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Archive | Soil Life

Learn about the importance of soil life to high quality crops, livestock, pastures and land. Soil biology includes microbes, earthworms, dung beetles and myriad more creatures.

nutrient uptake chart

How Do I Decide What Amount of Nutrients to Apply to My Corn?

Nutrients like calcium, boron and manganese travel primarily in the xylem or the water transport system of the plant.

hands holding soil

The Role of AM Fungi in Agricultural Ecosystems

As those billions of microbes in a handful of soil go through their life cycles living and dying, they are providing a constant source of nutrients. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi are capable of passing both organic and inorganic forms of phosphate to plants. One of the huge differences between our cropland soils and natural ecosystems is […]

Agriculture in Transition book cover

Book excerpt: Agriculture in Transition by Donald Schriefer

Agriculture in Transition is the last word on eco-farming systems from America’s “environmental agronomist” – Donald L. Schriefer. A pioneer in developing an awareness of the relation of tillage to soil fertility, Schriefer focused on three major soil basics – soil aeration, soil water, and soil decay – as the foundation of sound, productive agriculture.

Fungal growth covering the grain signals the completion of the initial culture (in a box).

Biological Inoculants for Soil Health

As part of efforts to improve the soils and quality and yield of produce at Tobacco Road Farm we have been utilizing a biological inoculant made from locally sourced microorganisms. This inoculant material is referred to as IMO (Indigenous Microorganisms). The techniques for IMO culturing come from the principles of Korean Natural Farming (KNF), an […]

Example of soil carbon difference between two samples

Understanding Soil Carbon Dynamics

Carbon is an often overlooked, but very important com­ponent of the soil. We know how to manage nitrogen, phos­phorus and potassium for maximum production, and that micronutrients play a critical role in crop yield and disease resistance. Deficiencies can usually be corrected relatively quickly through the addition of soil or foliar fertilizer ap­plications. While soil […]

Corn leaves

Setting the Table to Optimize Fertilizers, Soil Amendments

It is a big mistake to consider that just adding enough fertilizer to grow the crop is what determines soil fertility.