Soil Health Test (Haney) w/ telephone consulting
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You can’t fix dirt with chemistry!
Soil Health Testing has reduced our fertilizer bills significantly and many clients have completely eliminated their dependence on expensive and soil destroying synthetic fertilizers.
50+ years of research shows that 40% of your crop yield is coming from your added fertilizer. Where does the other 60% come from?
Currently, most soil labs treat soils as non-living, non-integrated systems. Plant available nutrients have traditionally been estimated with methods that utilize harsh chemical extractants when testing soil for N, P, K and micronutrients. Furthermore, soil texture, pH, and soil organic matter also ignore the biology in the soil. It is the biology in the soil that form symbiotic relationships with plants to cycle organic nutrients in the system. This process went on just fine before humans arrived on the scene and decided to treat soil like a chemistry experiment.
The soil health tool is an integrated approach to soil testing using chemical and biological soil test data. It is designed to mimic nature’s approach to soil nutrient availability as best we can in the lab. This tool is the culmination of two decades of research in soil fertility and many believe it represents the next step in soil testing for the 21st century.
This tool is designed to answer some simple questions:
1. What is your soil’s condition?
2. Is your soil in balance?
3. What can you do to help your soil?
4. How do your soils compare to the national average and what can you do to improve your soil health?
5. What is your current N, P and K nutrient value, in $$$ per acre, in your soil?
6. What is your soils water extractable organic carbon? So many people are hung up on organic matter content, which is the house that the soil microbes live in. The carbon is the FOOD the microbes see. What good is a big house without any food!
The Soil Health Tool is designed to work with any soil under any management scenario because the program asks simple, universally applicable questions. The methods use nature’s biology and chemistry by:
Using a soil microbial activity indicator
Using “nature’s solvent”: WATER!
The H3A extractant, which mimics the production of organic acids by living plant roots to temporarily change the soil pH thereby increasing nutrient availability. These organic acids are then broken down by soil microbes since they are an excellent carbon source, which returns the soil pH to its natural, ambient level.
The tool uses an integrated approach to soil testing, reflecting the complex ecosystem of the soil, instead of depending upon the narrow measurement of inorganic N, P and K. The integrated approach is naturally controlled so that N or P will not exceed what is available from the organic N and organic P pools.
Just about every article you read on food plots refers to a conventional or standard soil sample as “inexpensive”. In a way, they’re right, the testing is very inexpensive; oftentimes free! As usual, you get what you pay for. What they don’t tell you is you’re getting very little value by taking a conventional soil sample without taking it a step further and conducting biology based testing.
On average, we have found that our clients are wasting an average of $140/acre on the overapplication of synthetic fertilizer (many have saved as high as $300/acre from this service).
For $75.00, your comprehensive Soil Health Test reveals the most important soil health indicators that are ignored by standard soil samples: measurements of your organic nutrient pools, saving you money on the overapplication of fertilizers. We report on 9 characteristics that drive the natural fertility of your soil.
Instead of reporting a number for pH, we look at the drivers of pH (Ca, Al, Fe) and make lime application recommendations from that. Ultimately, we will give you a soil health calculation that will tell you where your soils rank nationally and allow us to work with you to regenerate your soil health. The results will help us recommend the right species and proportion of plants to regenerate your soil health.
Soil sampling, as we know it, is costing food plotters a lot of money and destroying soil health and water quality along the way. How? Conventional soil samples are extremely inaccurate at estimating nutrient requirements such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Recent soil samples from Penn State failed to include results for organic matter! Soil organic matter is the house that microbes live in. Don’t you think the house that holds the soil biology is important to take a look at?! Furthermore, the water extractable organic carbon is the food that soil microbes eat. Why are we ignoring that?!
Our soil health consulting service aims to make fertilizer recommendations by employing biomimicry – mimicking nature in the lab by using water as the extract – because it rains water in nature! – instead of caustic acids used by standard soil testing labs.
When working with consulting clients, we’re always amazed with how state universities are failing them when it comes to helping them manage their nutrient cycling; usually wasting significant amounts of money per acre. When calculated over just two years, many clients can make up for consulting fees simply by becoming more precise in how much fertilizer they apply to produce healthy crops. By the way, it has been estimated that farmers in the U.S. alone are throwing away $Billions of dollars annually, by following standard soil sample recommendations, that could otherwise go toward their bottom line. Many farmers are saving more than $100,000.00 per year on their fertilizer bills without seeing yield declines.
It’s time to change the type of soil testing we do to eliminate the overapplication of expensive, synthetic fertilizers. Conventional soil testing is misleading and destroys soil biology as well as our water systems. Standard soil tests only measure the chemical and physical properties of the soil. If 90% of the nutrient cycle is biological, why do our soil tests ignore the soil biology altogether?
Since our overall goal is soil health, our focus is to help you reduce synthetic fertilizer costs. We fix soil and improve soil health with plants: namely, multispecies biological primers like our Reload series.