Module 7.1: Cropping Systems and Soil Quality
Plants and soil interact; soil provides water and nutrients to plants, and plant roots contribute organic matter to the soil, can promote soil structure, and support soil organisms. Above ground crop residues (non-harvested plant parts such as stems and leaves) can also protect the soil from erosion and return organic matter to the soil. But soil tillage can make soil vulnerable to erosion, alter soil physical properties and soil biological activity. In Module 7.1, you will learn what is meant by soil health for agricultural production and explore how crop types and cropping systems can impact the soil.