Organic rice production improves soil health

Photo credit: Jin Kemoole

A new study in the Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science evaluated soil health in organic and conventional basmati rice fields in North India, and found that organic rice paddies augmented biological, chemical and physical properties associated with soil health. Higher levels of soil organic carbon in the organic plots led to greater water-holding capacity and bulk density, and soils from the organic paddies had higher levels of microorganism-produced enzymes that enhance nutrient cycling. “Taken together, this study indicates that organic farming practices foster biotic and abiotic interactions in the soil which may facilitate in moving towards a sustainable food future,” the authors concluded.