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California Department of Food and Agriculture

Soil structure, formation and fertility

Provide opportunities for enhancing the soil system, promotes organic matter buildup/carbon sequestration, and prevent disturbances


Soil characteristics are important drivers in determining the ability of soil to sustain life. Soil quality refers to the capacity of the soil to provide the necessary nutrients plants need to grow. The integrity of soil may become taxed through intensive agricultural practices, which often lack the use of organic amendments. Soil organic matter influences chemical and physical properties of the soil and is an important component of the overall health of the ecosystem.

Below are practices that contribute to soil structure, formation and fertility.