Source: Dr. Elaine Ingham
“Farmers who value their soil focus on maintaining a healthy soil food
The Soil Food Web is a complex network of organisms and microorganisms, most of
which are invisible to the naked eye. These include nitrogen-fixing and phosphorus
solubilizing bacteria, plant growth promoting bacteria, beneficial mycorrhizal and
Trichoderma fungi, protozoa, beneficial nematodes, and earthworms. When the soil
food web is healthy and balanced, beneficial microbes outnumber and outcompete
soil pathogens and deliver nutrients and other minerals needed by the plants to
produce high yielding, nutrient dense crops.
Dr. Elaine Ingham
Leading Authority on Microbiology and Soils
The Soil Food Web – adopted by USDA/NRC (www.soilfoodweb.com)
Tillage and the use of excessive amounts of synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides
are damaging and destructive to soil microbes which are necessary for fertile, productive,
and healthy soils.
When you understand that farming success is intimately linked to the health of your microbial
workforce (your bio-fertilizer factory), then you will understand that you should reconsider the
use of any input that compromises your workforce.
A healthy, productive soil food web is vital to profitable farming operations that are able
to reduce their dependence on synthetic fertilizer inputs, chemical pesticides and limit
the use of chemically treated seeds. All of these practices are harmful to a healthy, fully
functioning Soil Food Web. When looking to apply anything to a field, always ask
yourself first: Will this harm or benefit the soil microbes?
Calusolv’s blend of materials when used in conjunction with our Accelerated
Regenerative Agriculture program and recommended soil health practices is designed to
facilitate a healthy soil microbial population. Applying Calusolv jump starts the soil
aggregation process and when used in conjunction with the adoption of the
recommended soil health practices, you will reduce the time needed to convert from a
chemical-based farming approach to a more profitable, biological based farming
Calusolv’s recommended soil health practices include:
• Address soil compaction in your fields – converting to a biologically based,
regenerative farming method starts with creating a stable soil aggregate
• Manage pH levels – nutrients already present in the soil are more available to
plants at proper pH levels (typically 6.2 – 6.8). This also provides a more beneficial
environment for the largest range of soil microorganisms.
• Reduce/Eliminate tillage – regular tillage destroys mycorrhizal fungi networks
and soil aggregate structure.
• Incorporate Cover Crops – do not leave fields fallow for extended periods of time.
Beneficial mycorrhizal fungi require a living root to associate with in order to
survive. Mycorrhizal fungi are essential to creating stable soil macro-aggregates.
• Diversify Crop Rotations – expand beyond a 1- 2 cash crop rotation, this will help
ease pest and weed pressures.
• Focus on Soil Nutrient Ratios – when looking at soil tests, focus more on certain
key ratios of nutrients to other nutrients and not just on total levels. By focusing
on ratios, you can be certain that you are providing the plant with what it needs
to uptake nutrients as efficiently as possible and be photosynthetically efficient.
This will maximize the root exudates provided by the plant to the soil microbes.
An active soil microbe community also contributes to increasing a plant’s natural
resistance and immunity to pests and weeds.