The need to reduce the unnatural pollutants on our farms is urgent and necessary. Whatever your opinion or belief may be, surely you must agree we are now in a world where chemicals made by man, not nature, are becoming increasingly dominant and are a problem to natural ecosystems. It has been recognised by science that such things as Nitrogen, Pesticides, Herbicides and Fungicides have over the years increased to such a point that they are damaging our planets ecosystems. Of these the insecticides, herbicides and fungicides are recognised as the chemicals most at fault as they both must affect the soils micro bacteria and flora. The increasing prevalence of such diseases as Cancer and neurological problems in Farmers makes one wonder if there is a link somewhere.
These chemicals are seen by today's farmers as a necessary commodity for the survival of their enterprises. A reduction in their use on many farms is obviously the most necessary outcome. The education of farmers in new more natural techniques is necessary, a programme that will encourage and not frighten them would be the sensible solution because farmers in recent years have been struggling to survive, due to low prices for their produce and rising costs of inputs.
This new programme must be profit based because if it isn't, there will be resistance to any new methods and the whole programme will either fail or become very difficult to accept. In this modern world it is necessary for farmers to be able to keep the Banks and Financial sector happy, this often becomes a very stressful and difficult thing causing many kinds of family problems. Often the cause is fear of the unknown, also farmers are price takers at the mercy of the market. This fact must be taken into consideration and we are sure none of us wants to make things more difficult as we progress with these new ideas and products. Any new programme must be carried out with compassion and concern for our farmers.. .. then we will succeed.
Farmers are very down to earth people, they have to be to survive. They will ask many questions such as...What new methods are you advocating, what will it cost, will we save money, has it ever been used on farms and how successful was it... this is what farmers need to know. If we can answer these questions truthfully and with a clear well understood message, their response will be good, well accepted and widely used, farm people are always on the lookout for new ways that work and make money on the farm.
Our method of a more biological approach to farming utilizes high quality Seagreen Soluble Seaweed Granules mixed in water at 1 kg per 1000 litres sprayed on each hectare of crop, firstly when the crop is young and again when it is in full leaf. The seaweed nutrient and growth stimulants need to be absorbed by the leaf for the best results. Fertigation through irrigation is not the best method as it washes the nutrient off the leaf before it can be absorbed to perform the multitude of things that seaweed does to the plant to make sugar for the root system and growth. Of course some seaweed will land on the soil when spraying the leaf, especially when the plants are young, this overspray will wash in and feed the soil life. The seaweed that is applied to the leaf will be absorbed and flood the plant from tip to root with many elements. It is absorbed through the leaf more effectively than the roots. Certain elements such as Cytokinins, Gibberellins and Auxins (Growth Hormones) are only absorbed by the leaf.
The Trash Blanket after harvest will break down better if sprayed with seaweed and fish. Because the leaf is already rich in elements, it will produce a richer loam with a bigger better biomass for the next crops growth, hopefully with a reduced need for the use of chemical nitrogen. (no burning). After this approach the soil will have better Humus and water holding, the difference is obvious.
Many farmers rest their paddocks and set legumes, but when I pass by these areas I am often disappointed with the size, vigour and general look of this cover crop. It is obvious that the plants are not doing well and the rhizomes are poor with not sufficient red haemoglobin levels transferring natural nitrogen to the plants sap. One or two sprays of Seagreen Soluble Seaweed on the leaf of legumes will dramatically improve this problem increasing natural nitrogen to the plant through a dramatic increase in haemoglobin within the rhizome. This can be seen by digging up a plant and removing rhizomes from the root , cut them in half and see if the rhizome wall is a strong red colour. Increased free natural nitrogen in paddocks with permanent legume such as clover or medic not only increases nitrogen but builds the soil biomass, waterholding capacity plus deepens soil depth.
A big indicator of this is the health of wormlife ( If applicable) one farmer told me that since he began using seaweed the wormlife in his soil had increased dramatically, he said that he didn't see a worm usually in the paddocks but now he often saw them under the trash in the wet and they were really alive, jumping about as the mulch is opened to take a look. Worms are a window upon what is actually happening in the soils biomass. I have travelled around on farm land taking soil Ph readings and digging up soil samples, looking at root and legume rhizomes, most paddocks on conventional farms have few worms plus what are there, are generally sluggish poor specimens. Seaweed application always changes this aspect of the soil, producing an increase in soil fertility and increased healthy wormlife. Deep rooted legumes improve soil depth over the years due to a long deep tap root and increase animal capacity within the area. The habit of keeping a good cover crop reduces weeds, increases nitrogen and builds biomass so improving your harvest potential, without ploughing... a massive saving in itself.
Often farmers are ridiculed when they dare to change the accepted methods, why, because their neighbours do not understand and are afraid of change. Even though the improvement is quite obvious and these new methods have really worked there is often a strong anti change response to not burning or leaving a trash blanket and seaweed spraying... but now an increased number of farmers are seeing the light. I believe that we will see a strong response to these new methods as others see the effect upon their neighbours farms. I also believe that there are now far more farmers looking with an open mind for new methods that really work and make and save money. Over the years through TV programmes on agriculture plus financial pressures we are seeing a real change in the farming mindset, towards a more biological approach with our soils.
