Dr Elaine Ingham/compost

Daniel Tyrkiel

Member
Trade
99% have no fungi in them!!
What type of farms are the 1%
Good question - I'm yet to find them... We've managed to bump the F:B here to 0.1 after two sprays of extract. We'll continue next year on this winter crop and see how far we can push it. We have some very fungal compost here, but don't have any means of injecting it, so it will land on the soil and will need to grow in - which can be challenging after it already got ripped from its cozy compost home, mangled in the extraction process and jetted out through the sprayer... Work in progress as always :)
 

Rob Garrett

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Derbyshire UK
Good question - I'm yet to find them... We've managed to bump the F:B here to 0.1 after two sprays of extract. We'll continue next year on this winter crop and see how far we can push it. We have some very fungal compost here, but don't have any means of injecting it, so it will land on the soil and will need to grow in - which can be challenging after it already got ripped from its cozy compost home, mangled in the extraction process and jetted out through the sprayer... Work in progress as always :)
When you say "injecting it", I'm thinking rip & drip down the back of a sward lifter/subsoiler leg, or squirting into Suffolk colter on drill behind powerharrow. Is there an optimum depth for compost teas? Sounds like better in the soil than on top?
 

Rob Garrett

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Derbyshire UK
we would inject our compost extracts rather than teas. Teas are better for foliar sprays. In essence, yes, some form of ripping tool that can cut through compaction and follow with a drip would be ideal.
Forgive the lack of terminology! What's the difference between compost extract & tea? Is the same process used i.e. compost infused in airated water?
 

Daniel Tyrkiel

Member
Trade
Forgive the lack of terminology! What's the difference between compost extract & tea? Is the same process used i.e. compost infused in airated water?
Hi Rob, extract is just the microbes shaken out into the water, and it takes a few minutes. Tea is brewed for 48 hours and the bacteria increase, and the flagellates increase in numbers.
 

Rob Garrett

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Derbyshire UK
nicole masters is now more of a fan of the steep/extract method rather than aerated 24 hour tea brews.. less to go wrong if your starting compost isnt perfect.
much easier for larger scale application too.
Have you tried her biological herbicide idea? i.e. stick your weeds in a barrel under weight, bit of water & time. Thinking being the bugs & critters that like eating/breaking down the weeds can then be sprayed onto them in the field.

Struggling to get my head round teas & extracts, on the one hand we are told waterlogged/anaerobic soils kill biology, but it's ok dunk biology in a tank full of water!
 

ben__adamss

Member
BASE UK Member
Have you tried her biological herbicide idea? i.e. stick your weeds in a barrel under weight, bit of water & time. Thinking being the bugs & critters that like eating/breaking down the weeds can then be sprayed onto them in the field.

Struggling to get my head round teas & extracts, on the one hand we are told waterlogged/anaerobic soils kill biology, but it's ok dunk biology in a tank full of water!
I thought you were supposed to keep tanks aerated for this purpose, isnt that the point of brewing? Air and warmth for microbial reproduction
 
Have you tried her biological herbicide idea? i.e. stick your weeds in a barrel under weight, bit of water & time. Thinking being the bugs & critters that like eating/breaking down the weeds can then be sprayed onto them in the field.

Struggling to get my head round teas & extracts, on the one hand we are told waterlogged/anaerobic soils kill biology, but it's ok dunk biology in a tank full of water!
daniels got it - have done it with comfery and also some seaweed. - it goes a bit like molasses if you get it right
 

soilbug

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?
Elaine's food web - 2 main issues.
The first is that building organic matter is essential in order to make a profit - you will buy less fertiliser because soil microbes will live off the OM and 'mine' the extra fertiliser from the soil materials - your agronomist won't tell you this! Crops will be healthier, need less pesticides and be easier to work or drill into as well.
The second is that crops grown in high OM% soil will be more drought proof and nutrient rich, meaning healthier animals and humans. Try your worst field with a special soil test by Forageplus in Wales as the best way to exploit this.
 

soilbug

Member
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!'
There are two crucial elements missing in Elaine's theory - first, the soil must be in good physicl condition and second, it must already be in chemical balance and then the soil biome will save you money, but expect the local agronomist to go bananas because he will loose sales and you will keep more profit. The only lab which will help you is Forageplus in north Wales. Go try it!
 

Rob Garrett

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Derbyshire UK
There are two crucial elements missing in Elaine's theory - first, the soil must be in good physicl condition and second, it must already be in chemical balance and then the soil biome will save you money, but expect the local agronomist to go bananas because he will loose sales and you will keep more profit. The only lab which will help you is Forageplus in north Wales. Go try it!
Any thoughts on using soil base saturation (CEC) as a better measure of soil health than standard soil analysis?
 

soilbug

Member
Any thoughts on using soil base saturation (CEC) as a better measure of soil health than standard soil analysis?
Soiltesting - I have followed American Dr William Albrecht's research for over half a century. My conclusion is that the petro-chemical industry helped boost crop yields after the war but is now just another hand in the farmer's wallet. I have my soils properly assayed for a sufficient range of minerals and run them across a microscope to check enough microbes present. If the physical, chemical and biological standards are correct then the soil will improve several grades and even a handsome contribution of nitrogen will result from the activities of Elain's little critters.

But if phosphate is short in min/no-till systems you must remember to incorporate the topsoil once every five to seven years or risk run-off losses and polution - never mind the fungal hyphae; they will re-establish. We have to protect water supplies. 'Forageplus' found an advisor for me to assess my soils and suggest the Albrecht treatment.
He also has strong views on making compost the simple way to use it sparingly.

But the most neglected benefit, ignored by all governments, is in improved nutritional value, from the soil to the human gut. The organic movement gets you close by avoiding poisonous trace elements but if essential elements are missing they have to be provided. Then nature will provide.

Tenant farmers should record their soils to ensure any improvements are as a result of their husbandry.
Landlords should record a farm's soil values at the start of a tenancy to ensure tenants at least maintain those values, and Valuers should ensure tenants are recompensed for increasing them (CAAV take note!).
But governments should be held to account for neglecting the strategic value of a nation's ability to feed itself - as appears to be happening in post-Brexit global trade deals. Boris wake up!

In simple terms, farmers either provide a constant supply of readily soluble crop nutrients every year, which easily leach away, or you prime your soil to let it do its stuff f.o.c - yes, f.o.c apart from maintaining organic matter from a livestock unit or green manure and a little lime and nitrogen when crops are growing at their fastest.

Practice on your worst fields - read Albrecht, Voisin, Kinsey et al and do what your grandad did. The birds, butterflies and wild flowers will follow. Good farming.
 

New Fuel Supplier On The Way

  • 112
  • 0
Farmdeals is very pleased to announce that Exswift Limited will soon be joining our digital online platform. Exswift deliver all types of fuel to numerous locations around Essex and further a field. We will keep you updated as to when they go live. Farmdeals.ag powered by The Farming Forum & FutureFarm. #farming #workinghard #inittogether

Exswift lorry2.jpg
Top