Many of our modern soil and plant systems are affected by an increasing burden from pests and disease, and to a significant degree soil managers report that many of our soil and plant systems also seem less able to cope and adapt to climatic variability.
Many believe that the frequency and severity of pest and disease infestations has been on the increase for some time, and there are also those who believe that todays chemical treatments/options are much less effective than they were previously.
Today however, there is a multitude of products to help adjust nutrition, modify the physical properties of soil or treat the effects of pests and disease, so why are these pressures increasing and control measures less than effective?
Put simply, we have underestimated the enormous pressure and damage that these products and practices place on what is a finely balanced biological system. We also need to understand that these many tools and techniques (including pesticides,fertilizers, and cultivation practices) only deal with the symptoms of more complex issues.
So you can cultivate or aerate to improve Oxygen levels or soil structure, but unless you address what is causing the loss of soil structure, things will quickly revert to their current state. Similarly you can spray pesticides until your bank account runs dry, but if you haven't addressed the imbalance that is behind the problem, then the pests and disease will just keep coming back time and again.
Not only is this plethora of products and practices damaging the soil/plant interface, any benefit you may extract from them tends to be short lived (in fact shorter and shorter lived in most situations).
It's not until we begin to treat the underlying causes of our problems (rather than just treating the symptoms), that the cycle of diseases, pests, compaction, Carbon loss, nutrient inefficiency and so on is able to be gradually reduced and the system restored.
To make genuine progress towards eliminating these issues you need to begin a process of building and restoring the soils' natural fertility, resilience and balance, which in turn will optimise plant health and productivity.
Soilsmart manufacture and supply a unique range of organic & biologically based products, that enable you to address the causes of these soil based management issues, by building and restoring the biological and mineral balance the soil needs to remain productive in the longer term.
This balancing approach enhances the health and productivity of plants grown in a wide variety of circumstances and it allows us to genuinely work towards remediating the underlying causes of soil decline and poor plant health.
- Grow stronger, healthier, more resilient plants.
- Reduce the frequency and severity of disease events.
- Build and maintain a natural defensive network against disease & pests.
- Increase Organic Carbon and Cation Exchange Capacity in the soil.
- Build and improve soil structure and water use efficiency.
- Optimise soil nutrition, fertilizer efficiency & the retention of nutrients.
- Reduce the need for plant protection chemicals and their associated risks.
Achieving a better balance at the soil/plant interface has far-reaching benefits in terms of reducing the pressure from disease and insect pests - benefits which result from building resilience and adaptability in both the soil and plants.
In fact optimal plant health is governed by the efficiency which plants can convert sunlight into sugars and carbohydrates, and extract nutrients and moisture from the soil - tasks which work best when the appropriate balance of both minerals and beneficial microbes are present in the soil.
A well balanced soil has long term economic and environmental benefits as well, because by reducing the incidence of pests and disease we also reduce the need for chemical inputs. In fact plants grown in well balanced soils typically have higher sugar levels and are stronger and more resilient against pests and disease - (insects don’t like plants with high sugar levels)
Biologically active soils are also typified by good soil structure, ensuring adequate Oxygen levels in the root zone as well as increasing water use efficiency. Nutrients are retained in the root zone longer, making them more available to plant roots and reducing environmental losses from leaching.
Improving soil balance will also ensure you get the maximum value from fertilizer additions, an issue of increasing importance with the cost of most chemically based inputs linked to diminishing oil reserves. In fact there has never been a better time to implement management strategies that ensure your soil is well balanced, capable of adapting to changes in climatic conditions and able to use artificial fertilizers and chemical inputs as efficiently as possible.
Our Changing Soils
Rebuilding Soil Balance
Defending Against Pests & Disease