Start Date

3-12-1992 12:00 AM

Description

The overall involvement of microorganisms in crop production still remains much of a mystery. Because of their distribution and size, most studies have been done in the laboratory and the implications of these studies referred back to the field. With this approach, unfortunately, much remains unknown, not only about the growth of individual organisms, but certainly the interactions of organisms in nature. Several "nontraditional" soil amendments have been marketed over the years that capitalize on our lack of understanding of soil microbial processes. Terms such as soil activators, soil enhancers, and enzyme stimulators have been used, claiming to improve soil structure, the "life of the soil," reduce soil erosion, release "pent up nutrients" (one of my favorites), and others claims. Often the product is based on revolutionary new research that has yet to be tested by the local land-grand university. From my perception, more often than not, an idea is being sold rather than a viable product. Those of us in science, nevertheless, know there are happenings occurring in nature that we don't adequately understand, and some chance discovery of one of these products may have scientific merit. But until it is thoroughly tested by independent researchers not tied to the product, one should be very cautious of product claims.

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Dec 3rd, 12:00 AM

Beneficial Microorganisms in Low-Input Agriculture

The overall involvement of microorganisms in crop production still remains much of a mystery. Because of their distribution and size, most studies have been done in the laboratory and the implications of these studies referred back to the field. With this approach, unfortunately, much remains unknown, not only about the growth of individual organisms, but certainly the interactions of organisms in nature. Several "nontraditional" soil amendments have been marketed over the years that capitalize on our lack of understanding of soil microbial processes. Terms such as soil activators, soil enhancers, and enzyme stimulators have been used, claiming to improve soil structure, the "life of the soil," reduce soil erosion, release "pent up nutrients" (one of my favorites), and others claims. Often the product is based on revolutionary new research that has yet to be tested by the local land-grand university. From my perception, more often than not, an idea is being sold rather than a viable product. Those of us in science, nevertheless, know there are happenings occurring in nature that we don't adequately understand, and some chance discovery of one of these products may have scientific merit. But until it is thoroughly tested by independent researchers not tied to the product, one should be very cautious of product claims.