The unfortunate truth is that there are no silver bullets in farming. The agro-ecosystem is way too complex, with far too many interactions, to have a simple, single solution to challenges.
A lot more attention has focused on plant parasitic nematodes rather than the beneficial free living nematodes in the soil. Intensive research needs to be conducted so as to better understand the role played by free living nematodes especially in the mineralisation of soil nutrients.
Rain is always welcome on our lands. It is our responsibility as good water stewards to use it as the valuable resource which it is
Bacteria are one of the most abundant and widely studied microorganisms in soil. Microbiologists estimate that one teaspoon of soil can contain up to as many as 1-100 million individual bacteria and a hectare can contain up to 10 billion.
The role of fungi is unparalleled in soil health. It is one of the most important groups of micro-organisms in the decomposition cycle and is probably one of the most resilient too.
Sometimes I wonder if we actually realise the extent to which water management influences the entire farm system? From the health of the soil, to pasture growth and production, to milk production, to holistic farm efficiency and profitability.
Soil is truly amazing. If it is struggling to remedy itself, it will show you. Weeds are a symptom of conditions deteriorating soil health and resultantly, pasture health
Soil respiration has been extensively promoted as a simple, holistic measure of microbial activity in the soil. Simply capture and measure the amount of carbon dioxide produced by soil and you will have an idea of the metabolic activity of the life in the soil.
Nutrients are brought into the farm through the farm gate, and nutrients are removed through the farm gate. The question that needs to be asked is, are there more nutrients brought into, or removed from the farm system?
Active carbon is the part of soil organic matter that is readily available as an energy source for soil life. It is a very good indicator of soil health, responding much faster to changes in management practices than most other indicators.