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Down and Dirty

How Humus and Microbes can Save you Dollars

Monday, July 28, 2014
Unfortunately almost all growers and Ag advisors around the world have a flawed view of plant feeding. YLAD Living Soils have researched over many years how plants take up nutrients and water and understand how to grow a healthier plant more resistant to fungal attack, frosting, droughts, disease and pests.

Worldwide research reveals that when all plant nutrients are soluble and available within soil water, which is almost every ‘bought’ fertiliser, the plant takes in nutrients through its water roots. This happens 24 hours a day whether the sun is shining or not and whether the plant is making new substances or not.

The natural reaction to this ‘free’ nutrient by the plant is to try and dilute it down to a normal level by taking in yet more water… hang on now, it gets even more nutrients so it takes in more water, so on and so on. The cell structure becomes bigger and bigger like a balloon until it can expand no more.

The roots of these particular plants will be white and bare with very few microbes feeding off the plant exudates. I call these types of roots ‘naked’. When a plant has ‘naked’ roots it has no means of ‘feeding’ itself and must rely on you to provide ‘food’. This is a very costly exercise because as the cost of fossil fuels increase so does the cost of man-made fertilisers.

New research from Illinois University has been able to measure the amount of a particular nutrient taken up by the plant in the soil water and there is very little surprise to know that nitrogen is taken up 2.7 times more than calcium or phosphorus. It is this oversupply of nitrogen that adds more water to this already ‘big watery plant’ and creates a plant prone to frosting.

With the nutrient level of our plants and food dropping it is time to address how we can reduce or ‘hang on to’ soil nutrients and allow the plant to take up its ‘food’ in balanced ratios, producing more nutrient dense food and healthier crops.

What can farmers do to turn these phenomena around and grow a healthy plant less prone to disease, pests and frosting?

YLAD Living Soils over the last 11 years have been promoting the essential balance of physical, chemical and microbiology aspects in the soil with Compost Mineral Blends containing balanced levels of beneficial microbe showing outstanding results, both independent and farmer trials.

YLAD Humus Grow™ Compost assists plant growth and microbial growth by the production of growth stimulating compounds encouraging root growth, making it easy for roots to travel through the soil, take up necessary nutrients in the right balance at the right time. The greater the microbial population in the rhizosphere, the greater the nutrient extraction by the plant and we emphasis that soil biology not be studied in isolation, but rather dovetailed in with existing knowledge regarding soil structure and nutrient.

Simply stated, healthy soil biology is a function of four main factors, namely soil mineral balance, soil carbon levels, structure and absence of toxic residues. All four factors are interrelated and each is reliant on the other for maximum soil performance. 
For further information on how you can adopt and incorporate biological principals into your program phone 1300 811 681 or email