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Characteristics of the polish soil environment

The quality of Polish soils ranks among the lowest in Europe. The production potential of an average hectare of our soils corresponds to the potential of average 0.6 ha of arable land in EU countries. This is due to the fact that the overall area of Poland’s arable lands includes as much as 34% poor and very poor soils and as much as 39.9% medium-fertility soils. This is attributable mainly to the properties of the soil matrix.

More than 70% of Poland’s soils developed predominantly from Pleistocene morainic clays and sands, strongly bathed and sorted by glacial waters. About 28% of the arable land evolved from gravels as well as loose and weakly loamy sands.

The light granulometric composition of Poland’s soils, low content of colloids, loamy minerals and humus as well as high acidity negatively affect their fertility and productivity. This is why it is so important to increase organic matter content in the soil, as it is converted into humus, which enhances its quality and agricultural usefulness.

Usable agricultural land according to valuation classes
and voivodships

Humus content in the soil

How to increase soil’s fertility and capability?

  • intense plant production
  • simplified agricultural procedures;
  • predominance of corn monoculture;
  • frequent removal of straw from the fields for sale;
  • decreased share of structure-forming plants, such as leguminous plants, in crop rotation;
  • precipitation deficiency in the vegetative season;
  • very limited organic fertilisation, due to reduced livestock inventory or its total lack;
  • unfavourable biodiversity developments;
  • gradual soil acidification.

Humus content in the soil corresponds to the level of mineral particles smaller than 0.02 mm. The higher the content of these miniscule particles in the soil, the richer it is in humus. Consequently, sandy soils are humus-poor and loamy soils are humus-rich.

Depending on region, humus-poor soils and low-humus soils (< 2% of humus) account for 40–72% of Poland’s arable land. According to humus content they may be divided into: poor soils (0.1–1%), low-humus soils (1.01–2%), medium-humus soils (2.01–4%), high-humus soils (above 4%). The main cause of soil fertility deterioration is a low content of organic matter, which has been depleting for years.

Lower content of organic matter in the soil increases its susceptibility to condensation and decreases its capacity to absorb water, which results in intensified surface flows, water and wind erosion. This is significant, as Poland is a country with relatively low water reserves, which are also utilised in agriculture. Low organic matter content in the soil also reduces its sorption capacity (ability to retain nutrients). A research conducted by the Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation (IUNG) demonstrates that as a result of agricultural use of arable lands the amount of organic matter in soil has been diminishing in Poland on average by nearly 0.53 tons per hectare each year.

Building soil fertility

How to increase soil’s fertility and capability?

The basic rule of proper agricultural management, also as regards sustainable fertilisation, is to maintain a positive or at least stable balance of organic matter in the soil.

Organic Booster contains as much as 65% of organic matter, is a great source of humus and improves soil productivity through:

  • creating lumpy structures, which determine the proper water-air ratio in the soil;
  • reducing susceptibility to concentration and degradation as a result of water and air erosion;
  • joining soil’s elementary particles into larger aggregates: light soils become more compact, heavy soils become looser;
  • giving the soil its dark colour, which precipitates heating in early spring and autumn;
  • increasing moisture holding capacity, i.e. soil’s capacity to retain water, thus counteracting effects of drought;
  • improving sorption capacities – more efficient storying of nutrients, which reduces their leaching;
  • reducing losses of minerals (e.g. nitrogen, potassium) due to diminished leaching from the soil and hindered penetration to its deeper layers.

Soil’s fertility determines its agricultural productivity.

Rich soil yields plentiful crops

Humus increases soil’s productivity by:

  • Stimulating activity of soil microflora and microfauna.
  • Activating mineralisation of organic components.
  • Regulating concentration of Ca2+, Mg2+, NH4+, Na+, K+ and H+ cations in the soil solution by their release or sorption.
  • Managing nitrogen and phosphorus content: humus is the basic source of N and P.
  • Increasing soil’s buffering properties: it regulates and stabilises soil pH, protecting it against sudden increase in acidity, e.g. through intensive nitrogen fertilisation.
  • Limiting diseases: its phytosanitary properties are attributable to multiplication of saprophytic microorganism, which act as antagonists to phytopathogens.
  • Protecting soil environment against effects of pollution by binding heavy metals and pesticides, in particular herbicides. Deactivation of herbicides involves their absorption, but also precipitation of their decomposition by supplying microorganisms with energetic compounds.