How much carbon can be stored by increasing your soil microbes?

microBIOMETER® reports the microbial biomass as ug of microbial carbon/gram of soil. The chart pictured here shows how much carbon can be stored in an acre just by increasing microbial biomass alone. (Chemically fertilized farmland averages about 100 ug/microbial C/g of soil.)

Microbial biomass is the best single estimate of soil quality. It is the bodies of dead microbes that build humus/soil organic carbon, returning carbon to the soil and building soil structure which prevents erosion and pollutant run off. (Chemical nitrogen fertilizers have been shown to inhibit microbial biomass.)

The literature reports that lab measurements of soil organic carbon are not sufficiently accurate in monitoring an increase in carbon sequestration in less than 3 years but that a yearly increase in microbial biomass can indicate that the process of carbon accumulation is occurring.

microBIOMETER® has been used to demonstrate increases in soil carbon due to increases in microbial biomass on the Apple campus in Texas and for 3 years by the NYC Arts and Science Carbon Sponge Project.

Source: Direct evidence for microbial-derived soil organic matter formation and its ecophysiological controls.

Research shows microBIOMETER® correlates with crop health

Katharhy G. is an agroecosystem and ethnoscience researcher who traveled to Ecuador to investigate the relationship between microbial biomass and crop health, as well as to study the local indigenous agriculture practices.

He visited 28 different farms growing 15 different crops. 14 of these farms are practicing conventional farming, while the other 14 farms are practicing indigenous regenerative farming. Most sites are not receiving irrigation. He tested the soil with microBIOMETER® and ranked the crop health as poor (1), average (2), good (3), excellent (4).

As the graph shows, microbial biomass correlated with crop health under all these different conditions. Samples with microbial biomass lower than 225 were all poor (1) and samples above 400 were all excellent.

The take home lesson is that to improve your plant health and yield, increase your microbial biomass by feeding your microbes with organic amendments.

If you have microBIOMETER® research data you’d like to share with us, please contact us. We would love to share it with our readers!

Contact:. katharhyg@gmail.com