How To Transition Away From Synthetic Inputs (Without Losing Productivity)
If we can take one lesson from the recent agriculture crisis in Sri Lanka, it’s how NOT to transition to a natural farming model.
… and that’s by immediately stopping the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticide imports without exception.
It’s no secret that here at Microstart we’re a huge advocate of building soil health to the point where no synthetic intervention is necessary to maintain health, productivity and profitability.
However, this does not mean that we believe or recommend every farmer should simply stop using synthetic inputs as soon as they decide they want to make the shift towards a more natural, sustainable and less expensive way of farming.
As far as going “organic” is concerned, stopping all synthetic inputs and doing nothing at all is probably the worst approach you can take if productivity is of any importance...
As the soil needs all the support it can get to recover and build the essential soil biology that is required for natural productivity.
And this takes time and commitment.
The right course of action depends on many factors, including the condition of the soil and the amount of productivity required during the transition.
With cropping and dairy farms, for example, there will often be a transition period where soil biology is restored alongside a continued, decreasing use of synthetic inputs to ensure there won’t be a huge dip in productivity.
However, most livestock farmers can switch to something like our Liquid Microbe Agriculture Mix right away and won’t see much of a drop in productivity at all (some will even see a slight increase) due to the included natural stimulants that boost short-term growth, yet aren’t detrimental to soil health.
Also, when beneficial soil biology is introduced, it’s common for the nutrient density of the plant to increase dramatically within the following weeks and months. This can be confirmed by pastures taking on a deeper shade of green, as well as livestock spending more time resting and less time grazing (due to being more satiated from pasture with more nutrient density).
What this means is that you are now growing higher quality pasture, even if the perceived quantity doesn’t show a significant increase right away.
This increase in plant goodness can also be confirmed quantitatively by taking a reading of Brix levels.
But again, the ideal “transition” strategy all depends on the current state of the soil, its productivity requirements, and how “addicted” it is to synthetic inputs.
Some farms need a longer transition than others so that the soil has enough time to restore its health and natural productive ability.
The great thing about restoring even a small percentage of healthy soil biology is that synthetic inputs will begin to be much more effective, as said soil biology will help to break down and utilise the inputs much more efficiently.
For example, years ago farmers could grow with ½ bag super to the acre (50kg/HA), but then it become a bag (100kg/HA) for the same yield, and then a more expensive blend was required… And so on and so forth.
Does this pattern sound familiar?
The reason this happens is because the biology in the soil is being killed off and starved with every bag of super added, decreasing the soil’s capacity to break down and utilise synthetic inputs in the future.
When we restore the soil biology, this pattern tends to reverse. Allowing you to get more bang for your buck if/when you decide to use synthetic inputs.
If you want to learn more about the right way to get started restoring your soil biology and transitioning away from synthetics, we recommend you download our free information book, The Biological Farming Revolution.
This book reveals the root cause behind all pasture health and productivity issues, and what you can do to begin restoring the essential soil biology that will make farming more profitable, productive and sustainable while improving with time and becoming easier to manage (instead of more difficult).
Remember, moving away from synthetic inputs isn’t as simple as stopping all use and hoping for the best. To do it effectively, you need a well-thought-out strategy that takes into account your individual situation and requirements.
If you would like advice on your specific situation and how best to manage the transition period, feel free to give us a call during business hours on (08) 8233 0804.
To your naturally thriving farm,
Darren & Ryan Kuchel
You can also click here to learn more about our Liquid Microbe Ag Mix, our 100% natural foliate that restores the essential biology in your soil.
Liquid Microbe Agriculture Mix
Our Liquid Microbe Agriculture Mix is a biological pasture application designed to rapidly restore the essential soil biology in virtually any soil so that it becomes the healthiest, most productive, profitable and self-sustaining it’s ever been while also kick-starting productivity with a combination of potent natural fertilisers.
We offer this mix in 1000L IBCs, treating 100 acres (approx 40 HA) per IBC, with freight across Australia.
With the guidance of world-renowned soil biologist Dr Mary Cole from Agpath (www.agpath.com.au) we’ve developed this biological application to be suitable for livestock, dairy and crop farmers all across Australia. We make specific adjustments to each mix based on soil type, pasture type, location and farming practices in order to deliver the best results for each specific farm we treat.
We create this Agriculture Mix to be the most complete and fastest way to start cultivating the essential biology your soil requires for healthier, more productive and self-sustaining pastures.
By deciding to farm biologically with our Liquid Microbe Agriculture Mix, farmers are able to quickly replace the need for any and all synthetic fertilisers and chemical forms of pest, disease and weed control that continually degrades the quality of their soil.