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Logo of AdAgrA 2018: Something Better

What is Soil?

Michael Trevizo


An introduction to soil organic matter, the soil food web and how microorganisms metabolize organic matter. 


Farmer, Agricultural Reformer, Production Manager at Five College Farms, & Soil Scientist with a focus on Soil Science and Agronomy; Education: Bacherlor of Science in Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University.



  • January 18, 2018
    10:45 AM


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So this morning I titled this lecture Jesus The First soil scientist what is soil is the main topic and the reason why I said Jesus the first of all scientists is because some of you may be familiar with the some of the visions that Ellen White received from essentially from Jesus explaining to her how she should plant fruit trees and explaining to her what soils were best for vegetable production and some of the things that a lot of us in the agricultural community still don't understand is how the mineralogy in soils really dictates the nutrient capacity of the crops that are going to be grown in the soil there is an industry that understands very well in the industry that understand this is the the vineyard industries Unfortunately it's the industries that take those fruits that are so delicious and convert them into alcohols and fermentation and sell it to you at forty dollars a bottle those industries make a lot of money and in those industries where the most talent in the agricultural industry goes unfortunately but. You can turn to I believe this ministry of healing and written statements concerning. Some of the work that Satan would really seek to do in the last days and taking the fruit in the other things in the land and actually ferment thing it and increasing the consumption of alcoholic and toxic aging beverages in the world in the last days so I believe a lot of those things but I want to really focus on what is soil and Jesus The First soil scientists ought to start I like to show you this slide right here we are headed for the perfect storm and this is not something that I made up this is something that was shared to me at the university and what this is is that today we have over seven billion we're rapidly approaching eight billion souls on this planet there's a lot of mouths to feed there's a lot of hungry people everywhere thirty percent of. The water in the there's going to be a thirty percent increase in water demand by two thousand and thirty and this was going from two thousand and fifteen standards so we're expected to have an increase in water supply where does our water come from that come from soils we have a fifty percent increase in food demand by two thousand and thirty and where does the food come from it comes from our soils we have fifty percent increase in energy demand where does the majority of our energy come from it comes from soils so again when we start considering soils we see that the majority of our consumption in our use comes from soil so we've got to ask the question what is soil before I start I want to take a couple want to show a few things here first off this is fifteen hundred roughly that about five over five hundred years ago. United eventually made a quote we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot here we are five hundred years later and that statement remains the same with over ninety nine percent of the microbiology in soils has yet to be studied in any way scientifically we've only studied less than half a percent all our antibiotics came from organisms in the soil consider that another man you may know Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the one nine hundred forty S. during the Dust Bowl in the Great Depression made the statement a nation that destroys its soils destroys itself and this is very interesting because we have almost entirely destroyed the land of milk and honey that the Lord has given to those who are seeking the persecution to avoid persecution another statement by Lewis Brumfield some of you may know who he is he was a man that was very instrumental in starting the organic movement he said soil is the fundamental an ultimate basis of wealth of every nation when we look at gross domestic product of nations what makes nations most profitable is its agricultural production. So I can take that into consideration we're going to start with what is soil we're going to start with Master horizons a lot of folks don't know when I say horizons what that means so when we look at Horizons you have multiple horizons not every soil has every single one of these horizons but the first horizon that you would see is mostly Is that all horizons of the surface are isn't made of organic matter and this horizon is usually only attributed to jungles and forest where you have a lot of litter decay on the surface of the soil in agro ecosystems you will not usually find this with the exception of some of your mulches and things he would throw on top but we don't usually call that the oher arising because that is actually due to human enrichment then there's a horizon this is essential what most people call topsoil the surface horizon is a mixture of the minerals that are the parent material that has mineralize in that soil. And also the organic matter is usually high in organic matter but not all soils are high have a horizon that is high in organic matter but you and usually when you see that what you're essentially saying is that you don't have an a horizon so and the Midwest where the corn belt is was an area that of the country that had very high organic matter it's referred to as. A Moloch at the pet on our Amala SOL because that means it's high in organic matter we have with over the hundred last hundred two hundred fifty years we have taken our son topsoil from about three feet or so down to about a foot in some places we have eroded significantly that topsoil and that land is never going to produce the way it used to produce that's rather unfortunate because that's where some of our highest production used to come from when we had the e horizon which is the subsurface horizon its light and color due to leeching what this is a horizon that usually is associated with leeching of nutrients from the upper horizons down to the lower horizons and we call that elude the Asian and this is usually seen in areas of high perspicacious So if you're in deserts in other areas climates you won't see this but you sometimes see this in the south east particularly were high rain falls in the tropical regions and of course this is represented as white in the screen because you usually see this white coloration to soils when you start digging a pit and looking at that. Then there's the B. horizon is the subsurface horizon this is where you oftentimes