How does the soil texture affect agricultural production

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Soils are the production basis for agriculture, forestry and horticulture. They can store water and nutrients as well as organic matter and energy. They also filter water, convert gases and are gene pools and homes for an unimaginably large number of different organisms. Many of these organisms contribute to the creation of the soil as reconstructors and builders and are an indispensable link in nature's material cycle.

Agriculture has a close relationship with the soil. Farmers use the soil for cultivation. They strive to increase their fertility and to maintain it in the long term. This is the only way to feed the constantly growing world population.

However, the existence and fertility of the soil are threatened from different sides. An important aspect is the quantitative soil loss due to settlement purposes. In this case the soils are permanently withdrawn from agricultural use. Then there is the qualitative aspect. Soils are polluted by airborne pollutants and various agricultural practices. Other problems include the decline in organic matter in some agricultural soils, soil compaction as a result of poor tillage, and soil loss due to erosion.

In the Swiss Central Plateau, there are sometimes very productive soils. It is important to take care of these and make the most of them. Centrally managed soil data allow optimal planning and management of the soils. The agriculturally used soils in Switzerland should be recorded from a pedological point of view, if this has not yet been done. The state of the current physical, chemical and biological pollution of the soil is to be recorded.

In addition, the load-bearing capacity of the soils must be systematically researched and described. Based on this knowledge, recommendations for adapted sustainable uses can be made. This enables the variety of soil functions to be optimally used and passed on to future generations.