Description of practice
Applied in a thin protective layer, soil conditioners can stabilize a soil surface protecting it from wind and water erosion, retaining soil moisture and/or minimizing evaporation for some weeks. Soil conditioning products are based on liquid polymers, lignite wax or by-products from the sugar and paper industry.
|Examples of how to use soil conditioners
(see Note below)
Biosolids (treated sewage sludge) are applied as a protective, fertilizing layer to the topsoil. Their use needs to be controlled because long-term application increases the amounts of heavy metals and other trace elements in the soil.
Paper Crumble is a by-product of the paper industry consisting of odourless woody fibres. When spread on agricultural fields it boosts organic matter content and improves the soil structure of arable land.
Superabsorbant polymers are functionally inert polymers with good water absorption and holding capacity. Spread on the soil surface they turn into a natural gel and protect the soil beneath.
Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.