MemberNovember 15, 2020 at 4:42 pm015558
Hi Stephen. I agree that taking Elaine’s course and buying a microscope is very expensive and highly probable that most people still won’t know exactly what they are looking at. However I was more speaking of the newest, highly advanced, very expensive laboratory electron microscopes (>$50,000) used by microbiologists, measuring the actual biology as a lab and charging a fee for it that is rather similar to taking a soil test, maybe a little more expensive but close (a great textbook that explores all the newest advances in soil biology is Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry edited by Eldor Paul, for anyone wanting to go down the rabbit hole of the science). The data I’ve been tracking for over 3 years has given me excellent return on investment in consulting on tens of thousands of highly valuable fruit and nut crops in California. Used properly, it works very well, but I think we are only at the cusp of learning anything about soil biology and how to apply it.
I’m not a fan at all of the Johnson-Su bioreactor. It’s not scalable for millions of acres of high production ag in California. Maybe if you are a gardener or small market farmer, and can do it right, then that’s probably a really good option. I tried making my own compost with that method and it was a disaster. I went back to traditional methods with some tweaking and now produce very fine compost that is highly fungal.
The future of ag, in my opinion, will keep drilling down on understanding the science behind this, rather than just being simple and throwing on some compost and calling it good. At least in commercial ag, which is where I’m interested. Kind of like how we now use Plant Sap Analysis to correct mineral deficiencies and dramatically increase disease and pest resistance and produce quality.