal well and not burn the roots of the plants, counting that its application involves more work since it often carries unwanted herb seeds and above all, it is not easy to get good quality. In any case, whenever possible, its application should be attempted at least every 3 years.
We hope this article has helped you understand the importance of organic matter and its use as a natural fertilizer for the soil.