The Book covers all the areas of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry to Soil Science –related Terms. Soil health is an assessment of ability of a soil to meet its range of ecosystem functions as appropriate to its environment. Also, refers to the condition of the soil, including its ecosystems (minerals, nutrient and microbial activity), pH and structure. The Soil Science Society deigns soil health as the capacity of a specific kind of soil to function, within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and support human health and habitation.
The increasing use of conservation tillage and cover crops is changing the way we view the soil and the environment. New concepts and terminology are being used to describe these changes. Understanding the term defined in this fact sheet will help farmers understand relationships between tillage, crop rotation, cover crops, carbon sequestration, organic matter pool, agricultural sustainability, and soil and water quality. Sustainable agriculture and soil quality are the terms that are increasingly important to modern farming. With higher costs for labour, seed, fuel, fertilizer, and pesticides agricultural producers are looking for more economical ways to improve crop production and maintain ecosystem sustainability. One of the goals of sustainable agriculture is to work with the natural cycles of the terrestrial ecosystems especially with the soil biology to enhance the efficiency of agricultural management practice. The terms below are used to describe these biologically efficient and economically viable agricultural production systems.