Soil Health Concerns


Soil compaction occurs when moist or wet soil aggregates are pressed together and the pore space between them is reduced. Compaction changes soil structure, reduces the size and continuity of pores, and increases soil density (bulk density).


A soil has been described as a porous medium consisting of minerals, water, gases, organic matter, and microorganisms. The largest component of soil is the mineral portion, which makes up approximately 45% to 49% of the volume. Some of the mineral portion consists of primary mineral particles. These are the sand and silt particles. Some of the mineral portion is made up of secondary minerals that result from the weathering of primary minerals into secondary minerals like silicate clays.

Low Organic Matter

Soil organic matter is that fraction of the soil composed of anything that once lived. It includes plant and animal remains in various stages of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms, and substances from plant roots and soil microbes. Well-decomposed organic matter forms humus, a dark brown, porous, spongy material that has a pleasant, earthy smell. In most soils, the organic matter accounts for less than about 5% of the volume.

News & Events

Resiliency In The Face Of Extreme Weather, Major Stress

Resiliency In The Face Of Extreme Weather, Major Stress

Soil health producer says his way of management helps him in difficult times The record wet year in 2019 left many acres in South Dakota unsuitable for planting, but on Doug Sieck's cropland near Selby, South Dakota, he was able to plant every acre he wanted to. He...