We receive many queries from around the world on a weekly basis and I sometimes have the opportunity to check out the responses from our technical team. Steve Capeness is my talented co-presenter at seminars around the world. He is also our Sales Manager and an accomplished biological agronomist. I have decided to include some of Steve’s comprehensive responses to questions in Nutrition Matters, as they can also serve to educate our readers. This is the first of what will become a regular feature. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Nutrient Strategies’ Category
I often describe the home vegetable garden as the ultimate wellness tool because it can provide fresh, chemical-free, nutrient-dense food that is often not readily available elsewhere. It is a primary tool that allows the reclaiming of responsibility for our own health because we now control a major source of our food.
Minerals, microbes and humus are the drivers of healthy vegetable production, but there is another factor that can increase the medicinal value of our food. This factor is often overlooked in the nutrition equation, but it can make a real difference. The vast majority of commercial vegetable seedlings and seeds are now hybridised and, while this might increase profit for seed merchants, it is not necessarily a benefit for consumers.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Proteins are intimately involved in plant structure, enzymes and nutrient transfer and they are usually produced by the plant from nitrogen. This in an energy intensive process that is dependent upon a good balance of microbes and minerals. In this context, it is much more efficient if the 20 amino acids involved can be directly delivered rather than manufactured. Any energy sparing strategy is always beneficial but direct delivery of amino acids also serves to bypass the limitations of poor soil health. In short, soil problems are less limiting when you provide aminos for your crop. (more…)
There is one mechanism in your soil that has more impact on production, sustainability and profitability than any other. If you get it right you will have better soil structure, higher production, enhanced crop quality and reduced need for expensive, chemical intervention. “What is this magic bullet?”, I hear you say “and how can I access it?”, well this one doesn’t come from a bag or bottle. I am talking about the most important process in agriculture – it is called gas exchange. (more…)
A few weeks back, while having my hair cut at a local salon, I was asked about my profession. I said that I taught farmers around the world how to grow with less need for chemicals. I explained that I was constantly researching the links between soil health and human health, with an emphasis upon the importance of nutrient-dense food. The hairdresser responded, “what has the soil got to do with food?” Oh my goodness! Where do I start? (more…)
Following my recent address to a crowd of climate change activists on the steps of City Hall in LA, I was flooded with urgent enquiries about the spelling of a word I had used several times during my presentation. I immediately assumed that word was “mycorrhizal”, as this truly is a spelling bee special. To my amazement, the mystery word was “humus” and I was shocked to realise that my uncommon passion for this wonderful substance was just that. It was horrifying to realise how disconnected from the source of our food many of us have become. I was dumbstruck to think that the very life blood of our planet could remain anonymous. (more…)
Trace minerals were once genuinely considered as “minor” minerals because their measurable presence in the plant was so minute. However, these minerals are now recognised as spark plugs that trigger numerous plant processes and their absence can be as costly as the lack of any of the major minerals. We have conducted thousands of tissue tests from around the globe and trace mineral deficiencies are universal. A high analysis blend of all seven chelated trace minerals has a huge role to play in all growing enterprises. (more…)
Mauritius is a sugar cane-draped, island nation off the coast of Africa, suffering from a modern malaise. The 45,000 small producers who grow the fresh produce for the 1.4 million inhabitants of the island are using more acid/salt fertilisers each season and applying more farm chemicals each year, with less and less response. This mirrors the global unsustainability of conventional agriculture, where more chemicals are used every year but every year there is an actual increase in pest and disease pressure. (more…)
NTS Soil Therapy is an in-depth, soil analysis and nutrition programming service that has been the mainstay of NTS agronomy for the past 18 years. The easy-to-understand, Soil Therapy reports ensure that growers are able to understand their mineral requirements in relation to balance and there are priority guidelines which can help in budget-related decision making. Until recently we have offered a Prescription Blend service but this usually involves base materials like lime and gypsum and these are often more cost-effective sourced locally. Now, you are simply advised what will be most productive and encouraged to address any requirements utilising the most cost-effective local materials. (more…)
A trace mineral deficiency can affect yield, disease protection, weed pressure, nodulation, reproduction or chlorophyll density and any of these will impact upon your profitability. Here are some guidelines that may help you in the management of trace mineral nutrition (more…)