There has been great emphasis on the impact earthworms have on soil structure, but over the summer months many dryland agricultural areas are indeed too dry for earthworm populations.
As the winter cropped paddocks have been on break over the summer, the ants and termites have been working away underground to keep your soil cycling over the summer. The direct effects include improved structure, increased aeration and water infiltration from the vast network of burrowing.
However further research has shown that these insects, namely termites, have nitrogen fixing bacteria in their gut, similar to the bacteria in legume root nodules, which when processed adds to the soil N pool.
Research conducted by the CSIRO concluded soils with ants and termite activity showed an average 36 per cent higher wheat crop yield under low tillage but otherwise conventional agricultural management.
There are significant advantages in utilizing soil biology and biodiversity to suit agricultural productivity.