Soil Health

Soil Health & Resource Efficiency

When we think about healthy soils many of us think in terms of the macronutrients our crops need for maximum crop yield and while macronutrients are important there is so much more involved.  Healthy soil is much more than dirt, first we need to consider organic matter and how important it is in terms of soil structure and the soil’s ability to hold water.  Second, and perhaps not as fully understood is soil biology.  In healthy soils there is a critical ecosystem of fungi, bacteria, nematodes and other organisms.

Soils are filled with microbial life and these microorganisms are critically important to agriculture, because they are the main drivers of nutrient cycles in soils. Soil microorganisms play an active role in soil fertility and several important nutrient reactions such as such as fixing nitrogen from the air or making the nutrients tied up in complex organic matter available for plants. The microbes in soil and on plant roots provide essential nutrients, vitamins and plant growth regulators to plants, and prevent pathogen invasions by both stimulating plant defences and being antagonistic to invading pathogens.

Crop Quest’s Approach to Soil Health

Crop Quest is uniquely positioned to be an important soil health partner.  First, because much of our work such as Nutrient Management Plans relies on the baseline data that reliable soil testing provides. “Ontario Regulation 267/03 states that a sample must be collected and analyzed from each field area prior to the completion of each nutrient management plan, and that the results from this sample must be used in the preparation of the plan.” And so, you will regularly find us out in the fields working with our clients using soil testing.

Second, no-one knows manure better than we do and almost nothing helps to restore life to soil better than manure. It is for this reason that there may be government cost share funding if you are land applying manure that is more than 18 percent dry matter. When applied properly manure can help to rebuild important soil organic matter and critical soil microbial life in a way that little else can and with government funding support, it may be one of the most cost-effective investments you can make.

Using our Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans we assist you in developing a long-term soil restoration plan using properly applied manure and we even help you source this important resource through our proprietary registry which connects manure generators to knowledgeable end users. Manure cannot replace conventional fertilizers but it certainly is an important tool in a whole farm plan!

Manure qualifies as an organic soil amendment under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership Program (CAP) and may qualify for up to 40% cost share funding!

Crop Quest is pleased to announce that we now offer a proprietary manure registry!  To find out how you can be added either as an originator or an end user please visit our Crop Quest Manure Registry page.

What We Offer

Soil Testing – we now offer our own in-house full soil testing service and can soil test in even the most adverse conditions.  Please contact us for further information or consult our soil testing price list.

  • Professional Agronomists
  • Certified Crop Advisors
  • Soil Testing
  • Soil Microbial Testing
  • Increasing Efficiencies with which Inputs are Used