The Importance of Soil Health For Maximum Farm Profitability

April 19, 2021

Farmers have to contend with a wide range of shifting conditions as they plan what to grow in their fields, from weather patterns to pest control to managing the water supply for irrigation. 

Under such circumstances, the more information you have about the land you’re working, the better it will be for this year’s crops as well as for what grows years from now.

The USDA Natural Resources Conversation Service explains that “Soil health, also referred to as soil quality, is defined as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. This definition speaks to the importance of managing soils so they are sustainable for future generations.”

Despite what some people might believe, soil is not dead, lifeless dirt. It is filled with live organisms. “Viewing soil as a living ecosystem reflects a fundamental shift in the way we care for our nation's soils. Soil isn’t an inert growing medium, but rather is teaming with billions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes that are the foundation of an elegant symbiotic ecosystem.”

So when it comes to growing and harvesting crops, it pays to have in-depth knowledge about the quality of the soil used to grow them.

Testing the Soil for Better Crop Yields

As with many other aspects of the agriculture industry, we are seeing innovation for soil testing solutions. For example, Deveron Corporation and Ag-Analytics recently announced their partnership to provide soil testing along with fertility recommendations to farmers.

The soil testing service “covers the soil testing process from start to finish. Options include soil sample collection by a technician, laboratory soil tests and fertility analyses, and nutrient management recommendation for the upcoming season,” according to a report from Successful Farming.

Farmers don’t always have much time or energy to devote to testing the soil in their fields, even though doing so could make quite a difference in the quality and amount of the crops they grow. Investors may not have the means for testing or knowledge for proper soil conditions. This is why it is important to perform due diligence on a property's soil when it comes to investing in a piece of farmland.

Joshua Woodward, founder and CEO of Ag-Analytics, said that, “By highlighting areas in a field that have low or high soil quality, soil sampling helps a farmer maximize profitability and avoid both over and underspending. Soil tests reveal data on soil nutrients and management recommendations, giving a foundation a farmer can use to effectively treat fields.” This demonstrates the value of applying software and technology innovations to manage the often messy and unpredictable nature of growing food with raw inputs of soil, water, fertilizer and sunshine.

Adding Agriculture Investment to Your Holdings

Just as farmers have an interest in testing their soil periodically to manage the fertility of their crops, investors have an interest in seeing to the overall health of their holdings. Diversifying with agricultural investments is a time-tested way you can build your assets. To learn more about getting into farmland investments, connect with our team today.