find Clay a humiliation when Clay is very small it moves through the soil horizons and it goes down. To the lower horizons and this is referred to as Clay accumulation or alleviation of processes and then beneath that is the substrate them which is the least weathered and deepest of all the soil horizons and this is usually made up of fractured parent material which is in other words fractured bedrock so usually this is pretty deep but in some cases it's not depending on soils some souls are very weathered and that you and you won't experience that this is a cutaway image of what that would look like not again not every soil has all five horizons most oils don't have an over rise and a lot of soils have lost their a horizon. And most agro ecosystems we have completely destroyed the horizon do through. Erroneous agricultural practices but particularly the last couple hundred years and then of course you see the B. horizon the sea horizon and you get down to bedrock and this is gives you a nice idea of what that looks like so I'm going to shift gears here we're going to go mostly to the a horizon we're going to start looking at. What is this surface of the soil for you've probably seen this maybe some of us have seen this image before but. What we have here is that you have usually on average a fifty percent poor space in any given soil it doesn't matter how how good or bad or unhealthy or that soul may be it averages fifty percent poor space what that or what is in that poor space is going to be a mixture of air and water and that's what usually dictates some of the health of that soil the other fifty percent of that soil is you would desire to have a forty forty five percent roughly of minerals which would eventually come from whether bedrock and five percent organic matter now that five percent organic matter may seem insignificant in the overall pie chart here because we're talking about ninety five percent of the soil is consumed with air water and minerals the other five percent is organic matter however that five percent is the most important of the entire pie chart you see here. The soil and air component I'm going to start with the soil sorry I'm going to start with the air which I see as well well I don't think it's necessarily the least important but it's usually gets the least attention high spatial variability in high temperature variability high moisture content usually about one hundred percent in this area humidity high C O two content and low oxygen content you have a lot of gas exchange here which which regulates metabolic processes in microbial activity you really want to take into consideration your soil moisture in your air Your percent air in your soils when you start considering what metabolic processes are happening there so oil water component the water component is relatively important because this is where what you would most of us scientists would refer to as soil solution and what this is is all the mineralogy and any exit dates from the plants and microorganisms that goes into the soil solution alternately will go into the plants when the plant transpires and it moves these nutrients through the plant what that consists of is your nutrition what is what is essentially the plant SAP I spoke about that yesterday that's the health of that plant we were really want to focus on making very healthy soil solution which is a mixture of different nutrients the mineral component is makes up less than fifty percent of the volume of the soil varies in chemical composition and contains particles several sizes ranges from clays silt or or sand and also rocks and other things that maybe maybe in their contained. There's the mineralogy that is in there is actually comes from your parent material so if you want to understanding of what minerals are going to be in your soil for example calcium potassium etc You need to understand what is your parent material is that basalt meccas is a potassium Fell's bars what is it and when you understand what the mineralogy of that parent material is then you can guess as to what nutrients are going to weather and be an excess in your soil and you're going to constantly have to be working to manage those. Now we're going to get into organic matter this is a small portion but. Weight wise but it's very important is made up of a partially decomposed plant matter animal and microbial residues plus living organisms and is really were a lot of the I guess you could say a lot of the magic happens and the organic matter. This is an image of the United States of the a percent organic Well this is actually not pursuing percent but it is showing organic matter in areas where it's low areas where it's high so you can look at where you're from where federal body here is from all over the world but are all over the country at least and some of you are coming from outside of the United States but you look at the United States and you see Iowa and. Minnesota up there how dark they are. That used to be that was that probably still is for the most part high organic matter the Pacific northwest of the same way doesn't come up quite as dark on the projection here as it does on the computer but you see that those are the areas with high organic matters you start looking at the soils down south and you see in the particularly what we call it the south but it's really the southeast when you look at it at a map you notice that there's very little organic matter there these are areas where temperatures usually are above freezing most of the winter and the rainfall is high so what you see is a lot of leeching of nutrients coming out of the soil profiles you look to the north east in the north east what we call now New England used to be very high in organic matter and a lot of those forest used to produce very well but with were going on four hundred years now of ploughing these sort of these fields we burned up most of that organic matter it's not there anymore and we are essentially doing what we have already done to New England what we're doing to the Midwest when we look to the Pacific Northwest you see some really rich areas in the coastal Pacific Northwest but as you move inland you come with you know passing a lot of the same problems that you have in the Southwest except that the ground freezes and that slows down the metabolic processes of organic matter so you have some build up there when you look at California in the southwest there's practically nothing out there. So growing in those soils are probably the toughest As far as again it matters concerned. So functions of organic matter received a lot of respect you'll hear over and over and over again when you go to a lot of different classes from the U.S.D.A. from your university extentions they talk a lot about organic matter when you go to Atropos or share or any of the