IMG_1761Aiming for Balance

Biological farming aims at attaining balance between the physical, chemical nutrients and biological facets of the soil aided by improved organic carbon content. Measuring, planning, changing, and taking control of these aspects give a more complete view of soil fertility and a greater degree of control over the growing environment. This, together with sustainable management practices, ensures the stabilization of our fragile soils similar to the way a sponge takes up water. This “sponge,” stores and makes plant food available, has greater water holding capacity, and enhances vigorous root growth. Many farmers strive to balance the chemical nutrients of the soil but results fall short without them really knowing why.

Soil biology is crucial to making these applied nutrient available to the plant and bringing into play the interrelationships with soil chemistry (nutrition) and physical properties. Over the past 50 years our past farming practices have decimated beneficial soil biology, leaving our soils lifeless. A brilliant scientist, Dr. William Albrecht, Head of Agronomy at the University of Missouri in the late 50’s and early 60’s wrote about the importance of maintaining a healthy soil and formulated the Albrecht soil test, that looked at more than mere pH, and soil nutrient use. Unfortunately the chemical revolution had begun and his research was dismissed until the 1970’s.