The soil is our home, our land. We live on the soil and even are patriotic to our soil.
Similarly, the soil is equal to or even more important to crops. Different crops need different conditions and different crops thrive in different soil types. But the one thing we know is that soil quality affects the quality, quantity, and a lot more when it comes to crops. Therefore, the soil isn’t just crucial for us, humans, but it is of profound importance to crops as well.
In a way, the soil is the home for plants. Soil helps anchor plants and provides the essential elements of water and nutrients. Soil is where the plants gain their strength from. Plants prevent soil erosion and provide organic matter.
Soil structure affects the behavior of plants in many ways. The most evident impact is on the appearance of the roots, which are generally smooth and cylindrical in friable soil, but are stubby and gnarled in compacted soil and are greatly restricted in their range, with potentially deleterious effects on the supply of water and nutrients.
Soil structure not only affects the ability of roots to grow and to supply the leaves with water and nutrients; if adverse, it also induces them to send hormonal signals that slow the growth of the shoot, even if they are currently able to take up adequate water and nutrients.
For example, rice requires soil with good water retention capacity with a high amount of clay, and organic matter is ideal for rice cultivation. Clay or clay loams are most suited for rice cultivation. Such soils are capable of holding water for long and sustaining crops. One reason for this is that Water creates unfavorable conditions for weeds, by cutting off sunlight and aeration to the ground. So, rice farmers adopted the practice of submerging rice in water to check weeds.