U.S.D.A. organic sponsored classes or any actor is actually not U.S.D.A. sponsored It's independent but when they hold their training classes they talk a lot about organic matter when you consider some of the first like Rodel and. Who was the other one Steiner and. Many of the early advocates for agriculture their big reason why it was called organic is because they turned to organic matter and they paid organic matter a lot of attention that's where the word organic came from and that's how you ended up with organic agriculture organic organic matter in the soil really is important it glues together the soil particles that control soil erosion it helps control the loss of moisture it helps to regulate different biological processes that it is essentially where the majority of your nutrients are coming from from your plants it's essential it's the decay of last year's crop that is making nutrients available to this year's crop. A lot of food and energy for so it's of course it's food and energy for soil organisms as well as the plants that are in that soil I'm going to talk a little bit now about. Relative soil particle sizes now a lot of you have said. Heard these terms of my farmer my gardener etc is is a clay soil or is alone soil or is a sandy soil or maybe it's a silt loam or a clay loam and you hear these words kind of thrown around so I'm going to try to find what those are for you here and before I go there the first thing I want to do is get you to understand the difference between sand silt and clay on a dimensional aspect so we're looking out to the left you have just a piece of gravel a small piece gravel it's about two millimeters in size. I think most of you can envision in your hand in your head what a gravel would look like silt is half that much I'm sorry sand is half that much silt is just a dot on that thing you can barely even see it and Clay it's invisible to the naked eye you would need to see it with a microscope to see that. So we can see how Clay is so much smaller than silt and sand and gravel and but Clay is the not the most but probably the second most important aspect because it is responsible for carry on exchange capacity as well as organic matter organic matter has humus in it and humus is usually the humus fraction of your soil is usually has a higher percentage of the responsible for the higher percentage of carry on exchange capacity in your soil than the clay that's in your soil so when you're working with sandy soils that have very low exchange capacity as you can you can see the sand is much larger than the clay does not have the capacity to hold those cattle ions in your soil. And you really need to start thinking about how you're going to manage organic matter to increase the human's content in that soil so that you can increase the cat on exchange capacity that soil which is essentially is the nutrients holding capacity of your soil so when you're dealing with sandy soils you really got to give it some more respect now this is what I was talking about here somebody says I got a cell phone what does that mean or you read online maybe I'll go to Web Sol serving your pull up a report on your farm or your or your garden or a particular piece of property that you have and you want to understand what it says this soil is a silt loam What does that mean well if you look at this poll this triangular shark here on the left we have the percent clay on the right you have percent silt on the bottom you have percent sand this is this this chart here is what what is used in the in the source science community to classify soils as silt under these classification categories so if your soil was taken and you were somehow you tested in a laboratory and they come back and they tell you well you have forty percent clay and you have so I will just say thirty twenty percent clay and you're eighty percent silt and twenty percent sand what type of soil do you have you would use this chart to figure that out and it seems complicated at first but I'll explain so on the left you would say you're twenty percent clay so you're somewhere on this bar right here on the right you're eighty percent silt so you'd be somewhere over here on this bar on this side down here the bottom twenty percent sand so you would be using this line right here where all three of those line meet or all three of those lines meet is what your soil would be so if you're twenty percent clay eighty percent silt you would be so long if you were twenty percent clay and will say sixty percent silt that would put you here which means you have to be twenty percent sand you're still so long. You understand. Now if you were forty percent. Of here and we were. Ten percent silk way up on the top here where those two lines me would put you right here into a sandy clay because you would have to be. Fifty percent sand so you'd be a sandy clay long or sandy clay soil so you can figure this out and if you know what your soil is if it tells you it's a clay alone. You can figure out usually more or less how much clay how much silt and how much sand is in your soil Now if like I hope that you got a good visual vision of what I mean by that because this next image is what really gets to be an important now we're looking at Sand sandy loam long long clay loam and Clay Why is this important Well a lot of folks think that clay soils or having a lot of farmers will tell you clay soils are heavy but really Clay is the lightest of all the three The reason why it feels heavy is because clay soils absorb and have spent and absorb a lot of water due to the forces of adhesion they will hold that water but they won't make a plant available. So when you look at this chart what you see is the top is is field capacity and what field capacity is is a soils capacity to hold or the soils maximum capacity to hold water in other words is how much water can you put in your field until it starts to run off or leech the wilting coefficient is the point where the water is so strongly bonded onto the onto that soil that it is not available to plants that's why it's called wilting is the point where your plants start to wilt so when we look at Clay we see at the top where it has taken hold quite a bit of a moisture but when we look at silt loam. We see the same thing but when we go down to sand you see that it hardly holds anymore here at all and that's something that you could probably easily visualize because a very grown in sandy soils try to irrigate sandy soils you notice how the water does go to straight to the bottom now the important thing is if you want to guess OK What is the best soil if you just wanted to guess work type of soil should you be looking for you would think well I want to look for the soil that would have the maximum amount of moisture retention in other words how much will it hold without it