Farmers and producers who leave their soil undisturbed to the greatest extent possible are leaps and bounds ahead of those who still practice extensive tillage practices. As we know, a healthy functioning soil food web is critical to for optimal and profitable crop production. Central to a fully functioning soil food web are mycorrhizal fungi. Beneficial mycorrhizal fungi are symbiotic fungi that attach to plant roots and trade nutrients and water that the fungi uptake from the soil for plant root exudates that the fungi use as food to live and grow. They also pass along root exudates to beneficial bacteria that have the ability to solubilize phosphorus and other nutrients that are locked up in the soil, making them available to the plant. A healthy function mycorrhizal network can extend the area in which roots can access nutrients and water by anywhere from 10X- 100X. This leads to healthy, productive nutrient dense crops that are much more drought and disease resistant.
Maintaining healthy mycorrhizal fungi populations, along with other beneficial fungi like Trichoderma fungi for decomposing residues to release plant available nutrients and provide natural plant defenses against soil-borne pathogens and diseases, are key to a healthy, well aggregated soil. Mycorrhizal fungi secrete a substance called glomalin, that they use to bind soil micro-aggregates together into soil macro-aggregates. These larger soil particles are the basis of a stable soil aggregate structure. The larger pore space allows for greater water infiltration, water retention and the formation of new soil organic matter. The glomalin from mycorrhizal fungi is rich in carbon and also helps to increase soil organic carbon levels, leading to additional soil organic matter formation.
Calusolv was developed to accelerate the soil aggregation process, allowing oxygen and water to infiltrate the soil. In addition to applying Calusolv, we recommend adopting minimum tillage practices to maintain stable soil aggregate structure.
Sources for additional information on the benefits of mycorrhizal fungi and the soil food web in general:
Mycorrhizal Planet – How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and
Build Soil Fertility
Teaming with Microbes (entire series Microbes, Bacteria & Fungi) Jeff Lowenfels and Wayne Lewis