Think of what a factory is: a place where goods are manufactured. But manufacturing requires more than just a location. To produce goods, a factory needs to be filled with workers – labourers who have specific jobs that enable products to be made.
Just like a typical factory, your soil is filled with workers. These are the organisms that are labouring to make tonnes of healthy grass for your herd. Without this underground workforce, nothing grows. They are literally that important.
As a farmer, you are the CEO of the Soil Factory. Your job is to make sure the grass-growing workers are looked after. They're the ones that make everything happen.
As Soil CEO, your job is to look after the workers
MEET YOUR WORKERS: The Organisms That Make Your Farm Successful
- These guys make nutrients available to plants
- Increase nutrient retention,
- Enhance soil structure to improve the flow of water and reduce erosion.
- They release plant growth hormones that stimulate root growth and improve root architecture.
- They detoxify soil and suppress disease by protecting plants from Pathogens.
- Fungi decompose complex carbon compounds
- improve the accumulation of organic matter.
- Some produce hormones and antibiotics which enhance root growth and suppress disease.
- Others physically bind soil particles into aggregates, which helps air and water flow and aids in the transportation of nutrients to plants.
- Protozoa are single-celled micro-organisms that are active near the root zone.
- Protozoa release excess nitrogen and nutrients for plants to use
- They also help soil particles to bind together to provide pore space for the retention and exchange of air and water.
- These non-segmented worms mineralise nutrients into plant-available forms
- They also consume disease-causing organisms.
- These guys improve the soil factory structure through burrowing.
- Their fecal pellets help bind soil particles
- Their waste is rich in plant nutrients.
- Improve the soil's stability, porosity, and moisture-holding capacity by burrowing + binding soil.
- They even help root growth by creating channels lined with nutrients.
- The burrows of vertical earthworms pipe air deeper into the soil, stimulating microbial nutrient cycling at those deeper levels. During droughts, these tunnels allow for deep root penetration into subsoil regions where higher moisture content can be found.