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Archive | Soil Life

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Role of AM Fungi in Agricultural Ecosystems

Today we are going to examine the role arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi play in providing phosphorus and other benefits to plants and the impact of chemical fertilizers on plant-fungi symbiosis. Nutrient Cycles You often hear about the P-cycle (phosphorus) or the N-cycle (nitrogen) and have probably seen all sorts of graphics demonstrating how these nutrients […]

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

By using detailed measurements and specifically formulated procedures for controlling nutrient excesses and deficiencies in soils, it is possible to define, measure and manage soil fertility to help grow crops of the highest quality. Whether trees, vines or cane crops, when it comes down to fertility, there are three very specific considerations that woody plants […]

Front cover of the book Eco-Farm

Book excerpt: Eco-Farm by Charles Walters – The Soil-Life Connection

Acres U.S.A. founder Charles Walters wrote Eco-Farm: An Acres U.S.A. Primer to be the definitive guide to eco-farming. That includes managing farm and ranch soil fertility, crops, fertilizers, weeds, insects and more while avoiding dangerous chemicals. The excerpt below discusses the importance of maintaining the microorganisms and other lifeforms within the soil by understanding and […]