Showing posts from June, 2014

Soil Microbes Recycling Nutrients

Jim Hoorman in a Sustainable Agriculture fact sheet discusses new information on how soil microbes recycle soil nutrients to plants. “Soil microorganisms exist in large numbers in the soil as long as there is a carbon source for energy. Bacteria, actinomycetes, and protozoa tolerate soil disturbance and dominate in tilled soils. Fungal and nematode populations tend to dominate no-till soils with live plants. There are more microbes in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on the earth. Microbes need regular supplies of soil organic matter (SOM) or carbon in the soil to survive. Long-term no-tilled soils or soil with continuous live plants have significantly higher levels of microbes, more active carbon (sugars), more SOM, and more stored carbon than conventional tilled soils. A majority of the microbes in the soil exist under starvation conditions and thus they tend to live in a dormant state, especially in tilled soils. Active roots supply 25-45% of their total root carbohydrates t