leeching. Yet still making it maximum amount available for plants and what you would have to see is the difference between the wilting coefficient and field capacity and wherever that is is where your maximum water availability would be in course it would be somewhere in this area right here a mixture of silt loam or long. So this is why you often times the fine folks saying you really want to grow a certain crop in a loan or a silt loam eccentric setter or they view those soils as being the better soil to work with but that doesn't mean that you can't pull good crops out of other soils but this is where that theory comes from and it helps you to understand also I'd like to share with you that this is on the left side here this is a soil water content based off of percentages. It's it varies from and this chart you have to stare at this chart and look at it but it varies. So water potential in one plant available water in the definition water in soil held soil water potential between negative ten killer Pascals and negative one thousand five hundred killed Pascals it is within this range that moisture can move through plants. When we look at this chart if you go negative ten killer pass kills if you go above this that means that you have exceeded field capacity you put too much noise or down that moisture will eventually lead through gravity when you hit the wilting coefficient which is that negative fifteen hundred killer Pascals that's the point where plants start to wilt so this is a scientific definition of how water moves through and what forces are associated with that when you get down to negative thirty one hundred you start to get you started to hygroscopic which means that you start to actually absorb moisture out of the air. So going back to the image that I had over here previously with that understanding that information helps you to understand when soils are actually going to provide sufficient water to your crops and how these forces are associated with it so this is organic matter really helps to manage that to buffer those capacities by holding that moisture in the soil now this is a chart showing you on average the carry on exchange capacity of various different soils so I know that a few of you are unfamiliar with what carry on exchange capacity is out I'll share that in a minute but we're going to start here by looking at the sandy soils and we see that sandy soils are usually somewhere around five. Milla Quillan hundred grams of soil and Sandy loans are to be about eight loans can be maybe twelve twelve loans can be as high as twenty playing clay loans can be as high as thirty or thirty five but when we look at real high organic soils Now this example here is not talking about soils that you might think are high in organic matter but it's talking about his to solve these are soils with forty percent or fifty percent organic matter which is a lot of organic matter a lot of humus and those are the soils where you'll see Exchange capacities of seventy five and that's a huge number. Usually in waterlogged areas like Alaska where we're. Where the moss is mind we're harvested this is an example of water moving through the soil. We're looking at a sandy loam and a clay loam both of them are flooded irrigated How does that water move to the soil profile this helps you to understand what your irrigation is doing when you have a sandy loam soil as you see on the left death and centimeters after twenty four hours when you're a geisha honorable that moisture would move from the very top all the way to the bottom well but you notice that your horizontal movement is just a few just a few centimeters I think we're looking at maximum of thirty centimeters from your irrigation for oh it's not very far that's how quickly water moves through sandy soil and you look at a clay soil it takes forty eight hours to reach the same death after an irrigation interval and it's going to take more water to do it. Twenty four hours you're half that death about seventy years or well depending how this graph was one particular study that was done but I guess we could average around eighty centimeters. But the interesting thing is look at the difference in the horizontal motion movement. Significant difference between a clay loam in a sandy loam and when you add compaction to a sandy sandy soil a sandy soil can be compacted you you end up getting more runoff and you don't get that moisture moving down while in the clay soil you'll usually get that moisture moving down you can compact it more but or again organic matter is what helps to really prevent compaction and it would take a sandy soil like that in changes profile closely to closer to a clay loam now folks like. Most people don't know what Clay looks like so I had to throw this image up there this is a microscope image of Clay you're looking at this clay of these gaps in between these clays are about one to two angstroms which means one about twenty nanometers very tiny very very tiny particles these particles in complete size distance from here to here would probably be as much as about one hundred nanometers maybe two hundred nanometers depending on what type of clay it is so these things are very very small they're made of octahedron tetrahedral sheets and what gives them a charge is not just their size but the fact that they have different isomorphic substitution different substances that are in there that change the charge of these clays and what you end up seeing is in between these plates you have actual elements in the molecules but elements of Catalans that bond to it and that's what holds nutrients in the soil for you so Clay provides that silt and sand do not. But humans also does that here's a oh this is one hundred thousand times magnification so this is another image of sand sand is point zero five to twenty to two millimeters in size silt is point zero zero two point zero five millimeters in size and Clay is less than point zero zero two millimeters so that's two that's two micro metres so it's very tiny and usually feel sticky it when you have dry clay in your hand and you and you and you're handling it it feels almost like talcum powder or something real fine like that it's very very fine so this is carry on retention of organic matter so organic matter the reason why you just see the scribble on there and it's not something fixed like you see with the with your plate Khaled's it's because again it matter comes in humus comes in so many different shapes. That there really is no no no actual standard image for it every single one is going to look differently because it's just broken down carbon from the plant tissues and other organisms that used to be working now Clay organic matter oftentimes is labeled as having a variable charge and the reason why is mostly in the semantics of the literature but essentially