PRINCIPLE No 5 [How to overcome the deficiency]
To increase "available" elemental levels there are two choices:
- ADD more of the needed element or
- CHANGE the availability of what is present.
This final section is very important as it involves the principles of learning to deal
with problems and not just with the symptoms [i.e. a disease].
It can also lead to learning how to prevent diseases and optimise production.
If we are having to deal with a deficiency [causing a loss of potential production]
we have two fundamental choices:
To achieve increased "available" elemental levels you may need to gain additional knowledge and skills.
Yet as consumers we are often sold either a product or a service.
- ADD the element that is often in the form of a purchased product
[this is very costly and is this practicing sustainable agriculture?] or
- CHANGE the availability of what is present. [Put simply - work with what you have].
Remember that, as we consider adding an element [product] or using increased knowledge and skills
[service] to change the availability of an element. These areas should initially be considered
separately so that you have a clear understanding as to what you are going to be "sold."
A]. ADDING Elements
Due to strong marketing forces we have often focused on overcoming deficiencies by adding a PRODUCT.
We are told [by paid advertising/bias advice/research] if you add product "X" [which the advertiser
will sell you] the problems will be fixed. - Many people then buy the product. However one question
still needs to be asked:
Does this fix the problem in the long term [or just treat the short-term symptoms until next time]?
B]. CHANGING the availability of elements.
The ways to change the availability of elements are many and varied. For example:
The practical means of changing the availability of elements will be covered as a separate
subject in its own right.
- Expose the cell to increased Magnetic / Biological / Energy forces etc.
- Changing the chemistry via the pH*
[i.e. balance your soils by adjusting the major soil cations].
* Calcium is a key regulator of pH in your blood, plant sap & especially the soil.
- Reducing elemental antagonisms [balancing individual elements].
This will be covered in the more advanced topic and series book - AgDiagnostics.
- Past Masters of Changing Element Availability
Organic farmers tend to prefer the line of thought about increasing element availability. For example,
increasing the available soil phosphorous to the plant without actually adding extra phosphorous out
of a bag. They use and utilise for example: aeration, earthworm activity, manures etc. to achieve this.
Previously it was mentioned that the agricultural fertiliser industry through their sales people wish to
sell product and conventional farmers use their "services" and their products. The "organic" farm based
systems, however, choose to increase the availability of what is present through good husbandry practices.
It is only in relatively recent times that the organic industry has been supported by a small amount of
research on how organic farmers' production systems survive and prosper, often on very low [product]
A QUESTION TO PONDER
Why do you think that learning how to increase the availability of elements
has received such a low level of private and government support?
In Summary if you are seeking advice about overcoming deficiencies you may end up having to choose
between a product selling person [their service cost is often covered/hidden in the product price] or a
[independent] service selling person that often sells education/knowledge.
Product sales people will traditionally advise/encourage you to maximise the use of their saleable product
[that is their job]. For example a sales person [who often also sells you a low cost "service"] could try
and get you to repeatedly add as much of their product as possible by suggesting that your level[s] of "X"
should be much higher.
Have you read or been told - "You need a higher N or P or K level on a soil test" [WHY?].
If you wish to raise the P level, the real issue is how do you raise the availability of the N or P or K
in your soil!
In regard to the soil an [independent] agronomist who sells a service should firstly advise on realistic
critical and desired levels and show you how to increase the availability of any required elements [by
adding the element or change the availability i.e. change pH or microbes] and over what time span.
Your aim should be to identify the right information that you are seeking, whether from a "product or
service person" so that you can control the nutritional status of your soils, plants and animals using
these five introductory principles.
Think through what has been written and please re-read this edited booklet as it could increase
the sustainability of your farm, your community and your own health. If you have enjoyed this
information and you are interested in purchasing a full printed copy which includes the next level
of AgDiagnostics: the Ten Principles of Nutrition which covers the Law[s] of Maximum, Minimum &
Diminishing Returns, please move to your catalogue section.
The information contained in this publication has been formulated in good faith, the contents do
not take into account all the factors which need to be considered before putting that information
into practice. Accordingly, no person should rely on anything contained herein as a substitute for
specific professional advice.
S.O.S. Rev 9.2 All rights reserved.
Contact: www.healthyag.com © Gwyn Jones 2001
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