Brownfield Ag News: “Better Understanding of Soil Microbes Needed” April 2016
Broadcast Interview with Dr. Will Brinton by Mark Dorenkamp. The role and activity of microbes is often overlooked. “Looking at microbial turnover in soil, one of the most common traits is soil respiration- the ability of soils to absorb oxygen and to give off cardon dioxide…feeding microbes is adding to your soil’s health” (listen to the broadcast mp3 audio clip also here).
Soils Matter, Get The Scoop blog: “How do soil microbes affect soil health and nutrient availablility?” (SSSA) April 2016
“Soil is essential to life, that’s why we hear more every day about the microbes that inhabit soil,” writes Will Brinton.
AGWeb: “Nurture Sick Soil Back To Health” Jan 2016.
After 5 years, degraded soil shows signs of improvement...a multiyear effort to rehabilitate unhealthy soil by Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie has yielded several conclusions…
“Farming the CO2 Factor” published April 2015
Will Brinton discusses the need to alter how we think about soil testing. Instead of a focus on mineral replacement and “mineral balancing” – which is a form of “inorganic farming” it needs to recognize biological functioning within the system, where mineral relationships take second seat to biological. The article published in Acres USA is based on a USDA-NRCS Webinar in which Brinton introduces the concept of soils’ capability to produce CO2 as an event of primary significance to photosynthesis and dissolution of soil minerals.
Illinois Field & Bean “Manage Soil Health Like A Fund” February 2015
Will Brinton flips the soil health argument into an economic lesson: “What your soil holds in reserve [in its biology] is greater than a savings account, its a fund …”
AG Professional: Proper CO2 in Soil is Critical…. Jan 2015.
The importance of measuring CO2 activity in soil has become highly important and should be part of a new approach to soil fertility analysis…
No-Till Farmer “High Tech Soil Tests, Mapping Take No-Tillers Beyond N, P & K” Nov 2014
A wave of cutting edge diagnostic tools has arrived that can help no-tillers make more informed decisions about cropping and inputs. By Jennifer Ryan.
Progressive Farmer “Bushel Boost?” Sept 2014
Healthier soil releases more CO2, which could translate – via photosynthesis – into higher yields. Crop Advisor Dr Dan Davidson presents a discussion following an interview with Will Brinton (Reprinted with permission, copyright Telvent DTN, LLC).
Lancaster Farming: “Testing Shifts to Account for Soil Biology” (8/2/2014)
Lititz, PA. – The Lancaster Farmer reports on a field data in which Will Brinton presents the concept of natural release of N from soil: “Why would you put on more nitrogen if you knew you already had 81 unts available?” Brinton said.
AgProfessional: “Soil Health is more than just a buzzword“ (April 2014)
First there was “sustainable”, now we have “soil health”. Tests that determine key soil measurements could lead to better soil management.
Crops & Soils: “Evaluating the quality of your soil“(March-April 2014)
Dan Davidson, CPAg and contributing writer to the magazine of certified crop advisers, writes about physical, chemical and biological ways of measuring “soil quality”. Solvita’s CO2-Burst and Basal Respiration are described in detail, see p12.
Farm and Dairy: “New soil test measures soil health“(Feb 2014)
Bill Urbanowicz, agronomist for Spectrum Analytic, (…) said this test can go a long way to show the value of cover crops, which are believed to be one of the best ways to maintain soil structure and soil biology.
No-Till Farmer: “Valuable Tips for Continued Cover Crop Innovation“(Jan 2014)
The Solvita CO2-Burst soil test is developing into a valuable tool to help no-tillers measure soil biological health and make better decisions about fertilizer application, says Jay Fuhrer (NRCS) from North Dakota.
Corn + Soybean Digest, “New soil test tracks microbial activity“(Oct 2013)
“Standard soil tests told us we needed to apply P and K, but the Haney test came back suggesting we had plenty of both,” says Dave Brandt, longtime Ohio no-till and cover-crop practitioner. … Two years of using the Haney test let him cut fertilizer purchases by 50% on 1,200 acres. Ray Archuleta isn’t surprised at Brandt’s findings. The conservation agronomist with the NRCS National Soil Health and Sustainability Team has long been frustrated with conventional soil sampling … “Conventional sampling wasn’t working [in our situation],” says Archuleta. “We would have a fantastic looking crop with no commercial fertilizer application, yet recommendations would be for more N…”
The Western Producer: “Consider the Solvita test“(Jan 2014)
“It’s giving an idea of how much biological activity is there,” said Kris Nichols, a U.S. Department of Agriculture soil microbiologist in Mandan, North Dakota. “You’re measuring your livestock.” Nichols compared it to a room full of people, which will have more carbon dioxide than a half filled room. As a result, the carbon dioxide level measures the amount of biological activity in the room. Nichols said Solvita is similar to a litmus test.”
The Furrow: “The test quest”(Feb 2013)
“No-till and cover crops have been part of David Brandt’s management style for four decades, so it’s not surprising that he wants to measure the dividends he can get from improved soil health. That’s why, when corn gets about a foot tall on his Ohio farm, Brandt pulls out a soil probe to collect samples for an on-farm Basic Solvita Soil Test, a measure of soil biological carbon dioxide (CO2) respiration. He puts the freshly sampled soil into a plastic jar, inserts a CO2-sensitive gel probe, then seals the jar and keeps it at room temperature in the dark for 24 hours. (…) “It’s a quick and dirty test, but it’s something we can do here on the farm and have our results the next day,” he says. “It’s inexpensive [about $7 per test], and we believe it gives us an accurate picture of what’s going on in the field.”