Crop Rotation, Diversification & Soil Health

Research shows that management strategies such as crop rotation and diversification can have huge benefits for commercial growers.  Through crop rotation and species diversification, you improve soil fertility, have better control of pests, diseases and weeds and ultimately, increased profitability because your healthy soil is producing increased yields of higher quality.

Growing different crops in sequential seasons, no matter what you grow, improves the soil microbiome in a host of ways.  Your land can remain productive and profitable year after year, allowing a more sustainable way of growing.

Nitrogen-fixing crops such as peas and beans or clover, if pasture is required for beef or dairy farms, provide an extremely important avenue to make the most of the free resources that a healthy soil ecosystem brings.  Rhizobium and Azospirillum species of bacteria fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and store it in the soil, improving the fertility of the crop and subsequent nitrogen-loving crops.

Mycorrhizal fungi form a symbiotic relationship with most plant species inoculating the plant roots where nutrients and water are exchanged for plant exudates. Some plants are highly mycotrophic, meaning they get a large percentage of their nutrients and water in this way, and these plants suffer in the absence of Mycorrhizal fungi. This relationship specifically provides plants with hard-to-capture phosphorus, which is a life-giving mineral that retards crop growth when deficient.

Brassica does not form a mycorrhizal association. These crops produce what is known as a fallow period, whereby soil can become devoid of Mycorrhizal fungi, which has a serious adverse effect on crops that follow, especially if they are highly mycotrophic, like onions or potatoes.

Making the most of your soil.

The addition of beneficial microorganisms to your input regime provides a wide range of advantages to commercial growing for both crop and soil vitality, providing :- 

  • Increased yield through improved flower and fruit set
  • Increased germination and plant survival rates
  • Improved root proliferation, growth and vigour
  • Improved utilisation of hard-to-capture nutrients, particularly phosphorus 
  • Plant availability of nitrogen and other macro and microelements
  • Improved soil structure through the production of humic compounds that form soil aggregates 
  • Improved Water Holding Capacity and Cation Exchange Capacity
  • Glomalin a glycoprotein that fixes and stores atmospheric carbon in the soil

We recommend both Rootella and Superzyme as a power duo to improve the health of your soil.  Rootella is our mycorrhizal fungi product, available in a range of formulations to suit your needs. Superzyme contains important Trichoderma species, T koningii and T harzianum as well as beneficial bacteria Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas putida to enhance soil life.  Plants grow in optimal conditions when the correct ratio of fungi to bacteria is present and the ratio of predator to prey is present. Using beneficial inoculums such as Superzyme and Rootella will enable your plants to function at optimum levels.

Putting it all together

The combination of crop rotation, diversification and the addition of beneficial fungi and bacteria to your input regime will ensure high yields, high-functioning soil and the need for fewer fertilisers and insecticides.   Enhanced above and below-ground diversity optimises soil, plant, animal, and human health, water quality and farm profit.  It’s time to start!

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