Microbe population in soil:
I am offering an analogy to you that has many synergy's to soil health, namely,
When a human, in this case a woman, takes an antibiotic, a majority of the time
the will manifest a yeast infection.
She can eliminate this imbalance in the bad bacteria by taking more friendly
bacteria. The conventional doctors/wisdom will tell them to take the leading
selling drug called lotrimin.
This analogy applies to the soil. The chemicals that have been used on the soil
have destroyed a great deal of the beneficial bacterial that used to be in the soil.
This is evidenced by the huge business in fungicides. The epidemic growth of the
pathogenic nematode is a result of the killing of the nematode trapping fungi
that used to exist in the soil. In this case just adding compost doesn't stop the
I know of bacterial product/complexes that can be added to the soil to stop many
of these fungi.
If is practical you can add a composed manure and get some of the same benefits.
The immune system of the soil needs to be revived. Additional Humates could
help to begin the process. Adding a bacterial complex called BioL.F.E. will work
even better because it will build humus and help to produce organic matter by
the breakdown of the trash from crops, etc. It will also, in many cases increase
the uptake of nutrients and make the soils more malleable. This product
manufactures phosphorylated polysaccharides and helps to keep the pH balanced
for crops needs.
In tobacco it has eliminated the need for fungicides for black shank
(Phytophthora Parasitica) and blue mold (Peronosporatabacina) in a multi-year
trial in Kentucky. In a trial in New Mexico it was used on cotton for fusarium
wilt and stopped it completely in one season. Further trials are planned.
Therefore we know and have seen the control of disease in soil by adding
beneficial microorganisms and restoring the soil bacteria levels.
If the soil has been badly damaged and the normal complex of microorganisms
are no longer present they have to be replaced. Mere stimulation of the
remaining bacteria will not be sufficient.
Balance is the key to disease stress.
Michael J. Rankin
Global Farming Systems, Ltd.