• Maintain yields and increase packout with reduced inputs.
• Root system growth boosts nutrient and water efficiency.
• Increase biological activity in the rhizosphere to allow the soil's bacteria and fungi to organically fight disease and encourage crop productivity.
• Improve the health of the soil, plant, farmer and consumer.
Pro-Biotic versus Anti-Biotic
Brendon Rockey breaks down his biotic farming approach looking at agriculture through two lenses: pro-biotic and anti-biotic. The pro-biotic approach supports the entire farming system versus the anti-biotic approach that supports only one crop, eliminating symbiosis in the growing environment..
A pro-biotic approach promotes, enhances and nurtures life. The green arrows represent how biotic inputs support natural relationships in a farming system.
An anti-biotic approach prevents, inhibits and destroys life. The red arrows represent how "cides" and synthetic inputs disrupt natural relationships in a farming system.
Biotic Farming Systems
Biotic Farming Systems nurture all living things. They create a healthy habitat for life in the soil, plant communities, livestock and humans.
Transitioning to a biotic farming system starts with identifying and removing toxic practices used to produce a crop and committing to biotic inputs that improve a farm's overall health, resiliency and productivity with respect to available resources.
Biotic farming system inputs include:
• Multi species cover crops/green manures
• Compost/compost tea
• Companion crops
• Nectar rich flowering strips
• Reduced or no till
• Irrigation management
A combination of the biotic inputs enables crops to thrive in a balanced living system that creates an ideal environment for microbial and beneficial insect populations, increased water efficiency, organic nitrogen fixation, and carbon and nutrient cycling.
Creating a biotic farming system takes time both in the long- and short-term. It begins with healing the soil and continues with adaptation of practices that prioritize environment, ecology and economics. Planning and observation are critical components shaping biotic farming and are essential when transitioning to a living system.
Desi Chick Peas and Chickling Vetch companion Colorado potatoes.
Nitrogen fixing nodules grow alongside a potato plant.
Biotic Farming Systems create habitat for bees and other pollinators.
A flowering strip creates habitat for beneficial insects in a Colorado potato field.
Biotic Farming Systems promote life. Ladybugs and other aphid predators protect a Colorado potato field.
Grazing livestock on green manure increases the efficiency of nutrient cycling.
Plant diversity keeps the soil healthy.
Root diversity in one Colorado farm's green manure mix.
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Soil Guys is committed to bringing growers success through biotic management.
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