1. What is HealthySoil? What do you do?
HealthySoil manufactures organically-based products that improve soil health, which enables our customers to significantly reduce their use of water and synthetic inputs while also improving crop quality and yield.
HealthySoil is unique because it enables customers to achieve a significant return on investment (ROI) in the form of input cost savings.
HealthySoil also improves crop quality / plant health and yield, is safe/non-toxic, and provides a long-term solution to sustainable land management.
2. How does HealthySoil improve soil health?
HealthySoil offers a three-step process:
(1) Conditions the soil
(2) Introduces diverse, high-quality microorganisms
(3) Provides adequate nutrition to the soil to ensure colonization of microorganisms
3. What makes HealthySoil different from other biological programs currently available to growers?
HealthySoil is substantially different than other "biological" programs in the market:
- HealthySoil offers a highly-diverse and active biological inoculate containing populations of bacteria, protozoa, fungi and beneficial nematodes.
- HealthySoil enhances the value of its inoculate by combining it with an aggressive soil conditioning regime and a nutritional component.
- HealthySoil applications (which average 20 gallons per acre) provide a comprehensive approach to soil management. HealthySoil is an integrated system that addresses a wide range of soil and plant health issues; unlike the competition, the HealthySoil system is not a single product directed towards a single issue. HealthySoil offers a progressive approach to building soil health.
4. Doesn't fumigation destroy the benefits of HealthySoil?
Fumigation does kill the microbial populations in the soil, however the HealthySoil program restores beneficial species to the soil and promotes their development to form a healthy and robust 'soil foodweb.' Soil treated with the HealthySoil program prior to fumigation will continue to receive the physical benefits of pre-fumigation treatments. Although the microbial populations in the soil will be upset at the time of fuming, the improvements to aggregate structure will remain. If the field is re-treated with the HealthySoil program, the new microorganisms will quickly and effectively move into the spaces in the soil and utilize the resources left behind.
As the restriction of methyl bromide increases, HealthySoil provides growers with a soil management alternative that offsets pest pressures caused by monoculture.
5. Don't the indigenous microbe species eventually establish in the soil? How does HealthySoil know which species are "right" for the soil at any given location?
The ultimate goal is to establish a healthy and diverse population of soil species indigenous to the area of production. HealthySoil focuses on establishing microbial diversity vs. establishing a single species. When presented with the proper resources, soil has an ability to self-organize to reach its optimal potential. As a result, the species that survive and persist in the soil will become the indigenous species.
6. HealthySoil focuses on developing a healthy root system – but how do roots play a role in increasing profits?
Having a healthy root system improves plant nutrition, plant health, water infiltration and nutrient retention / recycling. Healthy roots also establish the production potential for the plant. Exudates from the root system feed beneficial microorganisms in the rhyzosphere. All of these factors have a direct impact on profits.
7. How does HealthySoil deal with food safety issues?
Since 2002, HealthySoil has implemented a companywide policy to NOT use any animal manure in its products or in the production of its products. As a result, HealthySoil has been cleared through third party laboratories to be free of E. coli, salmonella and other harmful human pathogens. HealthySoil will gladly provide certification upon request. Further, all organic materials are compliant to the National Organics Program (NOP) and are registered CDFA Organic Input Material (OIM).
8. What kind of testing and analysis does HealthySoil offer?
HealthySoil initiates routine soil testing for its customers to measure soil improvements and to monitor the biological, nutritional and physical needs of the soil.
Testing generally includes the following assays:
- Agricultural Suitability Analysis (includes chemical and physical characterization of the soil)
- Irrigation Water Suitability
- Biological Soil Analysis
- Plant Tissue Analysis
Through frequent testing, HealthySoil staff are able to asses nutrient deficiencies and suitability as well as physical limitations of the soil. HealthySoil formulations are designed and adapted to ensure optimal results for the specific properties of your ranch.
9. How does HealthySoil reduce my costs?
As HealthySoil improves soil health, input efficiency improves and growers are able to limit their use of inputs with no adverse affect on crop production or quality.
HealthySoil does not replace existing fertility programs but can significantly reduce the seasonal use of fertilizer and pesticides. These cost savings (accompanied by increases in production) cover the cost of the program and increase profits to the grower.
Healthy Soil = Healthy Plants = Healthy Profits.
10. How does HealthySoil suppress disease?
HealthySoil creates healthy plants and beneficial soil microorganisms that naturally produce antibiotics and inhibitory compounds; this prevents pathogen and pest growth.
When plants are healthy, they are able to out-compete soil pathogens for food resources and for space. A healthy plant with beneficial soil microorganisms that physically occupy infection sites on the root surface are much less vulnerable to disease.