Building Soil Health for Healthy Plants by soil scientist Dr. Elaine Ingham

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A revolution in our understanding of soil has been taking place.

“Conventional” agriculture requires ever-increasing inputs and energy into the system to maintain production, while natural systems reduce the disturbances in the system, while increasing production.

Historically, soil science ignored or dismissed soil life as important, in large part because the methods used to study organisms in soil were mis-leading, inaccurate and missed about 99% or more of the species present in soil.

With the advent of microscope methods and genetic assessment of soil life, we are beginning to unravel the mysteries of the soil. A framework to help growers easily understand the differing specific sets of beneficial organisms required for healthy growth of different types of plants will be presented.

Understanding soil life is critical if we want to be sustainable; we need to work with nature, instead of waging war on natural laws as we do in our agricultural systems, to the detriment of people and the planet.

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