Originally posted on advancingecoag.com
Written by John Kempf
Optimal Nutrition Enables Advanced Function in Plants
As soils and crops transition with regenerative farming practices, they pass through stages of increasingly better health. The progression to better health restores the natural and biological abilities of the plant and soil system. During this process, plants will demonstrate increasing immunity to soil and airborne pathogens, better resistance to insects, improved production of lipids leading to stronger cell membranes for tastier fruit with better shelf life, and more.
Levels one and two of plant health are purely a function of nutritional integrity and are usually not difficult to achieve with most crops and most soils, especially when we have the opportunity to use foliar applications of plant nutritional supplements. On most crops, we usually expect to reach level one and level two in the first 3-4 months.
Levels 3 and 4 are not as straightforward to accomplish as the first two levels. In order to get to level 3, it is imperative that we have a healthy, vigorous soil digestive system capable of providing a majority of the plant’s nutritional requirements. Without this microbial digestive process in place, the plants will never have the surplus energy required to achieve high levels of lipid production and energy storage.
In the first two levels of the Plant Health Pyramid™, changes are taking place in the plant chemistry. The third and fourth stages involve changes in biology and are only achieved through regenerative agriculture.