clay or I'm sorry humus which is what we're looking at here well oftentimes have a very low exchange of Pasadena acid soils in a very high exchange capacity in neutral or clinic soils and I don't I struggle with this because I really I see it more like. It's really more the base saturation of hydrogen if you understand what I mean but if you don't that's OK So this is a image of I guess an artist image of what Clay would look like and what nutrients it would hold calcium magnesium potassium ammonium sodium and copper and other cat ions would easily bond to these clay colleagues and this is how the plants can actually exchange nutrients between this roots in the soils aluminum and hydrogen can also bond on there but they're actually referred aluminum even though it's a positive charge and hydrogen Well hydrogen is ph because you're looking at a concentration of hydrogen but aluminum you would think is more of a carry on however aluminum is given a lot of respect when it comes to acid soils because aluminum is a very strong Moloch a very small molecule with a plus three charge and what that does is that it bonds water to it so tightly that will actually pull the hydrogen off of it it will hold on to the hydroxide and add hydrogen which is acidity to your soils so when you have a lot of aluminum in your soils you tends to drive up your drive down your ph and then you have to get soil what is called a buffering capacity and you have to put enough calcium carbonate down in the in your soils to actually overcome the effect of aluminum and what you're trying to do is push aluminum out of the soil profile and that's why aluminum is referred to as an acid carry on even though it's a three plus charge so this is a an example of the strength of absorption this is. How carry ons are held how strongly they are held to click call it's really more about how strong this water actually bond to these molecules because water will bond to sodium or potassium with a stronger strength of these or polar bonds then it will calcium and magnesium and because of that sodium and potassium Will Leitch from your soil profile much more quickly than calcium and magnesium more aluminum and this is why sodium to be a very very difficult nutrient to manage in arid environments and why a lot of soils are seen as. Sort of soils or sailing soils because you can't move these nutrients that is through the soil profile you need a lot of water to get them out of there. So hydrogen is usually the strongest bond in aluminum then calcium magnesium and then ammonium and potassium are relatively equal in sodium is that the last of the sodium is always going to be the last one or the first one to get knocked off so when you come into your soil and you make these huge applications of limestone Weatherby Dometic recalcitrant limestone you're going to be knocking sodium and potassium out first you're going to push those guys out first you always do this is why when you put these nutrients down you can usually knock these sodium and calcium out and you have to end up coming back and putting these things back down again so you sometimes you may have heard of you if you make big applications you've got to come back and add the potassium and sodium and other things and this is why this is an example of carry on exchange capacity balancing this is just one that I pulled up there's some folks like different ratios but essentially this is the ratio that folks like to be on those call and so when they talk about balancing the nutrients on your color what they're saying is that you should you know all the nutrients on there all the exchange site should be sixty percent or so calcium ten to twenty percent magnesium four percent potassium two percent sodium and accept etc I just put that up there for those that are downloading these images from the website online I spoke yesterday about the Soul Food Web Some of you may have heard that one other thing that you find in the soil there's an awful lot of organisms there's all kinds of bugs and creepy crawlies and bacterias protozoans and everything you can think of is in that soil and we're not we may not be able to see them but that doesn't mean that they're not there this is another image of the soil food web and essentially this is the food chain in the soil who eats what and who gets eaten by what is essentially all this really is all right so this is one square metre of soil so what is soil I want to share with you what is in one square metre of soil about six inches deep so on average will say it has one vertebrae that means one bird or one squirrel or something of that nature and then you have about one hundred snails and slugs three thousand part worms and earthworms you're going to have about five thousand insects spiders and the plans are going to about ten thousand ratifiers entire grads fifty thousand spring tails one hundred thousand mites five million. Ten billion protozoa and ten thousand trillion bacterial in an act of my seat organisms in that once square metre of soil that's an awful lot of life in that soil so when you're going in there and disturbing and moving things around you've got to think about how much is really in there it's not just the piece of dirt. There's a lot going on and had soil. This is Mike arising. Showed us image to some of the scene as you got endo and. These organised is a fun little organism. And these organisms are responsible mostly for mining going out and getting a lot of these nutrients out of some of these a minerals that are in your soil the parent material that is there that's weathering and making them available to the microorganisms and plant roots this is an example of what how these organisms work this is. Mike to raise a screening in zines of which will weather away organic phosphorus making that phosphorous available and ammonium peptides available for the in this example the tree that's being grown and this is an image that I pulled up out of a forest floor I shared this yesterday. In the forest will actually it's actually a communication network for the entire forest every single plant is usually connected to fungus fungus organisms are huge they're not small they're not tiny they go all over the place they've got roots and high fees I'm sorry they got high fees that extend into all sorts of regions and when you walk through a forest floor and you see mushrooms coming up those are the reproductive organs of a fungus those are different fungus as they have decided to reproduce sexually and then in the mushroom is nothing but a bunch of spores fungal spores so that's what mushrooms are and fungus will actually form a symbiotic relationship with all the roots in a forest and they will be able to exchange nutrients within different trees as well as taken nutrients out of different parent material in the rock that you