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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 25, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta 25, 1975 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 3 Research Station report; Decomposition in soil not always bad By DR. J. F. DORMAAR Soil Chemist Decomposition in the soil is an important process because it helps to recir- culate the food elements necessary for growing crops. Plants would starve if it were not for soil organisms that release nutrients for the use of the plants. The organisms also need food to live that is supplied by organic matter that reaches the soil as plant and animal remains. If no breakdown oc- curred, organic matter would accumulate until, ul- timately, the surface of the earth was covered. Income Tax Savings At Canada Trust Deadline-March Instant Loins No Rid Tipe We're open for friendly personalized service. Saturday, February 22, 9 to 1 p.m. Thursday, February 27th until 9 p.m., Friday, February 28th until 9 p.m. and Saturday, March 1st, 9 to 5 p.m. The Canada Trust Company Corner 3rd Ave. a 7th St. S. Lethbridge, Alberta Phone 327-8581 WINTERIZE NOW TRY OUR SERVICE DEPARTMENT FOR SPECIAL LIMITED TIME ONLY MID-WINTER TUNE-UP SPECIAL Plugs, points, condenser, compression check, set check on motor, check charging and starter systems, In- cludes parts. 31 00 Bcyl. BATTERIES All makes Models 8cyl, 43 00 25% OFF (TABER) ALTA. Rtrrwmlwr: "Wt Illlm iMttw and acl" Call for Appolntmnt today PHI Cnm Sfflid 223-3537 However, the plant and animal remains are decomposed by microbial and chemical action into humus, a brown to black substance. At the Lethbridge Research Station, we are studying decomposition processes and the effect of humus on crop growth and quality. Newly synthesized humus improves the physical, chemical, and biological character of soil. For example, humus stabilizes the soil structure and keeps the soil in an open, friable condition. This is essential to enable the proper aeration of the soil and to improve the ability of the soil to re- tain water. Plant nutrients are ab- sorbed on the humus and prevented from being leached. A soil in high quality humic compounds loses less plant nutrients than one with little humus. Humic compounds also partially prevent the for- mation of insoluble phosphate salts. Otherwise, the soil phosphorous would become unavailable to plants. We have found that management practices, such as cultivation and grazing, affect the decom- position of organic matter than would normally exist without irrigation. We have also found that overgrazing has variable effects that depend on rain- fall. In the foothills region, it decreases humus content of the soil, which becomes denser and less aerated. However, in lower rainfall areas, it causes changes in vegetative composition that result in increased .humus content. Knowledge of the processes by which organic matter is decomposed and of the kinds of humus form- ed under natural and man made conditions will help in developing practices of organic matter manage- ment that are advan- tageous to crop production. STILL SELLING FOR LESS STERN'S CUT-RATE FURNITURE 314 3rd St. S. Phon. 327-3024 Simmental Breeders Cardston Ltd. P.O. Box 537, Cardston, Alberta, Canada. TDK OKO Have and Percentage Simmental Yearling Bulls FOR SALE These bulls are the top 25% Including bulls out of a group of 400 head. For more Information contact: Simmental Breeders CARDSTON, LTD. P.O. 537 Cardston, Alberta (403-653-4421 GENERAL FARM SUPPLIES Invites Everyone To Visit The Large Agricult A Show At Lethbridge March 5, 6, 7 and 8t AG-EXPO 75 "KEEPING MAN ALIVE" Visit our large display of Irrigation and Farm Equipment. Our Salesmen and Company Reps will assist you in any way they can. Stacks of Tubing ready to be processed and delivered. Lets get the orders in to delivery can be made now avoid the spring rush. Wheelmove, Pivots, Travellers and Pumping Units to suit every irrigation need. See You At AQ-EXPO'75 Always a Coffee and Service at: GENERAL FARM SUPPLIES Coutts Highway, P.O. Box 1202 Phone 328-1141 ;