We focus on soil health. It’s the primary unifying principle behind our work. Every product, every step, is designed to build healthy, life-sustaining soils. Healthy soils support stronger, more resilient plants; they produce higher yields; they produce more nutritious food and forage. And, for the growers we support, healthy soils lead to higher profits.
Healthy soils require balanced soil chemistry. All farmers know the basics of NPK, but our blended fertilizers and soil amendments help producers build soils with appropriate levels of a wide range of nutrients, including calcium, sulfur and trace minerals.
Balanced plant nutrition supports healthy, diverse populations of soil microbes. Microbes draw nutrients into the soil’s food chain, making the nutrients more stable and available for plant uptake. This ensures greater nutrient efficiency — more goes to plants and less leaches out into waterways or escapes into the atmosphere.
Soil microbes are a food source for larger soil life. Bacteria, algae and fungi are consumed by microscopic nematodes and micro-arthropods; these, in turn, are consumed by earthworms, insects and others. These diverse populations create greater resilience against pests — no one pest can gain disproportionate weight in the field. Our cover crop seeds grow into plants that scavenge and restore nutrients — for both cash crops and microbes — and continue the process of building better soil structure. Thoughtful tillage practices avoid the kinds of deep cuts that are harmful to healthy soil structure. Diverse rotations offer more nutrient restoration and support microbial diversity. Because these life forms work the soil as they forage, they open up spaces between aggregated molecules, creating soils that look a bit like cake — with air pockets throughout. The improved soil structure allows for faster root establishment and better water retention — again offering greater plant performance and resilience.
For our growers, building soil health is not an end in itself. It’s a powerful way to build yield. And it’s the only way to consistently, sustainably build yield over many years and decades. If we think in terms of a family, the yield gains early on help farmers generate the profits necessary to raise and educate their children. Long-term soil health improvements mean those children will inherit a farm far more valuable and productive than the one their parents farmed years earlier.
We’ve focused on soil life for more than 30 years. As more companies come to this realization, we say: Welcome! At the same time, we think it’s helpful to offer a clear distinction between our approach and the approach taken by some of the new entrants to this field. We’re not selling individual microbes here. Rather, we are creating the circumstances in which beneficial soil life can flourish season after season, year after year.