"The nation that destroys its soil destroys
itself" (Roosevelt 1937)
The future of America depends on the future of
The most meaningful indicator for the health
of the land, and the long-term wealth of a
is whether soil is being formed or lost.
Despite our efforts to implement 'best practice'
in soil conservation, our soils continue to
deteriorate. Most farm soils have become
If productive soil continues to be lost, debates
about the optimum enterprise mix, pasture
species, fertilizer rate, percentage of trees,
or any other 'detail' over which we seem to
argue endlessly, are irrelevant. They amount to
re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Research efforts in the soil science arena have
concentrated on reducing the rate of soil loss.
The concept of building new topsoil is rarely
considered. But that is where our focus needs to
Building new topsoil
In order for new soil to form, it must be
living. Life in the soil provides the structure
for more life, and the formation of more soil.
Building new topsoil is much like building a
house (Bushby 2002). A good house is one which
is comfortable for the occupants. It requires a
roof, walls and airy rooms with good plumbing.
Soil with poor structure cannot function
effectively, even when nutrient and moisture
levels are optimal (Bushby 2002).
The roof of a healthy soil is the groundcover of
plants and plant litter, which buffer
temperatures, improve water infiltration and
slow down evaporation, so that soil remains
moister for longer following rainfall. The
building materials for the walls are gums and
polysaccharides produced by soil microbes. These
sticky substances enable soil minerals to be
glued together into little lumps (aggregates)
and the aggregates to be glued together into
peds. When soil is well aggregated, the spaces
(pores) between the aggregates form the rooms in
the house. They allow the soil to breathe, as
well as absorb moisture quickly when it rains. A
healthy topsoil should be about half solid
materials and half pore spaces (Brady 1984).
Friable, porous topsoils make it easier for
plant roots to grow and for small soil
invertebrates to move around. Well-structured
soils retain the moisture necessary for
microbial activity, nutrient cycling and
vigorous plant growth and are less prone to
erosion. Unfortunately, soil structure is very
fragile and soil aggregates are continually
being broken down (Bushby 2001). An ongoing
supply of energy in the form of carbohydrates
from actively growing plant roots and
decomposing plant litter is required, so that
soil organisms can flourish and produce adequate
amounts of the sticky secretions required to
maintain the 'house'.
Ingredients for soil formation
There are six
essential ingredients for soil formation.
Living things IN the soil (plants and
animals) and their by-products
Living things ON the soil (plants and
animals) and their by-products
Intermittent and patchy disturbance regimes
(provided by intensive grazing or pulse
For soil to form, it needs to be
To be living, soil needs to be
either healthy plants or decomposing plant
litter (#5 above)
Rules for soil formation
whether for grazing, cropping, horticulture,
timber, conservation or recreation.
No bare soil.Soil
must always be coveredwith
plants or plant litter.
groundcover from grazing, or grow green
manure crops with minimum tillage.
slash the groundcover periodically. Use high
stock densities for short periods to place
organic matter both in and onthe
soil (root pruning and litter trampling). On
pasture cropped land, this may include one
or two in-crop graze periods. Green manure
crops can be incorporated in the soil
through animal impact. For non-pasture
lands, lightly till in green manure crops.
Soil balance is crucial
Soil conditions must be such that soil organisms
can flourish. High levels of biological activity
are required for rapid formation of topsoil.
What effect do you think that drenches,
pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, nematicides
and fertilizers have on soil balance and life?
These chemicals are one of the primary causes of
The activities of beneficial soil microbes are
important for the formation of soil aggregates.
These give soil its structure, improve porosity
and water-holding capacity, all of which are
critical for proper soil balance and life.
In other words, when aerobic soil microbes are
given what they need, they create a perfect
living environment for themselves. It is plants
that benefit most from this perfect environment,
for it is a nutrient rich environment in which
the plant lacks nothing.
Speeding up soil development
When given a perfect environment, plants will
secrete up to half of the sugars they
manufacture down through their roots, and still
have more than enough for high sugar levels in
the plant. These secreted sugars feed soil
microbes, resulting in greater biological
activity and faster new topsoil formation. It is
the energy from biological activity that drives
composty smell indicates high levels of
biological activity, particularly fungi. Soil
will have a friable texture and be dark in
that springs back Highly
should feel light and springy under your feet.
Can you easily push a screwdriver in up to the
handle? With continued soil building, I have
seen a 4' soil probe easily penetrate a full
four feet into the ground.
Erosion resistant Highly structured
soil clings together and resists erosion. It
weighs less than non-flocculated soil.
