Fruit & Vegetable: Digging into soil health
Learning how to build soil health from experts and peers at OFVC.
The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention (OFVC) included a series of sessions on soil health and cover crops for vegetable production. Sebastian Belliard, soil management specialist, field crops, with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), kicked off the day’s presentations with a discussion of the value of soil health testing.
“It’s become cliché to say that a soil health assessment needs to consider physical, chemical and biological parameters, but it’s worth repeating,” Belliard said in his presentation, adding that soil health tests that don’t touch on all three components have limited value.
Some of the benefits of soil health testing that Belliard noted include knowing where you stand in relation to other growers, understanding the effects your practices are having on your soil, testing assumptions and verifying observations, improving your understanding as a soil manager, and demonstrating sustainability, which will likely become more important as climate change mitigation measures require tangible demonstrations to access funding.