The benefits of Bio-Logical Farming
Adopting biological approaches to crop and livestock husbandry brings a number of major benefits to modern agriculture.
Some of the observations attributed to bio-logical farming systems include:-
- Improved soil structure: Achieving the appropriate calcium:magnesium balance for any given soil will optimise soil aggregate formation, leading to the formation of more friable soil structure, better carbon sequestration and more stable soil eco-systems.
Improved root development: Once soil structure improves, micro-biological processes begin to promote soil nutrient status and encourage root development.
- Increased yield potential: Improved soil structure and elevated nutrient levels during crop establishment help to unlock the genetic potential contained within seed.
- Reduced pathogen activity: A combination of better rooting, higher nutrient availability and stronger interaction between plants and beneficial microbes plays a major role in developing plant defence and disease suppression.
- Reduced reliance on NPK: Building better soil structure and actively encouraging soil microbiology increases levels of major and micro-nutrients released from both inherent and applied nutrient sources. In essence, fertilisers work better and soil microbes can further enhance fertiliser performance.
- Better nitrogen use efficiency: Increasing plant root mass and ensuring nutrient deficiencies are corrected, helps plants to make best use of nitrogen. Selecting the right type of nitrogen fertiliser and ensuring accurate, timely application is central to optimising crop performance.
- Better nitrogen conversion and storage: Building soil carbon by cover cropping and reduced cultivation helps to store nitrogen for future cropping. In addition, these practices promote microbial activity that converts unavailable sources of nitrogen into plant food.
- Reduced carbon footprint: As nitrogen fertiliser is the biggest single component of most crop’s carbon footprint, increasing the efficiency of nitrogen fertiliser and optimising nitrogen supply from organic and microbial sources can significantly reduce the environmental impact of food production.
- Improved food quality: Bio-logical farming systems are producing grains, fruit, vegetables, fodder and forage with higher levels of nutrients, anti-oxidants and essential oils, which has a beneficial impact on the health and well-being of anything that eats such fortified food.
- Reduced reliance on chemistry: Although building a fertile soil and feeding a plant or animal well are central to maintaining growth and health, bio-logical farming systems can deploy a wide range of genuine residue-free, non-toxic disease-fighting materials, as and if required, to protect both plants and livestock.
- Increased gross margins: Bio-logical farming systems aim to deliver high quality foods without compromising yields, and by reducing reliance on artificial inputs, the unit cost of production for biologically-produced crops can be reduced.
- Increased farmer satisfaction: Bio-logical farming systems require a high level of commitment, innovation and technical proficiency, and often test resilience to the max, but farming without the support of toxic rescue chemistry, knowing that you are contributing to sustainable food production, improving food security, increasing environmental integrity and safeguarding the health of the nation can be very liberating.