Jumpstarting the soil building process
Is there a secret to jumpstarting the process?
The secret lies in doing the following:
Clean chemicals and toxins out of the soil
so that aerobic microbes can thrive
Flush salts out of the root zone; salts
inhibit microbial activity
Give plants the organic nutrients and trace
minerals they need for maximum sugar (liquid
Inoculate the soil with a rich variety of
microbes, including nitrogen-fixing
bacteria. Initially, over an inch of
moisture will be needed to help these
bacteria get established in the soil
Find a way to energize plants to sequester
large amounts of sugars (liquid carbon) into
GroPal Balance) -
A Breakthrough in
Over 10 years of research have gone into
developing a product designed to accomplish each
of the 5 things listed above.
Side by sidefield
confirmed that the product works.Lab
verify these results. The product is called
MycorrPlus (formerly GroPal Balance).
MycorrPlus is designed to do the following:
Quickly break down chemicals and toxins in
the soil to create an optimal environment
for aerobic microbes
Flush salts out of the root zone
Provide a rich diversity of nutrients needed
for optimum sugar sequestration, including
all the trace minerals found in the
Inoculate the soil with a rich variety of
aerobic bacteria, fungi and other microbes,
including nitrogen-fixing bacteria
Energize plants to sequester large amounts
of sugars (liquid carbon) into the soil
When given the right environment, it is possible
to create a full one inch of new topsoil a year,
plus transform the soil below it.(Hill,
S. B., 2002)
Now, just imagine having dark, rich soil
that you've always dreamed of having!
Imagine how it will change your life when
water soaks in instead of running off!
Imagine how you will feel when your livestock
are the best looking livestock in the area!
Imagine how much more
your animals will be worth!
For carbon rich soil, do one of the following:
Call 1-888-588-3139 to speak to
a consultant to learn more about MycorrPlus
Brady N.C. (1984).The
Nature and Properties of Soils.
Ninth Edition. Macmillan.
Bushby, V. (2001). Soil biology.Stipa
Bushby, V. (2002). Soil biology, aggregation and
Earl, J. M. and Jones, C. E. (1996). The need
for a new approach to grazing management—is cell
grazing the answer?Rangelands
Edwards, K. and Zierholz, C. (2001). Soil
formation and erosion rates. In:Soils:
Their Properties and Management. (Eds.
P.E.V. Charman and B.W. Murphy) pp. 39-58.
Second Edition. Oxford University Press.
Hill, S. B. (2002). 'Redesign' for soil, habitat
and biodiversity conservation: Lessons from
Ecological Agriculture and Social Ecology'.
Our Future: through Healthy Soils, Habitats and
Biological Diversity' launch of the 'Healthy
Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Sydney, 6
Jones, C.E. (1999). Cropping native pasture and
conserving biodiversity: a potential technique.Proceedings
Bushcare Conference 'Balancing Conservation and
Production in Grassy Landscapes', Clare,
SA, pp. 142-144.
Jones, C.E. (2000). Grazing management for
Inaugural National Grasslands Conference 'Better
Pastures Naturally', Mudgee, NSW, pp.
Jordon, C.F. (1998).Working
with Nature: Resource Management for
Martin, G. (2001). Understanding soil building
2001, pp. 66-70.
Want more information on building topsoil fast?
Here it is!
The Best Way to Form Topsoil
Many scientists have confused themselves — and
the general public — by assuming soil carbon
sequestration and the making of topsoil occurs
as a result of the decomposition of organic
matter such as crop residues
In stark contrast, in her interview with
AcresUSA magazine, Dr. Jones points out that
most of the elements needed to create topsoil
are found in the atmosphere and that the
creation of new soil centers around carbon.
Compost may help, but it is simply not the best
way to create topsoil.
A plant can acquire between 85 to 90 percent of
the building materials it needs from the air to
create liquid carbon. The rest of the nutrients
are provided from the soil. Soil microbes use
this liquid carbon as an energy source to help
them convert tied up nutrients into available
plant food. In the process, the sugars emitted
by the roots act as a glue to create complex
soil structure, which includes stable forms of
carbon and humus.
New topsoil is rapidly created in this
environment. Once MycorrPlus is activated
with at least 1.1” of moisture and a soil
temperature above 45 degrees, almost immediately
plants begin to secrete liquid carbon into the
soil, and it is only a matter of weeks before
new soil begins to form.
MycorrPlus contains micro and macro
nutrients needed by the plant, plus 4 strains of
mycorrhizae fungi and
over 70 strains of aerobic bacteria that help the soil
to convert nutrients tied up in the soil into
available plant food.
