Soil Fertility Restoration Analysis Report

Soil Fertility Restoration Analysis Report

SUS/330 Version 1

1

University of Phoenix Material

Soil Fertility Restoration Analysis Report

Consider the following scenario:

You are the director of Sustainability Solutions, Inc., a scientific research and consulting firm. Your new client is a family that recently purchased a horticultural farm just outside of your hometown. The farm has had several years of crop failure. Your client’s goal is to incorporate sustainable soil and agricultural practices to improve the soil fertility of the farm. Your client wishes to grow a variety of horticultural crops including tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, blueberries, and sunflowers.

Your client has already had the soil tested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The soil test shows that sustainable soil management practices were not followed. The soil is highly compacted and dry. There are low percentages of soil biota, including few species of fungi, bacteria, and beneficial nematodes. Arthropods appear to be missing altogether. Harmful nematodes, bacteria, and parasitic fungi were also detected. The A horizon soil profile is thin and contains little organic matter. In addition, there is a very high carbon to nitrogen ratio (C:N ratio), and your client has asked you if adding nitrogen will balance the high C:N ratio.

Write a 750- 1,000-word analysis report in which you make recommendations for sustainable methods that your client can use to restore soil fertility.

Your analysis report should:

· Explain how key agricultural practices maintain soil fertility by promoting the following:

· soil organisms,

· soil organic matter

· soil water

· nutrient cycling

· plant growth

· Describe mycorrhizal fungi and explain their role in nutrient cycling and plant growth.

· Identify steps to improve the presence and effectiveness of mycorrhizal fungi.

· Explain the relationship that protozoa have with bacteria and nitrogen.

· Explain how this relationship influences nutrient cycling and affects the plants your client wishes to grow.

· Explain the implications of the absence of arthropods and suggest methods your client can use to address this problem.

· Explain the role of organic matter and provide three sustainable methods your client can use to improve soil organic matter.

· Explain how organic matter interacts with water in the soil.

· Identify at least three ways plants use water.

· Identify the role organic matter plays in these functions.

· Suggest sustainable methods your client can take to control harmful species without the use of conventional pesticides.

· Recommend specific biological controls.

· Explain how these controls will address your client’s problem.

· Explain the short- and long-term outcomes of adding nitrogen to soil with a high C:N ratio.

· Offer at least two alternative suggestions and explain why these sustainable methods will improve the soil and benefit the plants your client wishes to grow.

· Summarize the key sustainable methods your client needs to take to restore the farm’s soil fertility.