Healthy Soil Yields Healthy Plants

Published online: Aug 14, 2011
Charlie Walthall and Jerry Hatfield with the USDA ARS are approaching the subject of soil as a living entity. They are examining the feeding, care and health of the soil. Walthall is the national program leader, USDA ARS. He says "If the soil is healthy, it will be able to sustain healthy plants and good yields. Genetics and genomics are an important part of the equation, but it is clear that how we care for and manage the soil is an even bigger part."

Walthall and Hatfield are set on promoting the notion that soil is filled with biological activity, bacteria, fungi and other subsurface life forms. This approach is directed at promoting a healthy biological system. Biotic fertilizer is nothing new, however, it has been typically known as organic fertilizer or manure.
The scientists are seeking to enhance the biological activity and not just feed the plants directly. That is the aim for the biotic fertilizer. This revolutionary type research is actually taking what is already produced and finding a more complete way of feeding plants to sustain plant health and increase productivity.