Proven Biological Inputs

Date:  12/08/2021

Are nutrient deficiencies caused by a lack of nutrients in the soil?  Or by a lack of soil microbes that make nutrients available for plants?

In a trial conducted by Continuum Ag in Iowa, we’ve shown that the microbial nutrient pathways make the difference.  In soybeans, grown in a field with healthy soil, the treatment with Pacific Gro, Metagro 5XF and Sea Crop performed better than the control, seen in higher plant sap nutrients.

This biological program is a proven strategy to reduce dependency on synthetic inputs. By providing and feeding a range of microbes, plant nutrition can be enhanced.  Microbes procure nutrients from insoluble compounds (like tricalcium phosphate) and make them available to plants.  These nutrient pathways are provided by fungi and bacteria, which thrive when fed Pacific Gro and Sea Crop. Microbes feed plants and stimulate natural plant growth regulators.  A well-established diverse microbial population can continue to make nutrients available from the soil bank of locked-up nutrients.  

Moron Syndrome
The traditional approach, coined the ‘moron syndrome’, applies high rates of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. A producer buys excessive inputs (and the newest marketing pitches and technologies like triple stacked genetics), and when the results aren’t right, he’s told to put more on. This ‘moron’ approach drains our bank accounts, and destroys our soils, as well as our finances, environment, and human health.  This is not sustainable.  The Moron Syndrome has destroyed the ability of our soils to retain water, suppress disease and insects, and provide nutrients as nature intended. 

Fertility program decisions expect that the nutrients applied are also taken up by the crop. In reality, however, synthetic nutrients do not all end up in the plant; 20 to 80% of nutrients may be lost by leaching or volatilization, or temporarily locked-up in the soil. Previous management decisions often have created a large bank of locked-up nutrients, and a lack of microbes that can make them available. Therefore, biological inputs often achieve dramatic results in spite of low nutrient inputs.  Microbes source what the plants need from the soil bank; and microbes deliver the nutrients at a more balanced appropriate rate. 

Monitoring what plants need
The strategy of replacing inputs with biologicals does pose some risk that some nutrients may be lacking when needed. Producers need to monitor their crop – preferably in real time. Sap Analysis is a great way to measure what is being translocated into the plant, and identify any deficiencies or imbalances. 

Read the trial report here: Trial Report 2021 Continuum Ag on Soybeans

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