to one that is alive, efficient and resilient to stress. We have implemented the ABCs of Soil Health to assist with the process of regaining soil function.
Each step is essential in restoring the soil’s ability to grow healthy crops.
The second step is focused on Biology. Once we have the soil structured for them to exist, grow, eat, reproduce, and die, we start adding microbes from Microbe teas and other inoculants, to ensure there is food year-round. It is also important to start adopting practices that will ensure the microbes can grow and diversify. Each type of biology in the soil has a specific job to the function and efficiency of the soil.
Biology is an intrinsic part of the unique ecosystem that exists within the soil. Each component of the soil has a specific job and all are key players to the function and the efficiency of this system. By creating an environment that promotes the biology's existence, by providing food, and by adopting farming practices that are good for the environment, wonderful things start to occur.
Biology determines quality - the mineral content of the soil and its physical structure are important for the plants well-being, but it is the life in the soil that powers its cycles and provides its fertility. It is the soil biology that makes the minerals in the soil available to the plant.
CHARACTERISTICS OF HEALTHY SOIL
Healthy soil does not just occur by accident. When farming practices cause imbalance and destruction to soil biology and chemistry, the natural ability for the soil to heal and produce healthy plants is greatly decreased. The end result is soil that no longer can produce quality food without the use of expensive fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides. Particular attention needs to be used to reduce the damage caused by current farming practices.
Healthy Diverse Soil Biology will:
- Improve soil structure
- Improve water use efficiency
- Improve nutrient cycling and use
- Improve carbon sequestration
- Improve crop quality
- Improve disease resistance
- Improve pest resistance
- Decrease weed pressures
- Reduce input costs and thus improve probability