What is integrated biological farming?
It is a farming system which integrates chemical as well as organic farming in order to increase production and minimize the effect on the environment.
What is the "Albrecht System"?
Albrecht principles are based on feeding the soil, which will consequently feed the plant. The balance between elements is illustrated using a base saturation. Certain ideal ranges that the elements in the soil have to fall under define this. This idea of balanced soil chemistry needs to integrate with the biological aspects as well. The objective being to produce healthy food and protect the ecosystem.
How do I become a biological farmer?
First, you start by taking a good soil sample, which is then sent to a good laboratory for analysis of the macro and tracing elements using Albrecht methods. Once you receive the results, you have to start by balancing your soil, replenishing soil life and building carbon levels. It is also important to then start minimizing tillage and the use of harmful; chemicals, practice mulching and planting cover crops in order to optimize microbial activity.
It is therefore a total commitment and paradigm shift as many of these methods are totally different to the conventional practices. One should therefore also visit other biological farmers to learn from them, have vision and stay informed.
What are humates and fulvates?
In the carbon chain dead organic matter is broken down into humates and then fulvates. These are complex carbon chains that provide binding sites for various elements and functional groups. They have the ability to increase nutrient uptake in plants, improve the water holding capacity and also stimulate microbial life.
How can I build carbon levels in my soil?
One cannot alone build carbon with organic acids or organic material in soils. In most of the soils in South Africa the carbon level is low. This occurs whether by decomposition of organic material like cellulose, proteins, lignin, fats, oils and waxes. The dead bodies of microbes accumulate in the soil and play a part in carbon build up. It is therefore important to regulate the availability of organic material like organic acids and organic matter that is not decomposed.
How can I reduce costs to increase production?
The one simple answer is to start practicing biologically integrated farming. One should nurture soil life, manage the useful harmful chemicals and balance the soil chemistry.