Thursday, August 25, 2016
Hello Friends of Andaman Ag,
There’s considerable discussion about biological agriculture these days but what does it mean? A brilliant scientist, Dr. William Albrecht, Head of Agronomy at the University of Missouri in the late 50’s and early 60’s wrote about the importance of maintaining a healthy soil and formulated the Albrecht soil test. It was a balanced approach to crop nutrition encompassing minerals, soil structures, weed pressures, nutrient utilization and microbial activity.
The biological approach requires a farmer to understand natural processes and indicators on the farm that identify the lack of soil life activity and hence plant available nutrition. Worms and soil microbes change the soil into a loose, crumbly, biologically active soil which resists erosion and soaks up water like a sponge. Soil organisms help release and recycle nutrients from the soil. This makes for healthier plants which provide their own disease and weed protection.
In simplified terms, microbes are primarily in charge of food preparation for the plant. With the exception of nitrogen, all nutrients require “microbial preparation” before they can be absorbed by the plant’s root system. In the same way humans get their calcium from dairy products as opposed to limestone, plants get their minerals from by-products of a microbe that digested a particular mineral rather than getting it directly from inorganic minerals.
Combining nutrients with microbial based products is a formulation that significantly improves nutrient uptake. Biological agriculture products are making a positive and verifiable impact on crops. Dr. Albrecht would be proud.
Andaman Ag sells a number of microbial based products including our compost teas foliar fertilizers and other soil amendments. All are important for late season applications and crops as well as post harvest usage.