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What is soil organic matter?

Soil organic matter is the fraction of the soil composed of anything that once lived. It includes plant and animal remains in various states of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms, and substances from plant roots and soil microbes. Well- decomposed organic matter forms humus, a dark brown, porous, spongy materia that has a pleasant, earthy smell. Mississippi soils generally are less than 2 percent organic matter. (from National Soil Survey Center et al.)

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Publication Number: IS372
Publication Number: P1466
Publication Number: IS894
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Filed Under: Soil Health, Plant Diseases and Nematode Diagnostic Services, Soil Testing August 31, 2020

The Mississippi State University Extension Service is offering another year of free testing for often overlooked nematode pests that frequently cause poor crop performance.

An overcast sky is reflected in water standing over and between the rows of a muddy field.
Filed Under: Corn, Soils, Disaster Recovery March 15, 2019

Recent rainfall in north Mississippi has flooded many areas and made much Delta farmland unworkable as the time approaches for planting and other traditional tasks.

The first photo shows ground that has been disked in the middle of dormant grasses. The second photo shows the same location with green plants growing beside grasses that are not as lush.
Filed Under: Soils, Wildlife October 19, 2018

Thinning timber, prescribed fire and planting wildlife food plots are the most common tools in wildlife management, but there is another, often overlooked practice: using light disking to disturb the soil.

Filed Under: Soils, Soil Health, Environment June 28, 2018

CLARKSDALE, Miss. -- Growers who planted cover crops for the first time last year will share their experiences with other producers at a cover crop field day.

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