U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Document Type


Date of this Version



Published in Soil Management: Building a Stable Base for Agriculture (2011) 175-182. DOI:10.2136/2011.soilmanagement.c11


Soil water and soil temperature patterns in the soil profile determine the overall biological response of plants, microbes, and other soil fauna. The impact of soil management practices on the soil microclimate depends primarily on how management practices affect the soil water and soil temperature patterns at the soil surface and within the soil profile throughout the day and across the year. As we begin to understand these interactions, the more opportunities we have to develop soil management practices that will have a positive impact on the soil. These impacts will improve plant production efficiency, decrease pressures from pests, and enhance the quality of the soil over time.