often find in forest making it available to the plants and they also exchange different they sense a different signals to different enzymes informing them when different things are happening was different pester attacking them it's really complex really complex what's going on in a forest and how the fungal network actually communicate with these trees and you can have some of the stuff going on in your orchard if you can manage them right. This is I'm going to get into bacteria little bit I should probably put this one first bacteria are also capable of fixing nitrogen to metabolize nutrients something fungal organisms can do that mostly bacteria. The A genius of opium and Frankie and as auto backed are the ones that receive the most respect for fixing nitrogen with their legumes and this particular example we're looking at bacteria by the root hairs so you have a tremendous amount of bacteria that is actually associated with your roots and that bacteria is essentially what is digesting the food for your crops and you also have some bacteria that will form knowledge rules on the roots of example here this is a quote. Opium and what you have here these what look like little tumors of deformities these are all knowledge rules that are caused by rise O.B.O. which fix nitrogen that's how you get nitrogen fixation from your legumes. This is oftentimes very misunderstood or there's a lot of mystery behind it by some folks but really when these organisms are working it has been for the most part understood that they are providing nitrogen for the species that they are they are actually connected with. But recent studies have shown that in this example we have a grass here which I believe with ryegrass interplanetary with clover and it was discovered that the when they did trials at the close that the grass was actually benefiting and had an NG saw an increase of nitrogen in its plant tissues when planted together with clover So it is believed that it can actually you know these organisms even though they're getting there they're Photosynth aids from the clover and they're actually producing nitrates that are made available to the to do the grasses which don't fix nitrogen so when we start looking at the soil we see so many different varieties I really think of the Psalms eighty three through nine and I think of when he says I consider the heavens I like to replace when I consider the soils and the work of the fingers and the moon in the stars everything that I find inside of there what is man that God is mindful of us everything that is in that soil likely not of the vent she was saying is so complicated and is so is so out of this world that I don't see how it could have possibly come from evolutionary processes this had to have come from a design or a creator it is too complex and the majority of these processes are not even understood by the scientific community. And oftentimes are intentionally not studied because they just don't know where to begin we had like I said we have studied less than one percent of the organisms in the soil and then many of you have heard Ellen White's planting method or maybe you've heard of about it and you don't know much about it some of you've gone to some of the classes that. I've heard of the gentleman that holds those classes but. This is an image from Herbert Clarence White here that was the grandson of Ellen White and this image he put together describing what he believed was his interpretation of what Ellen White was shown for a tree planting and what's very interesting is I just walked through and I talked with to you and I gave you vague understanding of bacterial organisms in the soil of fungal organisms in the soil and of other insects in arthropods that go through the soil and work through these soils and cause different biological processes I didn't really share with you a whole lot about how or yes I did talk about Mica rising and how it actually works with the rocks and weathering but I thought that it was very impressive when I looked at this and I said you know the person that came up with this was a woman that had a third grade education and yet And yet here we are two thousand and seventeen and we still don't understand a lot of these processes but the reason why I said Jesus was the first of all scientists is because it was Jesus that not only created this earth but it was also Jesus that showed her how to do this and you know this is been over one hundred years now and we've seen these trees come and go and we've seen other people plant new trees and it and it works but people say why does it work I don't know why it works and a lot of folks don't understand why it works and I like to explain to you why it works and I'm just going to talk a little bit about all the different horizons here I'm going to name them horizons even though they're not really nobody calls them that but we're going to start with the top the top says to put rock on there underneath it supposed to be a believe a mixture of compost peat moss leaf mold topsoil and phosphate rock underneath that it's supposed to be topsoil underneath that supposed to be. Actually I'm sorry I missed the one layer of compost there and then we have a mixture of compost topsoil leaf mold phosphate rock down the bottom as well we have a main rock that's it's underneath the ball and then we have more rocks this is actually I think the idea was to have a structure or a layer of rock but the image doesn't really show that then we have a drain tile in the bottom that actually moves moisture with a couple of rocks on the side so I'm going to start from the very top again and I'm going to start talking about what is going on here biologically I'm going to talk about it from a biological aspect as well as some of the chemical processes that are here so we look at the rock at the top. What is rock. Is just rock something kids throw in the things parent material it is nutrients that are unavailable to biology of any type except for those that have the ability to excrete acids and to break those nutrients down OK great you're putting rocks up there now how do you get to those nutrient. Well the very next thing exposed the leaf mold now most leaf. Mulch leaf litter coming from forest to come from somewhere else but the thing is leaves from trees have the perfect nitrogen carbon to nitrogen ratios so they will break down at exactly the metabolic ratio that the bacteria is looking for so that right there is going to be the perfect environment for inoculates that are put into a soil why because they have the perfect carbon to nitrogen ratios to metabolize those those those plant issues underneath that is a layer of compost one inch layer of compost one inch layer of compost is soil that has already been metabolized and broken down which means that you have a lot of bacteria breaking