Increase the organic matter in your soil, improve soil health, attract more earthworm activity, increase the effectivity of your chemicals, and minimize herbicide drag.
Increasing Organic Matter
Soil organic matter is one of the most important ways to measure soil health.
Soil is composed of mineral matter, organic matter, water and air. Organic matter encompasses the remains of plants, animals and microbes at various stages of decomposition, and the living component of these soils.
Why is soil organic matter important?
Soil organic matter is the foundation for healthy and productive soil and is the basis to the range of soil functions. Soils low in organic matter may have reduced functionality. Organic matter is important for the physical, chemical, and biological health of the soil.
Organic matter contributes to soil structure as it acts as the glue holding soil mineral matter together. Soil organic matter is the largest store of carbon on earth and helps to regulate our climate. Increasing soil organic matter improves soil water storage and supply capacity.
It also contributes to the storage and recycling of important plant nutrients. Soils with adequate levels of organic matter provide a good habitat for microbes and other living organisms, which enhances soil biology.
Nutrient Plus helps increase soil organic matter in several ways. Nutrient Plus helps to increase root growth in plants which is one way of adding organic matter to the soil. It also helps in breaking down plant and crop residue to where it is composted back into the soil faster.
Improving Soil Health
Healthy soils maintain a diverse community of soil organisms that help to control plant disease, insect enemies and weed pests, form beneficial symbiotic associations with plant roots; recycle essential plant nutrients; improve soil structure with positive repercussions for soil, water and nutrient holding capacity, and ultimately, crop production.
To understand soil health, we must look at soil biology. Soil biology includes the relationship of organisms living in soil and how they work together and intersect.
Nutrients are an important part of a healthy balanced soil. Soil biology is the key driver for the nutrient cycle. Nutrient cycling is the exchange of nutrients between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem.
Nutrient Plus feeds the biological side of the soil while making the nutrients that are already in the soil and in the air available to the plants.
If you want lower costs and higher productivity, you want to get the help that will come from growing and increasing mycorrhizal fungi in your soil. Three things you want to minimize as much as possible in order to encourage mycorrhizal fungi are: excessive tillage, extra phosphorus, and pesticides (as much as possible).
Many growers know that over-fertilization can be harmful, but they may not be aware that phosphorus builds up in soil more readily than the other two elements in common fertilizer mixes (nitrogen and potassium). Under a regimen of frequent, well-intended application, phosphorus can reach levels that actually discourage the formation of mycorrhizae. Choose low “P” numbers unless a soil test has shown your soil is low in phosphorus.
Developing and growing mycorrhizal fungi is an important part of overall soil health.
Nutrient Plus can help you increase mycorrhizal fungi by decreasing the phosphorus application needed, (it helps to lower high phosphorus levels and makes available what is already in the soil to the plants), increases microbial activity, and raises brix levels in plants so that pesticide amounts and applications can be reduced.
Developing and maintaining healthier soils will make it possible to grow more food with fewer inputs, which will make farming more profitable and protect our air and water.
Attract more earthworm activity
Earthworms help with several important functions in soil. They help to improve soil structure, water movement, nutrient cycling and plant growth. They are not the only indicator of healthy soil, but their presence is usually an indicator of a healthy soil system.
Build a healthy soil and the earthworms will come.
Increasing organic matter will increase the health of your soil, making it an ideal environment for earthworms. They will feed on the organic matter and multiply profusely. Their presence is an indicator that you are feeding them well.
Nutrient Plus helps increase microbial growth which in turn creates an environment in which earthworms thrive.
Increase chemical effectiveness
Chemical and fertilizer inputs are a major part of the cost related to raising a crop for market. Many agronomists and farmers over the years have taken the more-is-better approach to chemical inputs. Inputs are increased with the hope of increased yields.
While macro and micronutrients are an essential part of a healthy soil, using high rates of chemical inputs can work against your overall soil health program.
The reality is that there are many nutrients residing in the soil that are often not available to your plants. Using a good biological can help make the nutrients in the soil available to your plants, as well as helping the plant uptake of nitrogen from the air.
We would be glad to share real case studies of those who have increased the effectivity of their chemical inputs without increasing the amount applied, while maintaining their overall yield and even improving their crop quality.
Minimize herbicide drag
Even though there are varieties of crops that are considered glyphosate resistant, and can take these herbicide applications, frequently they experience what is called herbicide drag. Herbicide drag is the yellowing of the leaves and slowing of growth after an herbicide application that is applied to the field to kill all plant growth other than the glyphosate resistant crop being raised.
Minimizing herbicide drag is one of those things that may not seem that big on its own, but can give you an edge in the overall growth and health of your crop.
The nutrient package included in Nutrient Plus helps to minimize herbicide drag. This could be compared to a vitamin shot to help optimize plant growth, and is a side benefit of a biological such as Nutrient Plus if you are raising crops that are glyphosate resistant.
Got questions about Nutrient Plus?
Give us a call. We'd be happy to discuss how Nutrient Plus could assist you in improving the health of your soil and your growing environment.