Healthier crops, less sprays

mycorrhiza-1p1000825

The wightish areas just off center, upper left are patches of mycorrhizae, just visible to the naked eye. These are the fundamental clue to soil fertility and healthy crops.

 

Closed Loop 6. Organic matter up, crop disease down.

Looking back at this blog entry of 31August 2016 and organic-based soils, we mentioned the closed conduit of the soil fungi, mycorrhiza, feeding at one end of their hyphae on the soil organic matter and the other end either crossing the root hair wall into the plant, or wrapping round the root hair like the placenta of a mammal.  Many of these mycorrhizae have probiotic effects, some have anti-biotic.  Some even have the ability to take nutrients out of one plant, hopefully a weed, and transport it into another, hopefully the crop.  Nearly always, increasing organic matter will reduce crop disease and expenditure on pesticides but it may take several years of higher soil organic matter for the soil biological activity to deliver that. Also see click.

Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 13 October 2016