Soil Health research tends to bias to a biology/microbiology emphasis. We believe this bias neglects important physical and chemical interactions in soil that are crucial to soil function. We offer several examples illustrating this bias, and how it may misrepresent management practices that have the greatest influence on Soil Health. Four suggestions are given as approaches to mitigate this bias. By appreciating soil structure as a foundation for Soil Health and its microbial community, we believe better recommendations can be made to assist the farm community in its stewardship of soil as a critical natural resource.
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The production of this work was supported by a 2021 Northeast SARE Research and Education grant “Developing an Affordable Soil Health Test for the Appalachian Region to Incentivize Sustainable Agricultural Production.”
Coyne, Mark S.; Pena-Yewtukhiw, E. M.; Grove, John H.; Sant'Anna, A. C.; and Mata-Padrino, D., "Soil Health – It's Not All Biology" (2022). Plant and Soil Sciences Faculty Publications. 172.