Healthier Soil Means More Nutrients for Plants
With fertilizer costs on the rise, it is tempting for landowners to skip fertilizing their food plots this fall and assume that soil nutrients are adequate. As long as the soil has ample residual nutrients for the next planting, skipping fertilizer won't hurt. But testing the soil in food plots is the only way to know if soil pH, nitrogen, phosphorus and potash levels are okay or need adjustment with fertilizer and lime. Planting without a soil test could hurt yields, waste your time, effort and money in planting, and set soil health back for years to come.
Farmers have known for more than a century that soils are alive with what we know as microflora. These are all of the microorganisms that must be present for soil to function and allow plants to grow. Bacteria, algae, and yes, even nematodes (microscopic worms), are present and necessary for healthy and productive soils. Certain strains of microflora are required to convert specific nutrients into usable forms for plant uptake. The growth and activities of these bacteria are also the only source for oxygen in the soil. Without oxygen, the soil will become compact, tight, hard and dry.
A Solution for Starving Soil
DeltAg Formulations has a product to improve food plots called Soil Solution. Soil Solution is designed to feed the soil microflora and accelerate the breakdown, or composting, of post-harvest crop residue. This is done by stimulating the growth and efficiency of bacteria and introducing specific enzymes to enhance bacterial activity on the breakdown of crop residue. In other words, Soil Solution feeds bacteria. Many soil products on the market apply more bacteria to soil. Soil Solution feeds and enhances microflora that are adapted to your food plot. Enhancing bacterial activity improves the overall health of food plots. More bacterial activity means more oxygen, more nutrient availability, more water-holding capacity and better yields.
Apply Soil Solution at a rate of 24 ounces per acre and incorporate it into the soil using a disk. In no-till situations, apply at a rate of 32 ounces per acre. Increase incorporation of Soil Solution by applying it just prior to rain. Fall application is preferred over spring because the composting process needs time to improve soil health. DeltAg field tests have shown a 35 percent increase in stubble digestion over 4 months, including winter months! Soil tests on treated plots have shown increased levels of phosphate and potash over time with no additional applications.
For more information on Soil Solution and many more DeltAg products for your wildlife needs, visit the DeltAg Web site. -- Johnny McRight, DeltAg president