It doesn't matter whether we are looking at the worms, bacteria under a microscope, any of the other important life forms in the soil... if there are deficiencies in the soils nutrients the biomass will show it in the health of your crop. We are not necessarily talking of macro nutrients, as often there are tonnes of Phosphate locked up in the soil, ready to be unlocked by the soils micro life and triggered by a few applications of seaweed. Often farmers do not understand the damage done in the soils fertility by ploughing, chemical fertilizing and chemical spraying with fungicides, insecticides and weedicide killing countless millions of life forms that hold the soil together as a sticky biomass. Chemical fertilizers can and do reduce the glue that holds the soil together reducing the soils life force. Unfortunately many soils become merely DIRT propped up by chemical fertilizer working almost in a Hydroponic situation. Often modern plant varieties are very forgiving bred to grow in poor soil that have little or no biomass propped up by expensive chemical fertilizers. It is well known that poor soil erodes, washes or blows away and is a huge loss to any working farm.
Wet Tropics Management has called into account the use of chemical pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that leech from farms onto our Reef. There is increasing use of these chemicals in our world, not only in farming but also in gardening, council roadsides, homes, workplaces and all manner of other sites along our waterways as they flow to the sea. Because of this there is now a great deal of urgency to educate everyone that we must reduce chemical use and learn new safer techniques that improve soils and the personal health of today's farmers. The increased rate of death from Cancer within the farming community must be an indicator that it is indeed a time for real change in many farming practices.
Soluble Seaweed has the ability to increase biological life by feeding the soil biomass with its wide range of vital nutrients. This is noticeable in Bio Dynamics where Bio Dynamic 500, a live bacterial and floral mix is sprayed on the land to help increase fertility. If Soluble Seaweed is also sprayed over the same area, the result is truly amazing with the growth of plant life far in excess of areas where only the 500 spray has been used. The combination of 500 and seaweed shows how the effect of soil nutrients being washed by heavy rain down to the sea for millions of years has reduced the soils minerals and the soils ability to grow plant life as it should . Now due to modern technology we can return these valuable nutrients from the sea and reinvigorate the farmland, producing better crops and producing more nutritious food.
Soils on different farms, districts, rainfall, soil types and farming practices will inevitably have different biomass. In all cases there will be a dramatic increase in the biological life in soils where soluble seaweed is used due to the large range of available minerals in seaweed that feeds the soil life, so raising its fertility also adding valuable glue to soil particles as seaweed is made from Alginate a gel that holds approximately 30 times its own weight in water. Seaweed also has its own chelating and sticking agent and is a complete package that science is now bringing to light in so many ways.
The addition of seaweed to farm soils over the years, on a constant basis, in the small amounts recommended will always increase fertility, it does not matter if the farm practices are conventional or organic. The quantity of seaweed applied is as small as one kilo of Seagreen seaweed granules in water sprayed over one hectare, this constitutes only 'point one of a gram per square metre'... incredible to contemplate that this minute amount could make any difference but when you consider the actual size of the microbes, only then does the equation make sense. Regular small applications to plant and soil is beneficial to the soil biomass, reducing the need to use nitrogen, and unlocking a supply of macro nutrients that the farmer has added by the tonnes over many years. Using seaweed in a way that is balanced for plant growth will reducing leeching of valuable plant food into waterways, this will ultimately save the farmer money and increase their profits. Seaweed elements are negatively charged and attach to the soils clay and humus particles reducing leeching.
Seaweed has been found by science to be an incredibly complicated and very valuable sea algae that is used in many ways. The extraction of Alginates is but one and it is used in many industries worldwide and has become a multimillion dollar enterprise in the food business alone.
Ascophyllum Nodosum Seaweed has been found by scientific analysis and extensive trials in universities and agricultural research stations to be very suitable for use on farms, for both plants and animals. Our Seagreen Soluble Seaweed is made of one hundred percent Ascophyllum Nodosum and comes in the form of dry black granules which easily melt into water for spraying onto plant leaves and soil. Made in Norway it is of the highest quality, just seaweed, it is made with scrupulous controls to retain its many minerals, natural growth hormones and vitamins. Our seaweed is always cut fresh from the rocky pristine coastline of Norway with extreme care and consideration for the environment and the future. It takes four years to grow to optimum size and maturity before harvesting, it is then washed of salt and made ready for processing into several products. The Norwegian coastline is very long due to its many fjords and islands, it stretches in length more than the equator of the Earth, enabling this company to supply excellent product continually without damage to the environment. The sea at these latitudes is very rich in nutrient growing the finest seaweed in the world. If you go too far towards the pole or equator and seaweed falls away in quantity and quality quite dramatically.
Not many seaweed fertilizers can be purchased as a dry soluble granule most come as liquids containing stabilizers and other things that vary according to what the manufacturer decides. The arguments on who's is the best is far ranging , complicated and very commercial. But most of them, we are informed, add Ascophyllum Nodosum to their mixes to increase performance. Many seaweed mixtures are mostly water, which is heavy and needs a strong plastic bottle or drum. In a 20 litre bottle weighing 20 kg there is normally only about 4 kg of seaweed solids. The cost of transporting water is great and adds to the overall price to the farmer. Some brews even contain molasses, this may be good but surely any farmer can add both water and molasses very cheaply themselves.
Seagreen Soluble Seaweed Fertilizer is pure seaweed nothing added or removed, it contains nothing that will in any way damage the environment , human, animal or crop as it is all natural, only small amounts are used to gain the needed response and the best outcomes for your crops and soils....We believe that our Seagreen Soluble Seaweed is the Best on Earth for all the above reasons. We believe that a serious biological programme needs to be developed urgently for our World and its Farmers. Seaweed is very beneficial in reducing nitrogen and fertilizer leeching and soil runoff on farms potentially saving farmers many millions of dollars nationwide. Seagreen Soluble will help Australian Farmers be more profitable and help Australia be more competitive and produce more healthy food for the people of Our World.
Blog post by Grahame