Dr Elaine Ingham/compost

scotston

Member
I've been dragged down a rabbit hole and wondered if anyone had already been? Her thoughts to me seem revolutionary but I've searched the forum and there's not a great deal of chatter about her ideas.
Just wondering if there are any opinions or anyone seen any trial data?
 

Barleycorn

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Hampshire
To add, if you watch how to make compost, don't think you need big fancy compost turners.
A tractor and loader will do.👍
They are a lot easier though!
2021-01-08 13.57.26.jpg
 

mo!

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
York
I was chatting to a respected soil scientist and her name came up. Let's just say that the comments weren't exactly complimentary. Snake oil may have been mentioned.
 

scotston

Member
I was chatting to a respected soil scientist and her name came up. Let's just say that the comments weren't exactly complimentary. Snake oil may have been mentioned.
that's what I'm looking for but in a sensible, peer reviewed sort of way. Or in the case of the TFF, is there someone using her principles particularly the 'you don't need to add minerals as you will already have enough already..' part. That must be news to most of the existing agri science.
 

scotston

Member
I've seen lots of her videos and lots of other people's.
Get past the alphabet soup and her general themes seem reasonable.
Other people do similar things too so can't be all bad.
I make compost, go to the coming famine thread page 4 post 73.
thanks for that, I've had a look. Hopefully I can ask without insult if you follow her methods, why do you add AN as she very much declares it kills the biology you are adding from your compost? Do you get the soil and compost biologically sampled or microscoped so you have a bit of science to complement your judgments?
 

le bon paysan

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
Limousin, France
thanks for that, I've had a look. Hopefully I can ask without insult if you follow her methods, why do you add AN as she very much declares it kills the biology you are adding from your compost? Do you get the soil and compost biologically sampled or microscoped so you have a bit of science to complement your judgments?
Add nothing and trust to luck, but it seems to work for me.
 

scotston

Member
Add nothing and trust to luck, but it seems to work for me.
sorry, I maybe wasn't clear, but in the other thread you redirected me to, you said "Just for reference my cutting ground gets 3/ 4 tonnes of compost and 40 kgs of AN fertilizer". This isn't exactly what she meant? She said you need to measure the existing biology in your soil, measure the biology in your compost and then square the circle. She definitely doesn't like adding AN even though you're not adding a lot. Her point and really the extreme point I want to explore here is that she believes all the minerals are available in the soil; just needs good and balanced biology to realise it. This is contrary to all 'normal' agriculture which is based on the premise that you need to add back what you have removed. So who follows this principle and gets 2 or 3t/ac barley, wheat etc - Does it bloody work or is it 'snake oil'?
 
that's what I'm looking for but in a sensible, peer reviewed sort of way. Or in the case of the TFF, is there someone using her principles particularly the 'you don't need to add minerals as you will already have enough already..' part. That must be news to most of the existing agri science.
There was a link somewhere on a thread here, saying all land has enough potash, the fact that it is in an unavailable form is neither here nor there, as if the soil biology is right, the micro organisms will convert it into a usable form, as to what thread it was, no idea at all!!

I was talking to Danny Godwin Jones, years ago here (trace element services ltd) and I remember him saying something like "if you get the earthworks working properly they will alter the soil pH", I didn't ask him how because I knew he would just baffle me!

I have no idea who is right really, but I would expect a person selling fertliser to tell me that fertliser was vital or for that matter encourage me to farm in a way that made it vital!

And the best, deepest, most productive soils in the world were all created without fertliser and since we have been farming with fertliser and cultivation equipment they have become less productive or lost.

I seem to remember at Groundswell, Greg Judy saying something like, his ground was not productive and he was advised to apply lots of inputs, but he could not afford to, so he began mob grazing instead and that built up his fertility without the expensive inputs.
 

scotston

Member
There have been a few articles on Composting in Direct Driller over the years - one of the early one's was from Simon Chiles (he is on TFF but can't remember his username).