Benefits of Sequestering Carbon into the Soil
Carbon is needed for soil structuring and water
Establishing a good soil structure enables
nitrogen-fixing bacteria to function. You will
rarely see a nitrogen deficient plant in a
healthy natural ecosystem. Ammonia that is fixed
from the air is rapidly converted into an amino
acid or incorporated into a humic polymer. These
organic forms of nitrogen cannot be leached or
With rapid carbon sequestering, the growth rate
of plants can quickly increase, with as much as
a 25% to 30% increase in yields by the 2nd year.
That is the power of properly functioning soil.
The Transition from Fertilizers
Dr. Jones mentions that foliar applications of
trace minerals can help in the transition from a
F or O-F (organic) are great choices for a foliar application for row
crops, trees, etc.
How Chemical Fertilizers
Slow the Soil-building Process
As Dr. Jones pointed out, if plants can obtain
nitrogen and phosphorus easily, they will stop
pumping carbon into the soil to support their
microbial partners. This interruption of the
carbon flow to the soil reduces aggregation and
the forming of new topsoil.
Some individuals may want to apply a little
nitrogen when a grain plant like corn or wheat
is fruiting to increase protein in the grain.
The problem is, the test for protein is actually
a measurement of nitrogen, not a true test of
protein. So whereas the protein might actually
be higher in a crop grown without supplemental
nitrogen, crops fertilized with nitrogen at
fruitation are likely to test higher for
As Dr. Jones stated, including some clovers or
peas with your wheat or some vetch with your
corn is another way of supplying the soil with
extra organic nitrogen. As is mentioned in her
article, in biologically active soils, Dr. Jones
hasn’t seen a response to synthetic nitrogen or
phosphorus fertilizers. Dr. Jones found the use
of NPK to be counterproductive.
Remember that a soil test can only tell you what
is available to plants by passive uptake of
inorganic nutrients. The other 97 percent of
minerals, those made available by microbes, will
not show up on a standard soil test.
By nurturing the aerobic microbes in the soil,
we can increase the availability of a huge
variety of minerals and trace elements — most of
which are not contained in fertilizers.
Maintaining Soil Aggregates
Keep the soil covered and don’t till it
Tilling the soil or allowing soil to remain bare
for a number of months disrupts soil microbial
life, as well as mycorrhizal fungi. Plant a
cover crop and use companion crops with cash
crops. Remember, plants colonized by mycorrhizal
fungi can grow much more robustly even though
they’re giving away as much as half of the
sugars that they make in photosynthesis through
their roots. They photosynthesize faster,
producing more sugars, which can in turn be
shared with the soil.
In regions with a hot, dry summer, evaporation
is enemy number one. Bare soil will be
significantly hotter and lose more moisture than
covered soil. Aggregates will break down unless
the soil is alive. Aggregation is absolutely
vital for moisture infiltration and retention.
Avoid chemical applications
This includes fungicides, pesticides,
insecticides and herbicides. It is a no-brainer
that something designed to kill things is going
to do just that.
fertilizers like NPK are mentioned above.
Chemical applications can inhibit the soil fungi
that are essential to crop nutrition and soil
building. When soil fungi are kept from
functioning properly, plants can no longer use
them to obtain the trace elements they need to
fight fungal diseases.
When we spray for weeds it creates bare ground
and the weed seed that’s there means the weeds
simply come back.
Some weeds have deep roots that help to bring up
nutrients. Leaving them can mean that better
quality plants will eventually be able to grow
in the improved soil and replace the weeds. A
little patience may be needed while soils
For dry regions, perennial grasses have
incredibly deep root systems and form
mycorrhizal associations that help them survive
during dry periods. They will soon create their
own microclimate to help them overcome a lack of
water and thrive, displacing weeds.
A diversity of plants actually improves nutrient
acquisition and water retention, and helps to
fill in gaps in the soil. Multi-species pasture
cropping can help to displace unwanted weeds.
Rotational grazing can help, too. For cash
crops, multi-species cover crops and companion
crops can help with weed control and soil
improvement, as soils move toward fungal
MycorrPlus is the
most advanced system we know of for
accomplishing carbon sequestration and the
building of topsoil. An annual application for
the average farm is only $20 to $40 an acre.
Ok, now once again imagine having the dark,
rich soil of your dreams!
Imagine how it will help you when water
soaking in instead of running off!
Imagine how you will feel when your
livestock are the best looking in the area!
Imagine how much more money your animals
will be worth!
Do one of the followingtoday:
Call 1-888-588-3139 to speak to an associate
to learn more about MycorrPlus