One of the Essential things that can be found in the soil is the presence of the thing called Organic Matter. All soils have organic matter. Organic Matter is a composition of decomposed animal manure or plant waste, combined with the living aspect such as beneficial insects and micro-organisms.
These organic matters come from various of materials, tissues of plants and animal to the substantially decomposed mixture of materials called humus. Humus can come from animal sources and crop residues such as stubbles, tillage, etc. With the organic matter, the soil fertility and nutrient storage is improved. OM is composed and can retain these nutrients to later use by the plants: Carbon (C), Oxygen, Hydrogen (H) and small amount of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K), Sulphur (S), Calcium (Ca) and other nutrients. OM combined with different nutrients that are all needed by the plants, encourages not only plant grow but also Micro and MACRO organisms to flourish. Diverse in the presence of these organisms leads in even greater aggregation. Aggregation is one desirable thing in the condition of the soil.
Organic Matter (OM) process into beneficial form
Soil organic matter, when it goes through a decomposition process, will be converted into a deep brown/black material called HUMUS. Humus is a highly complex material that provide essential nutrients for the plants and on the soil. Humus has humic substances containing Fulvic, Humic Acid, Humin and Humates that gives positive effect on plant specifically in growth nutrient uptake and disease immunity.
Benefits of humus includes:
- Provides suitable desirable environment for microbes, a key organism found to rehabilitate and convert nutrients into assimilable form.
- Increases plant resistance to sudden environmental changes (floods, erosion and toxins)
- Improves water holding capacity. Water Holding Capacity is the ability to hold more water which is essential in the plant growth and food production (photosynthesis)
- Improves the soil structure.
- Fixes and/or increases Cation Exchange Capacity.