down organic tissues which would have multiplied in their populations until they ran out of substrate which means that they ran out of food so they would have consumed that compost pile until they ran out of food so when you take a compost pile and you put it into your bed you're inoculating that bed with the microorganisms that break down those plant tissues so you have the substrate and then you have the an ocular and right beneath it. You don't understand these things back then but there we understand some of this now so you go to the next layer down here the next horizon I forgot what that was I guess is a stop so topsoil is just like I shared with you earlier is a mixture of parent material rock minerals that have been broken down with a lot of organic matter so again this is usually just for planting but in between these two. Being the top soil you have a lot of your roots going to the side you have microbial activity that microbial activity that was not played with the top soil is going to eat the substrate those extra those. What you call exit dates that come out of those bacterial organisms are going to excrete acids and other things that are going to whether those rocks the rain come from the top is going to move those moisture that those nutrients down through the soil profiles as I understand OK so that's pretty complex but it's pretty simple I mean it looks difficult but a lot of folks have tried it and it works this rock in the center is the very same thing as I showed yesterday you put those in Auckland's in there you've got those fungal organisms in there they're going to start to send hifi out and start weathering. Those rocks but they need to be associated with a plant species they need to form those those symbiotic relationship with the roots so when you put a root they're inoculated with fungal organisms and then you put a rock underneath it you've got the fungus you've got the root and you've got the substrate the fungus was looking for so you've got food for fungus you've got the fungus and then you also have the nutrients the tree once so you've got all three things that you need to form a symbiotic relationship right there in that spot you go down to the next layer again more topsoil. Then you go down with some more rock so it goes fungus can go north and go south you can go sideways in a can also work with the rock that was immediately placed there. And we go back down to another mixture of. Topsoil with leaf mold leaf mold is what mold it's a fungus but you also have a lot of bacteria in there phosphate rock is going to be phosphorous and calcium as I talked about yesterday so you're getting the phosphorus that is needed you're getting the calcium that is needed for root health and for microbial health and you have the microbes in there that can break that down because got that third grade education you tell me whether or not she was a prophet the last leg more depends upon consecrated activity presidents and presidents than genius genius and book learning. All the talents and ability given to human agents if used are of little value the country live in Page seventeen page paragraph five it's not always about understanding a dot perfect adopt good principles little principles and put into practice and you will be successful. There are many kinds of labor adopted another quote from a fundamentals of the Christian Education Page three twenty two many kinds of labor adopted to different persons may be devised but the working of the land will be a special blessing to the worker this there is a great want of intelligent men to till the soil who will be there oh I shared with you yesterday the importance of adopting science into agricultural work God is calling for men of intelligence to get involved into agriculture that will go and learn the best ways to do things. Who will be and then take that knowledge and go to the world to all those that are starving as I shared with you in the beginning as a as a mission the way God did the way Jesus did when he was on this planet and how many he fed so that we may be able to do this work who will be a missionary to do this work and I'm calling those in this room and those who are here in this recording that we as Seventh Day Adventists need to start sending our right folks men with wisdom to go and be educated and to get an understanding of how the this works so that we may be able to be missionaries in foreign lands in teach people how to feed themselves Amen that is close with prayer Our Heavenly Father we thank you for this opportunity to come here today Lord and we pray that you would prefer Please impress upon the minds of those who you are calling to adopt the work of Agriculture Lord and to get involved in Minna in the ministry of feeding and of healing those many hungry souls that are in this planet over half this planet is hungry today father and we should be there when we pray Lord that you would raise up the men of wisdom and understanding to go and do this work and all the corners of this world so that we may finish up the work that you have called us to do and that we may be able to go to heaven Lord we think you Father for all that you do for us and we pray asking that you will continue to be with us and that your spirit would abide with us and that you would show mercy to his father and that you would continue to bless us in our efforts as we continue to try to learn how to the best methods to plant crops learn and we pray asking this in Jesus heavenly name name and thank you I hope you enjoyed this. Oh yes also all my handouts are on online as well as my Power Points and then I will be at the session six question and answers for source science tomorrow if you would like to ask more questions and also if you want to ask questions now you can I'm sorry I didn't at all try not to answer questions because we weren't supposed to be taking questions during the presentation. Well five college Farms is a farm I've been working with on and off for a year and a half now I just arrived two weeks ago to take over the management so to be honest I really don't know what to tell you right now we're growing tomatoes and we're growing cucumber we grow me around in a greenhouse and we are certified organic I can tell you that much right now we do have another acre outdoors that I'm contracted my head what to do with or that is another acre of greenhouses and then we've got about thirty acres of outdoor production that I've got to get started as well and I'm looking at doing carrots and leaks and possibly watermelon or other melons out there but that's what we're looking at right now. Oh OK yeah also for what we're doing some the ground work we're doing if anybody would like to know who has really appreciated and enjoyed the any of my presentations and would like to be willing to participate in interview