Biological System Focus

Date:  06/24/2021

Growers are increasing their ROI with a systems approach to create a healthy soil eco-system: apply biological products, reduce synthetic inputs, and let natural systems work better.  Using less synthetic inputs reduces the cost of production and reduces risk and the breakeven point.  Smart use of microbes and carbon-based inputs like Pacific Gro makes the system more resilient. Growers succeed by feeding the soil biology to enhance the natural system that already exists.  

Spoon Feeding, a Systems Approach
Producers are essentially feeding the beneficial fungi and other microbes — your “underground livestock” — that help increase organic matter, cycle nutrients, and suppress soil borne diseases and pests. Without a healthy microbial community, nutrients are no longer cycled, opportunistic pests can invade and farmers rely increasingly on chemicals to replace biological soil functions.

The Most Microbes Win
Diversity of microbes is the key – many thousands of species that fill all the ecological niches. We try to farm for the most microbes we can.  With the use of cover crops and microbial products (like Metagro ST stable compost tea) and spoon-feeding Pacific Gro, we are growing better crops than we ever did before, and spending less per acre on inputs. We are also losing less Phosphorous and Nitrogen off our farms. We’re proud that we’re farming in a more environmentally friendly way. A lot of the soil organic matter that is built is from dead microbes, especially fungi. The more fungal networks we can grow, the more our organic matter increases.

Crop Resilience
Many pests and pathogens are kept below the economic threshold when the soil is healthy, with a diverse, plentiful microbiome.  For example, harmful nematodes can be suppressed with these practices.  Nematodes go through multiple life-cycle stages and multiple generations per season. Spoon feeding Pacific Gro and Metagro ST can suppress these nematodes. 

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