The Elaine Ingham Challenge

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
And did she think that modern wheat / barley / etc cultivars had the ability to function in a balanced system in the way you describe? It again seems plausible that modern varieties have been bred in unbalanced conditions and may have lost the ability to interact in a mutually symbiotic manner with a healthy soil system.

wasn't a point discussed unfortunately
 

Simon C

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Essex Coast
Did she suggest that inorganic compounds in foliar micro-nutrient sprays would have a majorly destabilising effect even at the low rates they are applied at?

She put up a microscope photo of a leaf covered in bacteria and fungi which completely covered the surface so that any disease spores landing on there couldn't possibly get in. Any spray would strip away this layer and leave the leaf open to attach.
 
Good thread, provoking good questions

What Elaine says is interesting, I keep getting emails about her online soil food web course but it costs a grand and I'm too busy really, if I had all day yes I'd get a microscope, unfortunately I dont.

As a farmer in her own right I'm a little sceptical as to why we don't see headlines like, 'record yield broken by strange woman in wooley jumper' however it's the biology element that got me interested in no till and I often think it's missed a little.

I have some interesting experiences with different products and fertilisers that I would be keen to discuss with others, also some interesting soil tests from laverstoke park, should I post them here or can we start a new thread entitled something like biological products and their successes and failures?

Matt
 

Simon C

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Essex Coast
I also think direct applications of either molasses or humic acid dependant upon what your microscope reveals could be of benefit to feed what you do have)

After she said that molasses is for bacteria and humic acid is for fungi, whether in the soil or in compost tea, I started to wonder if molasses is the right thing to be using since it is the fungi that we need to promote more. But then Plumbo has been supplying me with humic acid for donkey's years and he learnt about all this stuff a long while ago.
 

Simon C

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Essex Coast
Good thread, provoking good questions

What Elaine says is interesting, I keep getting emails about her online soil food web course but it costs a grand and I'm too busy really, if I had all day yes I'd get a microscope, unfortunately I dont.

As a farmer in her own right I'm a little sceptical as to why we don't see headlines like, 'record yield broken by strange woman in wooley jumper' however it's the biology element that got me interested in no till and I often think it's missed a little.

I have some interesting experiences with different products and fertilisers that I would be keen to discuss with others, also some interesting soil tests from laverstoke park, should I post them here or can we start a new thread entitled something like biological products and their successes and failures?

Matt

Start another thread @matttargett4, I have a Soil Microbiology Report from Laverstoke to put up and we can try and make some sense of it. I only have it in paper form so will take a bit of messing around with the scaner.
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
After she said that molasses is for bacteria and humic acid is for fungi, whether in the soil or in compost tea, I started to wonder if molasses is the right thing to be using since it is the fungi that we need to promote more. But then Plumbo has been supplying me with humic acid for donkey's years and he learnt about all this stuff a long while ago.

well I walked into that room with plans to apply molasses in every fert application this year, by lunch I was unsure and by the end I wasn't doing it at all until I had seen if my soil was bacterial or fungi dominant

My father has often talked about crops he judged years ago where a new manager had been employed on a large estate - this estate was quite traditional plough , comb drill etc but he had started using humic acid applications on stubble, my father has talked about these crops for years, they must have been impressive !! the manager moved on and so did his techniques so I never had chance to find out more
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
Good thread, provoking good questions

What Elaine says is interesting, I keep getting emails about her online soil food web course but it costs a grand and I'm too busy really, if I had all day yes I'd get a microscope, unfortunately I dont.

As a farmer in her own right I'm a little sceptical as to why we don't see headlines like, 'record yield broken by strange woman in wooley jumper' however it's the biology element that got me interested in no till and I often think it's missed a little.

I have some interesting experiences with different products and fertilisers that I would be keen to discuss with others, also some interesting soil tests from laverstoke park, should I post them here or can we start a new thread entitled something like biological products and their successes and failures?