my friend Rodney in the back over there would love to. Record you doing an interview if you wouldn't mind. OK Another question website who said website I'm sorry OK website The question was What is the website Adventist agri dot org then you click on conference and then you go down in two thousand and eighteen about the middle of the page you will find my presentations and the presentations of other speakers there the question is do I have resources for crab across the answer is yes I will be exposing those resources in tomorrow's presentation on cover crops. OK The question is well we'll still compact as much as clay and be as hard OK We're also compact don't matter what they are we think of clay soils as being compacted because they stick together so well but that's not necessarily what compaction means what compaction means is that you have compressed your soil and you have reduced your poor space to less than fifty percent which is on average and the soils are now stuck together you're making clay bricks or sand bricks because you can just as easily compact sand as you can Clay and I have seen sand that is very compacted if you tried plowing a field that of sand that is compacted it's tough. Because of those particles of salt they're stuck together and they've been compressed you can imagine like making bricks or whatever you can do that usually comes to excess of tillage excessive traffic on the not excess of tillage but an excess of tillage also can cause that So yes. No question of they're. OK the question the question is can you improve the carry on exchange basket of the sandy soil by getting bags of clay and spreading it around first often to make sure you use the right type of clay because not all clays have good get on exchange capacity of reason like or a passing feldspar. Or some of these other. Iron in magnesium oxide clays they have exchange capacities that are kind so she who wastes your time the soil is at a very high or the clays are very high in exchange for passing over Mickie like. Those sort of soil is all that plays a fall into those categories like mountain or a light button and then tonight they have exchanged passages associated with just the clay of around two hundred which is very high. So if you use that yes but that cost a lot of money and a lot of labor and overall it's going to be a very and is not going to Harley anything if you really want to increase your carry on exchange the best of the need to increase your humus and the way that that works is by increasing organic matter and you've got to go back to using proper cover crops and using maneuvers and compost and and green maneuvers and other things like that where your meat where you've got a healthy metabolic processes that are producing humus in your soil which is going to give you a treat an increase in Cat on exchange capacity. Five percent. C that's another story another myth the thing is you don't understand how hard it is to increase organic matter in the soil. It's very tough I mean even to get it to go up one percent so if somebody is to only don't want more than five percent that is not necessarily true but where that comes from is a school of thought that if it's less than five percent you're in trouble the question is what in that depend on what you're growing and my answer to that I would say no not really. I guess there maybe there are a few plant species out there that you would probably want to avoid higher Gannett matter but I can't really think of any of them off the top of my head. Oh OK I see your question is somewhat more organic matter I would say yes but again what you're really going to be experiencing is not that the plant species are specifically looking for again it matter but that they are heavy feeding crops that want a lot of nutrients that can only be made available to the microbe through the mineral izing of organic matter so if you have very low organic matter then you're going to have a low nutrient release which means that those crops are not going to have the nutrients are looking for so that's really what you're shooting for they're going after sort of the hand back there where the fast is where the question is what is the fastest way to build are going to matter in the soil and that is one highly debated subject and with an awful lot of opinions and very little science so. So so OK first off if you're putting oils into the soil. Oh oh I'm sorry. Well what you'll probably see is a lot more plant exit dates which will ultimately lead to better soil aggregation which is just going to glue this all together and give you better swell characteristics better prosody better for Bush or movement in. The movement of gases through the soil. Pretty much yes. Does the glue contain carbon and the answer is yes because it's some type of a large compound which means it's the six you know these are sugars that are combined into you know it's organic chemistry it's some type of carbon with something bonded to it the question is how do you avoid losing organic matter when you're farming that's a tough one. With the except well how do you avoid it all together well I shared a little bit about that yesterday but first thing you've got to do you've got to get the environment right for the microbes why because microbes are going to manipulate their environment to survive they need energy to do that they get this energy from organic matter so if the microbes are having to consume more that are going to matter in order to manipulate their environment you're going to see a rapid more. A higher rate of microbial metabolism and you're going to see a reduction in the additions of organic matter every year so that's one way to reduce that second is through Iranians tillage I always advocate for intelligent tillage which is something that is not that cannot be quickly defined in a few minutes so if you're telling during the times of the year where it's warm or when there's a lot of microbial activity in the soil and you're using methods that introduce a lot of oxygen into the soil you're going to see a huge burst in C O two coming out of those holes which means you see more microbial metabolism which means you're pushing your overall percent organic matter percent down you're consuming you're you're you're you're chewing that stuff up so excessive tillage will is something you need to avoid which is why there's the argument of to tailor not to tell or the dilemma I should say of the tail or not the tail and really my thing is intelligent tillage don't kill when you really shouldn't but to answer that question takes another hour to. Get around to all right thank you I appreciate it this media was brought to you by audio groups a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons believe it is a W W W. Or.


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