Soil organic matter

Organic matter enhances the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil and is important for soil fertility and crop productivity. Increasing and maintaining it is a vital component of sustainable soil management.

What soil organic matter is and what it does

Soil organic matter means all living, or once-living, materials within or added to the soil. Discover the ways organic matter makes your soil more fertile and improves its overall health.

Find out what soil organic matter is and the benefits it provides

Monitoring changes in soil organic matter

The amount of organic matter in soils depends on soil texture, climate, the input and composition of organic materials, decomposition and the type of farming system employed.

Find out what to consider when measuring soil organic matter

Adding organic matter to soil

Discover the different types of organic matter that can be added to soil and understand the varying impacts they can have.

Read more about the impacts of different organic materials

Useful links

Download the measuring and managing soil organic matter factsheet

Learn about GREATsoils

Find out more about the nutrient content of organic materials

Read the Principles of soil management guide

If you would like to order a hard copy of Principles of soil management, please use our online order form or call 0247 799 0069.

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Amanda Bennett

Senior Environment Manager (Soil Health & RB209)

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