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Soil Health

For over 60 years we have continued to increase the quantities of chemical fertilizers, mostly NPK, in an attempt to maximise yields. During this period the biological dimension has largely been ignored and in most cases diminished through the past and current practices of cultivation, application of chemical fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides and compaction.

What is it that you believe?

Nature is imperfect and I have to fix the problem.

Nature is perfect and maybe my understanding of nature's messages are imperfect.

...maybe...

Nature is perfect and trying to tell us the best way to manage.

Let’s look at what it is we are really farming...

Energy by the process of Photosynthesis.
Plant available minerals via Soil Biology

Photosynthesis

Sunlight + CO2
+ H2O

=

Simple sugars
or carbon the building blocks
of life

    The ideal partnership...

The plant feeds the biology its excess sugars

Biology feeds the plant complex minerals

Are any of these conditions reducing or producing inconsistent yields?

  • Acid Soils
  • Salinity
  • Hard Setting Soils
  • Out of balance nutrient ratios
  • High CEC soils
  • Poor water holding capacity
  • Compaction
  • Soil borne diseases
  • Plant pest and disease

Recent GRDC funded research carried out in three states concluded that sustainable intensive cropping depends on maintaining healthy microbial levels, soil nutrients and soil structure.

What if ….

...by balancing the chemical structure and nurturing microbial activity in our soil, symptoms such as poor soil structure, weed, disease and insects diminish? What if at the same time we could increase production, quality and optimize inputs.

A living soil is a balance of physical, chemical and biological factors. In managing sustainable soil health we must understand the relationship of these three factors and the effects they have on each other. Healthy soil biota as with all living things require certain conditions that must be met if they are to be productive, Oxygen – Water – Food – Comfort. Therefore it is vitally important in what ever operation we undertake on the soil that we consider what effect it will have on these conditions for our soil organisms. Improved soil structure will also results in greater water penetration and holding capacity reducing water usage.

Our Natural Balanced Fertility program uses a combination of CEC and Reams soil tests to determine the present soil condition, fertility levels and effectiveness of the biological dimension. The CEC test shows us the total fertility reserves (our investment account) and the Reams test shows us the present availability (our cheque account) and the activity of our biological sphere.

The effective soil health recovery program will commence a microbial population explosion that will initiate rapid soil structure improvement, and effectively cycle nutrients to the plant, improve plant health, combat disease and result in greater quantity and quality of produce.

Once we start to balance the soil fertility and nurture the soil foodweb the balance of nutrients that is available to the plant will increase and greater plant health will result.

Testing the plant sap for brix levels and pH are simple tests that you can carry out in the field, which give you an instant picture of your plants health. These tests not only show you the relative balance of the nutrient levels but also indicate the level of production in the photosynthesis factory – the leaf. The higher the sap brix level the greater the sugar production. High sugar production results in greater plant resistance to diseases and pests, and the maximum potential for high yields and quality.

Healthy Soil

A balance of the Physical, Chemical and Biological
Supplying -Oxygen-Water-Food-Comfort for biology and roots