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Effects of Organic Matter In Soil By PROFESSOR M H CUBBON Massachusetts State College Amherst Mass RGANIC matter is the most important material in soil Several properties factors are due directly to organic matter The favorable properties are as follows 1 Organic matter increases water holding capacity of soil 2 Organic matter improves physical condition in soil 3 Organic matter allows more soluble plant food to be held by the soil 4 Organic matter furnishes energy for bacteria The harmful influence of organic matter in soil includes low nitrogen high carbon content which causes a temporary shortage of nitrate nitrogen in the soil purposes Of this twenty tons only about five are dry organic matter the remainder being water Counting only the dry matter 5 tons per acre are equal to 206 pounds per thousand square feet Anyone who has had experience adding peat moss to greens will realize how difficult it is to work 200 pounds of peat into a thousand square feet of surface In order to get that much organic matter into the soil many applications must be made This is a slow process on established greens O R G A N I C M A T T E R IMPROVES P H Y S I C A L C O N D I T I O N O F SOIL J HYSICAL condition of the soil is probably as important as anything else about a green A poor physical condition does not allow air to enter the soil or plant roots to elongate and usually water O R G A N I C M A T T E R A N D W A T E R H O L D I N G CAPACITY stands in or on the soil The mud pie effect means a poor sanitary condition just the opposite from 1 HERE is no doubt about organic matter increas good growing conditions The soil is said to be puding the water holding capacity of soil Soils with dled and such a soil when dry is extremely hard In out organic matter or with the average 5 never fact puddled soil behaves more like concrete than hold more than 4 0 or 2 5 of their weight of like soil especially since it does not allow water to water Twenty five per cent or one quarter of the

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