Matt

another thread would be best (and very interesting)
 

Colin

Member
Location
Perthshire
i considered doing a full on Albrect method field a while ago - trouble is it's a very long term principle and extremely expensive if you go for it from day 1 - even for a smallish field I would be looking at many lorry load of inputs

In short its a very hard thing to trial short term
I do the albrecht thing on fields going into carrots and also odd fields through the rest of the rotation, just to get a feel for things. I don't do the full albrecht on the carrots, still use MOP for example. But I put on the trace elements they reccomend and some of the other things and results seem to be ok. On a high value crop they don't add much cost and the trace elements are supposedly enough for 5 years. Did do the full albrecht one year on a small area and the cost of the nutrition programme went from 250 to £750/ha!
 

parker

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
south staffs
@parker your agronomist that you bought to see my crops / drill was working with Mike H wasn't he ? what wa the stuff he wanted to try through my drill tank ? was that the product above ?
yes it is a liquid mycorrhizal dressing, when they tested it on lettuce last year they had a 35% increase in yield I think and so are very keen to try it on other crops as am i,but I just don't have the drill mounted tank at the moment to be able to apply it
 

Clive

Staff Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Lichfield
yes it is a liquid mycorrhizal dressing, when they tested it on lettuce last year they had a 35% increase in yield I think and so are very keen to try it on other crops as am i,but I just don't have the drill mounted tank at the moment to be able to apply it


ask him to give me a call if he wants to try some on a few different spring crops !
 

Honest john

Member
Location
Fenland
I had two fields of spring rape 2013.
One field we had got ready for beet. It had 25 ton / ha Compost subsoiled cultivated. ( this field we have farmed for 20 years.

The other field was Ploughed.
This field we had farmed for 2 years.

The Compost field yielded double the Ploughed field. The crop was grown for Farming4profit so he would confirm(y)

I agree with Elaine, Plumbo, M Harrington, but there is always a delemma with using some Friendly inputs ( Humic Acid Compost cover crops )

Then some baddies ( Roundup Atlantis Fungicides ) & the likes.
Elaine would like us to only use the goodies :happy:

Can it work out in the real world :scratchhead:

We may have to find out as the EU pushes on with banning many of the baddies :rolleyes:
 

BSH

Member
BASE UK Member
And did she think that modern wheat / barley / etc cultivars had the ability to function in a balanced system in the way you describe? It again seems plausible that modern varieties have been bred in unbalanced conditions and may have lost the ability to interact in a mutually symbiotic manner with a healthy soil system.

I did ask her this Q. I asked her that if we assumed that we knew what the perfect soil was ( ie compost) then we must know the ultimate yield potential of that soil and therefore can we get to 20tonnes? Her reply was that the breeding would need to change but did reference some work she had been doing in Ukraine that had come to a halt because the high yielding plots seed had been eaten by the locals.
 

Simon C

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Essex Coast
ask him to give me a call if he wants to try some on a few different spring crops !

Don't get too excited about mycorrhizal inoculations. I tried some on wheat after peas and got no response. I sent roots off to be analysed and there was actually more mycorrhizae on the untreated than the treated. Maybe if your soil is completely dead then it will help, but after a highly fungal dependent crop like any legume or linseed there is plenty there to colonise the wheat roots. The example of lettuce may well have bees in a highly intensive soil bashing regime.
 

Barleycorn

Member
BASE UK Member
Location
Hampshire
There are a couple of good groups on Yahoo groups that are worth a look, Compost teas, The Soil Food Web & Soils, and Soil and health group. Elaine is a regular contributer.
 

Richard III

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
CW5 Cheshire
Going back to the OP, 10t/ha continuous wheat, perhaps I have missed something somewhere, but where is all the N going to come from to produce these crops? @BSH seems to be the only one to have gone some way to address this issue, with his clover under storey suggestion?
 

New report underlines need for joined-up action to protect rivers

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New report underlines need for joined-up action to protect rivers

Written by Defra Press Office

A wide river is in view in a valley in the background, a drystone wall is behind the river, and large, green trees are prominent in the scene.


The Rivers Trust has today launched its State of Our Rivers report aiming to allow the English public understand and explore the health of their rivers on a national and local scale.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow and Environment Agency Director John Leyland attended the launch panel to discuss the ways in which the...
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