Are based on the ‘Law of the Minimum’ which means you test your soil and measure the P, K, Mg and pH (the index system!) and see what is deficient. You then apply fertilisers to make up those deficiencies. What makes it worse, this system does not tell you the right soil conditions or the best time for these fertilisers to be applied for maximum efficiency and uptake.
Is your most valuable resource. Soil First Farming looks at the whole picture using conventional testing and the Albrecht theory, base saturation, to fully understand the ‘Law of Minimum’ and the ‘Law of Maximum’, giving you as complete an overview of your soils as possible.
Focusing on just the ‘Law of the Minimum’ (i.e. RB209) only tells half the story. ‘The Law of the Minimum’ only explains what is deficient in the soil. Whereas the law of the maximum tells us what we have too much of in the soil. Too much of any particular nutrient can tie up another nutrient therefore making it not available to the crop. Conventional testing missing this fact completely.
The ‘Law of Maximum’ is accepted in this country in only one situation and that is in regard to lime applications, where it is accepted that if too much lime is applied to the soil then this will tie up most of the elements in the soil, making them less available to the crop. Life would be very simple if it was just calcium (lime) that did this. There are other specific relationships where one nutrient can effect the availability of another nutrient when it is, itself, in excess.
The three dominate elements found in the three most common soil types in the UK. These are known as calcareous (calcium rich), dolomitic (magnesium rich) and ferruginous (iron rich)soils. Some soils contain all 3, in excessive amounts. For instance they all are very good at tying up phosphate regardless of your soil’s index. One of them is very good at tying itself up making nitrogen usage less effective and one can reduce potash availability so much so it can reduce your yields!
“…The soil is the ‘creative material’ of most of the basic needs of life. Creation starts with a handful of dust.”
Dr. William A. Abrecht
“The green stuff is an expression of the brown stuff!”