Organic Vs. Conventional Farming: No Clear Answers from Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria Coun

dKoester

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Chesapeake VA
Many places around here are going organic but its also no-till. Conventional destroys way too much biology systems in the soil. These also have to start over. No till farms tend to absorb water way better due to all the channels created by worms and soil structure.
 

Smallaxe

LawnSite Fanatic
What this article is saying is that N fixing bacteria, appear to be more active in low N soils, than in High N soils...

Sounds similar to AMF being less active during after a fresh app of P and more active as accessible P dissapates....

However, I still question their conclusion based on their original observation of a Spring app, but attributing it to the P and not mentioning the N... :)
 

Smallaxe

LawnSite Fanatic
Many places around here are going organic but its also no-till. Conventional destroys way too much biology systems in the soil. These also have to start over. No till farms tend to absorb water way better due to all the channels created by worms and soil structure.
I suppose there are a lot of different ways to look a lot of different soils, but no-till is not a sensible practice in our area. Our soils were built-up by plowing OM into the soil, year after year so that we ended up with a rich soil 8" deep. Next step was to run 'subsoilers' even deeper for lands especially with clay hardpans below.

When no-till is practiced in this area, they find that after a few years there is an obvious depletion of OM and reduced root growth deeper in the soils so they plow it up anyways...

I couldn't tell you if a research paper has been written to back up that statement... Tis observation is done by farmers and is based on the real world experiences, which the Universties will have to experiment with for generations, before they are willing to come to the same conclusion... So I don't expect to hear of any published papers that contradict their religious beliefs about CO2 sequetration and Organic/Sustainable Agriculture...

If this was a legitimate debate, they would address both sides. The strategy instead is to trivialize, demonize and call 'non-believers' ignorant... :)
 

dKoester

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Chesapeake VA
Some people call it top down gardening. No till isn't an overnight thing it takes 3-5 year to start seeing viable results. All plant debris are ground up and spread back over the existing field covering the soil. The plant stubs that stick out of the ground break down all the way to the root and create open channels for oxygen. They are never pulled out of the ground. If soil is exposed to the sun rapid loss of organic material can be expected. This is why no till is important. Trying to copy nature is important here.
 

dKoester

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Chesapeake VA
Some people even have their farms produce brix tested. Only a confident farmer would do that. Many soils are depleted of trace minerals. Some people add Glacial rock dust to their soil to gain nutrition lost from years of farming.
 

Smallaxe

LawnSite Fanatic
I understand the theory and have have seen the soil profiles of a number of different soil types in this area... The idea of rotting corn/bean stalks and roots rotting into the soil and opening up oxygen channels sounds good but it just doesn't work that way... In reality the soil turns into sterile, inorganic, mineral dirt... from the bottom up... and by 3-5 years the evidence is clear...
Perhaps in Illinios and such, where they have 6' of topsoil, it may work, but around here we are building from the base mineral dirt, as do many other places around the world... :)
 

Kiril

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
District 9 CA
I understand the theory and have have seen the soil profiles of a number of different soil types in this area... The idea of rotting corn/bean stalks and roots rotting into the soil and opening up oxygen channels sounds good but it just doesn't work that way... In reality the soil turns into sterile, inorganic, mineral dirt... from the bottom up... and by 3-5 years the evidence is clear...
Perhaps in Illinios and such, where they have 6' of topsoil, it may work, but around here we are building from the base mineral dirt, as do many other places around the world... :)
This is categorically untrue, along with your other post. Where the hell do you come up with this crap? Would you please do your research before you post Axe ..... damn.
 

Smallaxe

LawnSite Fanatic
This is categorically untrue, along with your other post. Where the hell do you come up with this crap? Would you please do your research before you post Axe ..... damn.
I know you don't believe that farmers aren't smart enough to know that their compacting soils with diminishing SOM should be cultivated to move the plant debris underground, but everyone that has tried no-till went back to cultivation after about 3 years... at least around here... I'm only speaking of the experience around here... I don't claim that one size fits all...

funny thing about real-life farmers is that they need to survive after investing their own time and resources... academia does not, but they talk crap the loudest becuz the use the magic word... research... :laugh:
 

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