Microbial Activity for Higher Brix

January 30, 2023

Carbon Dioxide, even though sometimes considered a negative by global-warming prophets, is actually essential for plants. Plants need carbon dioxide in order to photosynthesize.

Humans, on the other hand, need oxygen. We cannot live without oxygen, just like plants can’t do without carbon dioxide.

There is, in fact, a mutual benefit between humans and plants. Plants supply what we need, and we supply what plants need. We give and take. More specifically, plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, while we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.

As an example, when I walked into the office this morning, I turned on the carbon dioxide meter; it read about 624 ppm. About an hour later, the meter registered 1052 ppm. What this means is that the oxygen level is lower and the carbon dioxide level higher, due to more people being in the room.

The point that I want to bring out is that all living creatures, not just humans, do this: they inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. This includes the microbes in the soil, and that’s where an important connection needs to be made:

Carbon dioxide is often a limiting factor of photosynthesis, and that’s where the microbes come in. Think about it: if you double the amount of people in a room, the carbon dioxide level will increase. It’s the same in the soil: when we double the microbial count in our soils, we get a significant increase in carbon dioxide.

This apparently also has a warming effect in the soil. A customer observed that after applying Rejuvenate, a bio-stimulant that we used to stimulate microbial activity, the snow melted faster in the treated section – right to the line.

You can also release carbon dioxide by oxidizing organic matter such as by tillage, harsh chemicals, and especially with over-application of synthetic nitrogen. While this gives a great carbon dioxide flush, the downside is that it is not sustainable; this approach degrades your resources, while the other approach – increasing carbon dioxide with microbial activity – does not. It doesn’t oxidize organic matter, which is a big deal for those of us who want to build our soils organic matter.

In summary: carbon dioxide is often a limiting factor for photosynthesis, and microbes can easily meet that need when supported. Even if the carbon dioxide is not the greatest need, the higher microbial activity will always benefit you be releasing more minerals for your plants.

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Source: Melvin Fisher | Sponsored by Keystone Bio-Ag LLC