There is now very little argument that soil life plays a huge part in growing healthy plants especially as we are seeing less new agrichemical come onto the market and many of the old ones disappearing. Also, we must look at more natural ways of growing crops due to the awareness of our customers of what they are eating and also the low profitability of many of our crops so lower inputs are desperately needed. With these in mind it can only be advantageous to use a huge workforce that comes at a very low cost.
- Our soils are severely lacking the numbers and varieties of microbes.
- Prolonged use of salt fertilisers and agrochemicals have killed off much of the natural soil life.
- We have done an amazing amount of damage by over cultivation.
- Our industry has forgotten the importance of balanced nutrition.
- Our industry needs rescuing from the fertiliser and chemical companies.
We now have scientific backing to many of these microbes so that we know what they do and how to get the best out of them so that they can become a main part of our growing system. The word ‘system’ is vital because a modern growing system is made up of many parts like a jigsaw as against ‘conventional Chemical Agriculture’ which is more layered, like an onion; Once you apply one fungicide it is certain that you will apply more and more reducing yields and quality on the way.
As many of you that know me will be aware of when looking at growing in a balanced ‘Nutritional’ way I always start by getting an understanding of Humates so can I suggest that you see my Humates on the Farm article. This is because if you want the most from your natural soil life and the products you are going to add then you need a happy home for them to thrive in. This will be a Carbon rich aerated soil with reduced amounts of Nitrogen and no harmful products such as MOP and Triple Super. There is little point in increasing microbial numbers just to kill them off leaving dead remains in the soil for saprophytes to feed on.
I am sure that you have heard the story that a teaspoonful of healthy soil contains billions of bacteria from thirty thousand different species so we won’t go into all of them (even if we knew what they all did). It is worth looking at a main few and if the soil is good enough for them it will be good enough for the rest of the gang. It is worth concentrating on the ones that are going to do the most for us and then we can look at how to get them there.
Bacteria are main thing in the soil and everywhere else for that matter; let us not forget that if we didn’t eat so much processed food we would/should contain more bacterial cells then human cells. If our soils had healthy amounts of Actinomycetes and Pseudomonas fluorescens, many of the diseases that we suffer from would be greatly reduced or even stopped….
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