Thread: Clay Platelets
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:28 AM
Smallaxe Smallaxe is online now
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Location: Central Wisconsin
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This article also covers,,, Human Activity,,, and its sometimes positive and sometimes negative impact on soils:

"... Additions of fertilizer to agricultural land can have a positive effect on soil structure. By increasing plant growth and quality, roots help with stability of soil aggregates. Applications of liming material (high in calcium, a key player in flocculation) encourage better structure and tilth. Organic materials in the form of plant residue or animal manure quickly decompose and participate in the development of soil aggregates, and also provide favorable conditions for microorganisms. ...

"... Conservation tillage practices have greater benefits to the soil than conventional tillage. Under conservation practices, the need for tillage is minimized and plant residues are left on or near the soil surface. Conventional tillage requires more frequent tilling. A primary pass is made to turn plant residue several inches below the surface. This is followed by secondary tillage operations such as harrowing, which kills weeds and breaks up clods prior to planting. After planting, the soil may again be tilled for weed control and to break up any crusting of the surface soil. These multiple passes can compact the soil and result in the formation of a “plow pan” and platy structure. The amount and size of pores will decrease in this zone with concomitant air and water movement. With decreased rates of infiltration, surface runoff and soil erosion become issues. Plant roots have greater difficulty penetrating the platy structure and compacted soil, and limited rooting depth can affect plant survival. ...

An important point of destruction of soil structure is understanding the last sentence in the paragraph:

"... Irrigation, if not properly applied, can compound this problem by breaking up aggregates, increasing sodium content, and leaching clay. "
Now that I know that clay's texture(platelets) has nothing to do with water infiltration, percolation, or drainage
,,, I wonder what does...
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