For many decades, American agriculture has been increasing the use of chemicals on their crops, herds, and flocks. The increase was initially gradual, but in recent decades it has become a flood, with new chemicals constantly introduced, and often required if farmers want to harvest a crop.
The introduction of a chemical solution is always promoted to increase fertility or improve yield, or the new chemicals are “needed” to control disease or pests. The chemicals may achieve their objectives for a time, but inevitably, the effectiveness wanes and new chemicals are introduced, starting the cycle all over again. With each generation of new chemicals, the problems become deeper and the cycle becomes more ingrained into the agricultural process.
The truth is, our biggest problems are not solved by these chemicals, they are created by them!
Chemical (inorganic) fertility and controls are almost universally detrimental to the health of our soils. They may have short-term “benefits,” but the long-term result is to inhibit or destroy the critical biological balances in our soils, decimating the natural protective mechanisms and clearing the way for the pathogens to infect our crops, herds, and flocks. The chemical companies then introduce new chemicals to address the symptoms they caused in the first place, and they expect you to pay for them!
So how does chemical agriculture affect our soils?
1. Chemical agriculture reduces the soil’s aerobic zone.
Where chemical agriculture is practiced the aerobic zone of the soil ranges from nothing to a few inches. The depth of the aerobic zone determines the primary volume of the plants rhizospheres. It takes oxygen to grow extensive third- and fourth- order roots and root hairs, which are the major nutrient collectors for the plants. Primary and secondary roots may be growing outside of the soil's aerobic zone, but their collective mass and volume are minor in comparison to the finer roots and root hairs that proliferate the aerobic zone.
2. Chemical agriculture reduces the beneficial microorganism populations.
The soil’s beneficial microorganisms also require oxygen to flourish. The reduction of the aerobic zone reduces the available environment where they can proliferate. Their jobs are to collect and convert nutrients from the soil for the plants to consume as well as protect the plants from invasion and infection of pathogens.
Most of the agricultural chemicals are also directly toxic to the beneficial microorganisms. They kill them on contact, further reducing the protective population and leaving the plants and animals malnourished and defenseless.
3. Chemical agriculture increases the population of pathogenic organisms
The reduction in beneficial microorganisms creates a vacuum into which the pathogenic organisms quickly expand. The pathogens are much more resistant to the chemical attacks, and in some cases are even stimulated by the chemicals, creating a severely diseased and even toxic soil environment.
4. Some chemicals actively chelate (tie up) nutrients, reducing and restricting nutrition for the plants and animals
One of the chief culprits in this arena is the common chemical glyphosate. Not only does it specifically block manganese uptake within critical pathways, but it also is a very strong mineral chelator and measurably reduces the nutrient uptake of the plants, leaving them in a malnourished and weakened state (even “roundup ready” plants are affected by the chelation).
So how do you get off the run-away chemical train?
It isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen overnight. It has taken decades to create the depth of this problem, so it will take multiple seasons to correct it, but it can be done.
Instead of responding to problems with expensive chemical solutions, it is much more effective to pay attention to the correct balance of your natural soil biology and full-spectrum nutrition. In most cases, the right biology and nutrition will correct and control both pathogens and pests. And if supplemental control is needed, it will be at a much smaller scale, with much less residual damage and cost.
Bio Minerals Technologies can help you restore your soils by reintroducing the right biology and the right nutritional balances. We can provide tools to reduce the necessary use of chemicals during the transition, and we can show you how to compensate for the negative effects of chemical use.
Call us today at (435) 753-2086.