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…)
Posts Tagged ‘sustainable agriculture’
The first leg of my recently completed seminar tour of North America involved my first visit to Canada. We visited Toronto to deliver our Four Day Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture followed by a field day designed to demonstrate biological principles in action. Attendees included large scale cash croppers, Mennonite farmers, permaculturists, consultants and agronomists. The questions flowed like wine and Joel Williams (my co-presenter) and I found it more difficult than usual to stick to the schedule. The Canadians, however, proved to be a warm, intelligent bunch and we thoroughly enjoyed the sharing. (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…)
I was recently asked to do a presentation for the Australian version of TED.com. These talks represent an opportunity to share important ideas with the world. Last year TED talks achieved over one billion views, so it can be a remarkable tool to sponsor change.
I chose to speak about an issue of unparalleled importance at this point in time – the role of farmers in literally saving the planet. The presentation called ‘Humus Saves The World‘, offers a range of proactive strategies that allows everyone the opportunity to replace apathy with action in this most important of issues.
This week the planet reached a milestone where carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400ppm for the first time in 3 million years. This talk is a desperate call to action and I am hopeful that you might decide to share this message with as many people as possible within your network. This is important because if the video receives enough views, it will attract the attention of those that make the decisions about expanding the coverage to the main TED website. If you can find the small amount of time to watch this presentation, I am sure you will agree that the message is so urgent, that it needs to get out there. Sharing this it will help. Thank you.
Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/8Q1VnwcpW7E
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…)
These past months, in my travels around the globe, I have witnessed an increased hunger for change, where food producers are reconsidering their impact upon soil, plant, animal, human and planetary health. Food production has always been the single most important profession and now farmers seem to be increasingly recognising the importance of their role and the far reaching implications of their decisions. In this article, I will consider some of the key factors driving this change. (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…)
During my recent visit to New Zealand, I encountered a frightening scenario where the entire Kiwifruit industry was seriously impacted by a virulent bacterial pathogen not unlike the citrus canker that threatened the Australian citrus industry a few years ago. I offered my help based upon almost twenty years of problem solving experience in diverse crops around the globe. In the process of developing an integrated program for this industry I realised that the principles are relevant to all crops and should be shared with our ‘Nutrition Matters” readers. (more…)
The New Zealand kiwifruit industry is in serious trouble as growers battle the rapid spread of Psa, a bacterial canker disease that has seriously impacted most of the kiwifruit growing regions in the world. 52% of the NZ industry has now been affected and all efforts to halt the virulent disease have proved unsuccessful at this point. Graeme Sait, CEO of leading biological company, Nutri-Tech Solutions (NTS), recently returned from New Zealand where he has been consulting with growers and the key industry body, Zespri, to expand the resistance effort. (more…)