When we use chemical fertilizer amendments, we defeat our ability to rebuild soils as a balance of natural fertility. It is the complex nature of soil organisms that create synergies that restore natural vitality to natural systems. The intention is to restore a balanced natural system that builds long-term soil fertility as it improves production and improves vitality.
Specific fungi are responsible for the mineralization of soils, when super phosphate is applied, we defeat fungal mineralization, when N is applied we defeat both N fixing and nitrifying microbial processes in natural balance, this increases costs for the system and defeats plant and soil vitality.
The reduction of plant vitality attracts pest and disease and reduces the formation of organic carbon as fungal carbon. Once we lose the balance of carbon in our soils we lose fertility and we lose species of beneficial organisms, as we lose essential species we reduce Nutrient Cycling and compromise the functions of the Soil Food Web. We are thus increasingly dependent on inputs and continue to degrade long-term fertility.
A prescription for biologically productive systems depends on restoring the ‘ecology of fertility’ responsible for long-term production along with improved fertility and vitality.
Current agricultural practice is based in a military approach to management, when things are out of balance, often, the first response is to kill something, be it a fungicide, pesticide, herbicide or any member of a wide range of ‘cides’.
Biological agricultural practice is more of a stewardship, when things are out of balance, our first response is to add life; this allows Nature to do what Nature does best, support our productive plants and find balance in our productive systems.
The system simplified:
First we make specialist compost as ‘inoculum’ compost, we use compost as a medium for growing beneficial soil organisms. Compost rich in a high diversity of organisms that work 24 hours a day 7 days a week to restore natural processes and support fertility. We apply this compost to our fields and pastures as both a soil amendment and as microbial inoculants.
Second: We use a simple but specifically designed aeration machine that extracts organisms out of the compost into a solution and grow ‘hundreds of thousands’ into ‘thousands of millions’ to help restore soil organisms in number and in the species needed to build fertility. This is simply sprayed out in a liquid of soil pro-biotic more commonly know as specialist ‘compost tea’.
Third: We make bio-fertilisers as anaerobic fermentations from common on-farm materials using simple methods to make our own inputs for a fraction of the cost of chemicals. Bio-fertilizer aids fertility and is best used in combination with soil pro-biotic. If you can make decent beer, you can most likely make decent pro-biotic.
During an 8-12 week process we make our ‘inoculum compost’, once the compost has completed its process, we use the compost as a soil amendment or as an innoculant for making soil pro-biotic. Soil pro-biotic requires just 10 l of inoculum compost to make 1000 lts of powerful soil amendment in a liquid sprayable form, one batch is adequate for application over several hectares of land.
Using the biological approach to management, we turn the cycle around from a continuing cycle of degeneration towards a continuing cycle of regeneration. We have successfully exploited natural fertility at great cost to human resource and great cost to environment; this has been going on in earnest for nearly 100 years. The biological system of management turns the cycle around in a 3 short years; we have the opportunity to build fertility as we improve production and the responsibility to gift our children the same fertile soils that our grandfathers had.