The science of managing soil, air, water, and residue with biology.
Since we’ve discussed our early beginnings and years of experience, I thought it was time to address what it is a biological farmer actually does. When it comes down to it, all farmers (biological, organic, conventional) are all working to achieve one goal. The goal of feeding the ever growing population and while practices may vary from farmer to farmer, the bottom line is still the same. Produce more with fewer inputs.
So how does a biological farmer go about managing soil, air, water, and residue with biology? By realizing everything works together.
They manage air by maintaining adequate pore space using proper calcium amendments and mechanically with iron and diesel. They manage water by draining excess water and building a water holding capacity into the topsoil with carbon (organic matter). They manage residue by choosing the tillage method that supports the greatest number of microbes per acre based on several criteria based on erosion, soil type, and climate. It is biology that drives tilth, nutrient efficiency, and proper residue decomposition for carbon and nitrogen sequestration.
Biological farming is not a single magic-bullet product or a single one-size-fits-all practice. It is a year-round effort to manage your soil’s biological profile so the microbes work for you. It’s about building organic matter, which in turn sequesters nutrients to be deposited in your “soil bank”.
We’ve noticed that if the above concepts are well implemented, nutrient efficiency can be greatly improved. Successful biological farmers are able to significantly reduce their rates of added nitrogen and phosphate.
Even more than a scientific art, biological farming is about profit, efficiency, and stewardship.
Until next time, happy trails!