SOILTECH's standard operating procedure, should a farmer wish to join our programme:
Soiltech programmes not only consider the soil as a growth medium, but recognize the soil itself as a living diverse biological ecosystem that assists the plant in mineralizing nutrients for maximum growth. A living soil also plays an integral role in the “biological war" against pathogenic disease-causing organisms. The following steps would therefore entail a Soiltech programme:
• SOIL SAMPLE: This is where it all starts and it is imperative that an accurate and representative soil sample from the prospective field is collected. (Discuss the proper procedures with your SOILTECH representative)
• SOIL LABORATORY: All soil samples are being sent directly to "Perry Agricultural Laboratory” in the U.S.A – where they are analyzed according to Prof. William Albrecht's model and recommendations on how to correct the soil’s balance are done by the offices of Kinsey Ag Services, Inc. (Neal Kinsey).
• SOIL BALANCING: In contradiction with conventional fertilizing programs that keep extraction figures of the crop in mind, the Albrecht based program aims to get the percentages of the various nutritional elements (macro and micro elements) in the soil as close as possible to the proposed Albrecht values, which has proven time and again through experience that if these values can be achieved, it will lead to maximum soil fertility. Therefore this means that basically the "soil is fed", which in turn will "feed the plant”. Conventional "bottle feeding" of the plant is replaced by striving to achieve a highly fertile soil where the plant, even under less favourable conditions, can also obtain the necessary nutrients so that maximum yields can be achieved.
• SOIL FOOD WEB: The establishment and stimulation of an active, diverse soil life is of utmost importance and forms the heart of all Soiltech programmes. The medium used to address this important point is high quality, Actively Aerated Compost Tea. The base of the Compost Tea is formed by a mixture of highly specific composts, which is solely and carefully produced for this purpose. These beneficial micro-organisms in the compost are increased by a self-developed bioreactor over a period of 18 – 24 hours. During the process, a custom blend of “microbial foods” is used; that experience has proven provides highly effective results.
• MICRO-ORGANISM FEEDING PROGRAMMES: Most of today's agricultural soils are so depleted that they cannot provide sufficient maintenance to the soil life. Thus it is critical that the microbes that are placed in the soil with such care should also be given a ready supply of nutritional sources along with the proper use of tillage tools and methods to enhance soil life. Soiltech uses different mixtures that have been developed from personal experience over the past years in close cooperation with a carefully selected range of products that are highly beneficial to specific micro-organisms e.g. fish emulsion, fish hydrolysate, kelp, amino, humic and fulvic acids etc.
• ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PEST – and DISEASE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMES: Soiltech has a range of more than 15 different monocultures and mixtures of beneficial micro organisms that are already very effectively incorporated into our biologically orientated pest and disease control programmes. If a farmer so prefers, these organisms have proven to go a long way towards organically protecting growing crops against pests and diseases.
Soiltech however normally suggests to the farmer an integrated route, where the biology is used as a primary tool to combat diseases and pests. However, should the farmer feel that a disease or pest is getting the upper hand, Soiltech would recommend using an appropriate “soft” chemical to do a cleanup, and thereafter we will come back within 3 - 4 days to rebuild the correct soil or foliar biology. By applying this mindset we have several times managed to eliminate 70% or more of conventional chemical spray programs on crops such as tomatoes.
Biological nematode control is integrated very effectively into our programs by using a mixture of six different micro organisms. As examples of how this Soiltech program works to combat the problem, some of the fungi used form traps by means of loops, while others can form sticky nets or sticky spores. Other fungi specifically parasitize the eggs of the nematodes, while some bacteria live off of the chitin of the eggs and young larvae. Speak to your Soiltech representative in this regard should you desire more information.
CROPS: Soiltech focuses on creating healthy, fertile soils regardless of the crop being grown. Although there may be small differences between programs, the basic principles are applied in all programs. These principles have already been applied to a multitude of crops and there is no reason indicating that it could not effectively be used on all crops. Just to mention a few of the crops where Soiltech-thinking has already proved itself successful are: Potatoes, Butternut, Sweet Peppers, Chili, Onions, Carrots, Tomato, Beetroot, Lettuce, Cabbage, Corn, `Wheat, Sugarcane, Bananas, Litchis, Citrus and Dairy-grazing.
If what you have previously been doing is no longer working for you on the farm (as many farmers have already pointed out to us) - talk to us, we have the solutions to making farming exciting once again.