microBIOMETER® assists grower in selecting best fertilization regimens

Austin Arrington of the Plant Group

Austin Arrington of Plant Group NYC performed a research study on hemp’s capacity to sequester carbon. Austin utilized microBIOMETER® in this research. We originally had the pleasure of meeting Austin through Indigo Ag’s Terraton Challenge. Plant Group is a fellow semi-finalist and alumni.

Hemp has the promise of being a twofer: a financially successful crop as well as a carbon crop that increases soil carbon for carbon credits and increased fertility. Austin used microBIOMETER® to evaluate two organic fertilizer regimens for a hemp crop; an early fertilization during the vegetative phase and a month later during the flowering phase.

Honeysuckle Hemp 2021: Research Notes

One hectare of industrial hemp can absorb up to 22 tonnes of CO2 per hectare. The fact that industrial hemp has been proven to absorb more CO2 per hectare than any forest or commercial crop makes it an ideal tool for carbon farming (Vosper, 2011). 

Two acres were hand seeded with Maya hemp grain on 05/23/21 in a silt clay loam soil in Council Bluffs, IA. Prior to tilling (with a rear tine tiller) and seeding with hemp the area was covered with white clover. The area was split into two zones that each received organic fertilizer at different times. The Early Fertilizer Zone was fertilized on 07/25/21. The Late Fertilizer Zone was fertilized on 08/08/21. Mega Green (2-3-2), the organic fertilizer applied for the study is derived from squid waste and was diluted with water for application across the field.

The microBIOMETER® spectroscopic tool was used to estimate microbial biomass carbon and fungal to bacterial ratio. Microbial biomass carbon is a measure of the carbon ( C ) contained within the living component of soil organic matter (i.e. bacteria and fungi). Microbes decompose soil organic matter (SOM) releasing carbon dioxide and plant available nutrients. The measurement unit of the device is ug C / g (micrograms microbial biomass carbon). Click here to read full study.

 

Soil testing at a hemp farm in Iowa

soil testing
Austin testing soil testing at a hemp farm with microBIOMETER®

PLANT Group is a team of designers, engineers, and ecologists. The company is building systems to connect humans and nature. In the process, they are soil testing at a hemp farm in Iowa, Honeysuckle Hops & Hemp.

First, through their partnership with Blue Forest Farms, the team at PLANT Group is using microBIOMETER®. They are utilizing the tool to research soil health and carbon sequestration implications of growing hemp.

Furthermore, Austin has an interest in publishing research on their alternate organic hemp production methods.  microBIOMETER® is assisting them in collecting some “pretty cool data on microbial biomass and fungal ratios in the soil in response to these strategies.”

Meanwhile, the company recently launched a new line of hemp food products, Hemp Hearts. They grow each plant regeneratively. This includes a focus on soil carbon, biodiversity, and ecosystem health.

Did you know one hectare of hemp can absorb 15 tons of CO2 per hectare? Hemp’s rapid growth makes it one of the fastest CO2-to-biomass conversion tools available. Therefore, let’s stop cutting down our forests. Plant some hemp instead!

Lastly, please visit the PLANT Group website to meet the rest of the team and learn more about their business. And follow them on Instagram to keep up to date on their progress!

microBIOMETER® soil testing hemp plants in New York

Kerry Trammel is the owner of The Releaf Market LLC located in Jamestown, NY. The market has been open for business since March 2019. Kerry has had a license to grow hemp in New York State since September 2019.

The Releaf Market uses microBIOMETER® to test their indoor grow as well as their 2.5 acre outdoor grow. They love the fast, accurate results they receive with the test as well as the fact that they can take it right out to the field and get results quickly without having to send their soil off to a lab. The app lets them compare their previous test results and label them for easy identifying which they find very helpful for their business. microBIOMETER® has upped their IPM and allowed them to optimize their field potential.

“This product is a game changer and I would recommend it to anyone who wants fast, reliable results. Thank you for all you do to help farmers today achieve success.”

In this test, Kerry was looking to see the difference between a smaller hemp plant and a large hemp plant.

The small plant came in better at 804 µg C/g, F:B 1.7:1 and the large hemp plant came in at 690 µg C/g, F:B 1.4:1. All levels moved up from their tilled garden sample.

Please visit The Releaf Market LLC Instagram page to learn more about their business.