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Snow and Soil in Cooperation

Grain for Good

Snow acts as a protective blanket for soil, insulating it from extreme cold. Deeper snow cover means the plants and animals that live in the soil have to contend with less frozen soil.

Soil and SnowLess frozen soil will also means more water absorption in the spring: “Thawed soils are far better at taking in and storing meltwater than frozen soils,” writes soil scientist Mary Tiedeman.

The snow also protects against freeze-thaw cycles. These cycles cause the soil to heave, sometimes damaging infrastructure such as roads and sidewalks. Perennial plants can also be heaved upwards, exposing their roots.

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