Are you increasing the nutrient value and disease resistance of your crop?

microBIOMETER® can tell you if you are increasing the nutrient value and disease resistance of your crop.

A Rodale study showed greatly increased levels of the vitamins and minerals in sustainably farmed soils as opposed to mineral fertilized crops. And at Rodale, the sustainable practice yields are the same as the paired fields farmed with mineral fertilizers – and in bad weather, and disease years significantly better. Rodale is only one of many studies showing the increased nutrient value of organically and sustainably grown food.

Now Dr. Montgomery of the University of Washington’s team in a similar study has shown that if you are increasing your microbial biomass you are increasing the nutrient level of your crop: “soil health is a more pertinent metric for assessing the impact of farming practices on the nutrient composition of crops”.

Biklé, A. and Montgomery, D.R., 2021. Soil health and nutrient density: beyond organic vs. conventional farming. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems.

Hepperly, P.R., Omondi, E. and Seidel, R., 2018. Soil regeneration increases crop nutrients, antioxidants and adaptive responses. MOJ Food Process Technol, 6(2), pp.196-203.

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.

 

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