Sheep meat, beef, venison and dairy producers, arable farmers and horticulturists carry an extraordinary burden of responsibility in that they are, first and foremost, food producers. The food produced is totally dependent on the soil for all its nutrients. Current analysis of farm performance is based solely on production efficiency. The nutritional quality of the food produced is not assessed.
Farmers are paid on quantity of product sold. This naturally incentivises producers to grow more products faster hence the increasing use of urea, soluble fertilisers and chemical weedicides, pesticides and animal remedies. Food produced this way is not “fit for purpose."
Food that is fit for purpose is food that the consumer has evolved to extract all energy requirements from.
The Probitas philosophy is to facilitate the sustainable production of food that is fit for purpose.
Delivering knowledge required to achieve sustainable food production systems
Creating farming systems that have regard for environmental sustainability.
Creating farming systems that meet organic standards.
Creating farming systems that explore the production potential of well nourished animals.
Supplier of measuring systems to monitor soil and plant nutrient levels.
Brookside Laboratories soil test. 16 element test. 6 cation base saturations measured. Phosphorus measured with Bray 2 and Melich 3 extraction.
Plant nutrient availability test.
Herbage analysis to measure plant nutrient uptake.
Suppliers of mineral amendment systems to achieve optimum soil conditions to support balanced soil biology.
Access to high quality minerals and trace minerals required for achieving balance in the soil and humus and delivering the optimum environment for soil biology.
Suppliers of systems that deliver nutrient availability to the plants.
Access to high quality foliar amendments to address nutrient deficiencies in plants.
Access to essential soluble minerals.
Suppliers of supplements required for enhanced animal performance.
Access to high quality essential oils developed to enhance the environment in which conception occurs.
Access to a high quality teat spray.
Suppliers of supplements for animals to enhance resilience to parasite and viral and bacterial challenges.
Access to a natural animal mineral lick rich in minerals and trace minerals.
INDICATORS FOR SUSTAINABLE FARMING
The appropriate indicators for sustainable farming are:
The food produced meets the requirements for optimum human nutrition.
The soil microbiology is in balance.
The soil is minerally balanced.
The ground water run-off meets required standards.
Soil energy is optimised.
The farming system complies with human and ecological sustainability requirements.
Healthy Soils are the most complex of any natural systems on Earth. In its natural state soil is teeming with a huge diversity of living organisms. Most of these organisms require oxygen and water to survive. The soil, plant and animal inter-action has evolved over millions of years into a perfect system.
Today the soil's natural complexities are being over ridden as man tries to impose himself using modern day synthetic fertilisers and chemicals to drive unsustainable production. To quote Dr Robert L. Park, a Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland, “If we must change existing laws of nature or propose new laws to account for an observation, it is almost certainly wrong”. One such observer was Justus von Liebig. His “Law of the minimum” led to the evolution of the modern chemical fertiliser industry.
If we continue to degrade the soil it will be at our peril.
To understand soils a broad knowledge of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Hydrology, Mineralogy and an understanding of how each discipline interacts with the others is required
Changing the basic soil mineralogy by bringing calcium and magnesium ratios into the order of around 6 parts calcium to 1 part magnesium, with base saturations of calcium at around 70% and magnesium close to 12% will change the physical structure of the soil. (Dr. William A. Albrecht, professor of soils at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture). The calcium and magnesium flocculate (attractions between negative face charges and positive edge charges) the soil, at these levels, creating pore space for oxygen.
This in turn will change the hydrology of the soil allowing water to drain more effectively when wet and allow more efficient hydration when dry.
The soil biology will function effectively as there is more air in the soil. Organic matter residues will be effectively recycled and nutrients harvested from the atmosphere. This in turn changes the chemistry of the soil with larger quantities of available nutrients held in the humus. New humus is created which efficiently sequesters carbon and improves the soils ability to hold water during drought conditions. Trace elements can be added to address measured deficiencies, biological inoculums applied to balance soil biology and the soils natural electrical flows and electromagnetic forces can be enhanced.
In most cases economic sustainability is the main reason a farmer would want to change current farming policies. The Probitas method incorporates the farmer's knowledge of the farm environment and expertise as a skilled observer to progressively develop soils into dynamic self sustaining food production systems.
When assessing soils, we bring together as much information as possible to make wise decisions so that the potential of the natural system can be captured. Information needs to be collected on pasture species, compaction zones, soil pans, thatch layers, biological state, moisture availability or excess and past fertiliser history. Soil testing and herbage analysis are also required. This assessment gives an overview of the factors limiting a soils productive capability in its present state.
From here, in consultation with the farmer, we identify the factors that are impacting on the farms ability to generate net profit. This varies from farmer to farmer. This information is used to plan well ahead so that the farmer will be able to achieve goals.
Production increases have been the catch cry for a considerable amount of time now but what are the costs that have to be born in order to have a gain in production? Does increased production necessarily deliver more net profit? Generally, in production driven systems, extra costs are incurred as a result of increasing animal health issues, low animal performance and disease in crops all as a result of plant and animal stress caused by malnutrition. This leads to a situation where the farmer is farmed by goods and service providers. They become dependent on the following to remain in business.
The provider of preventive and rescue strategies for animals to combat the symptoms of malnutrition
The chemical companies, soluble fertiliser companies and the seed companies.
The providers of the means to extract production from biologically and minerally compromised soil.
The providers of the finance to allow the businesses to survive in spite of poor production and high costs caused by sick plants and animals.
The Probitas System delivers a means by which farmers can reduce input costs by enhancing the potential of correctly nourished animals thereby significantly reducing dependence on goods and service providers.
Farmers are the most important people in the world as it is the food we produce that nourishes the people and ensures the health and wealth of the planet's population. Only that which is grown in the soil or taken from the oceans creates original wealth.
PROBITAS EDUCATIONAL DVD/VIDEO CHAPTER HEADINGS
Cation exchange capacity.
Electrical flow and silica.
Contact your area agent for more information.
Sustainable biological farming systems.