Page 6:

yes thank you, an excellent article. But it doesn't mention the good Doctor, simply that he has found compost to be a useful tool. Which is excellent in it's own right but I'd like to drift some science in to give it a bit more belief rather than just the 'experience shows' version. He concludes the article by stating that the best compost is made from the most diverse of biological species but does that mean he has measured them and then figure out how to 'tune' the compost to what he requires. And does he spray and/or add AN?
 
sorry, I maybe wasn't clear, but in the other thread you redirected me to, you said "Just for reference my cutting ground gets 3/ 4 tonnes of compost and 40 kgs of AN fertilizer". This isn't exactly what she meant? She said you need to measure the existing biology in your soil, measure the biology in your compost and then square the circle. She definitely doesn't like adding AN even though you're not adding a lot. Her point and really the extreme point I want to explore here is that she believes all the minerals are available in the soil; just needs good and balanced biology to realise it. This is contrary to all 'normal' agriculture which is based on the premise that you need to add back what you have removed. So who follows this principle and gets 2 or 3t/ac barley, wheat etc - Does it bloody work or is it 'snake oil'?
I have watched three of her podcasts (between falling asleep, as it mostly seems to be aimed at gardening!), but from what I can gather, she is saying what you take off with crops sold is replaced, it is just replaced from the "store" held in the subsoil/base rock and made into a usable form by the fungi and bacteria (a the behest of the plants in their symbiotic relationship).
 

scotston

Member
There was a link somewhere on a thread here, saying all land has enough potash, the fact that it is in an unavailable form is neither here nor there, as if the soil biology is right, the micro organisms will convert it into a usable form, as to what thread it was, no idea at all!!

I was talking to Danny Godwin Jones, years ago here (trace element services ltd) and I remember him saying something like "if you get the earthworks working properly they will alter the soil pH", I didn't ask him how because I knew he would just baffle me!

I have no idea who is right really, but I would expect a person selling fertliser to tell me that fertliser was vital or for that matter encourage me to farm in a way that made it vital!

And the best, deepest, most productive soils in the world were all created without fertliser and since we have been farming with fertliser and cultivation equipment they have become less productive or lost.

I seem to remember at Groundswell, Greg Judy saying something like, his ground was not productive and he was advised to apply lots of inputs, but he could not afford to, so he began mob grazing instead and that built up his fertility without the expensive inputs.
that's the principle I'm excited by. What if she's right and we don't need lime or P,K. Don't need too much nitrogen as it simply turns to Nitrate and creates weeds (we have an excellent field of Docks after battering a field with all kinds of muck to grow organic OSR). We don't need boron or sulphur or molybdenum etc. ShooTA says there are many folks on here that use the principles - nice to hear someone say, 'yep, I grow a standard mix of this and that over 500 acres and never bought a thing in me life!'
 

Chris F

Staff Member
Media
Location
Hammerwich
yes thank you, an excellent article. But it doesn't mention the good Doctor, simply that he has found compost to be a useful tool. Which is excellent in it's own right but I'd like to drift some science in to give it a bit more belief rather than just the 'experience shows' version. He concludes the article by stating that the best compost is made from the most diverse of biological species but does that mean he has measured them and then figure out how to 'tune' the compost to what he requires. And does he spray and/or add AN?

@Simon Chiles is on here so he will answer in due course.

I have also just indexed all mentions of Elaine here for you:

 

Make Tax Digital Software Poll

  • Quickbooks

    Votes: 26 18.1%
  • Sage

    Votes: 12 8.3%
  • Xero

    Votes: 63 43.8%
  • Other

    Votes: 43 29.9%

Five nature-recovery projects spanning 100,000ha launched

  • 39
  • 0
Written by Michelle Martin from Agriland

Image-source-Savills-field-640x360.jpg
Five nature-recovery projects spanning nearly 100,000ha across the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire, the Peak District, Norfolk and Somerset have been announced by the government and Natural England today (Thursday, May 26).

This is the equivalent in size to all 219 current National Reserves.

The aim of the projects is to deliver nature recovery at a landscape scale, helping to tackle biodiversity loss, climate change and improve public health and well-being.

All five projects will make a significant contribution towards the national delivery of the international commitment to protect at least 30% of land and...
Top