Dairy pasture in Brundee, Australia

We were delighted to receive this report from Johannes Meier, a regenerative farmer at Inverell, NSW. The study compared a range of pasture treatments and measured overall production, soil and plant health.

Report Abstract:

Research has shown that pasture soil health and productivity is decreasing worldwide while climate change is increasing the challenges of primary production for graziers. While many primary producers increase their use of chemical fertilizers to boost production, new research indicates that soil fertility is actually increased by soil microbial activity. Using a variety of soil amendments, we tested the hypothesis that applying living microbes plus chemical fertilizers to soil will best increase soil health and pasture production. Using 6 trial plots, various products and combinations of products were applied. Products included plant nutrients (fertilizers), and biological amendments: compost tea extract (a product containing soil microbes), and Converte (a microbe food and stimulant). Soil biology was tested at the start and end of the investigation, and the biomass produced was measured. Soil biology testing showed substantial ecological and financial benefits of biological amendments. Benefits of both products weakened when combined with plant nutrients, and plant nutrients alone were hardly better than the control. Pasture biomass production increased with plant nutrients on first cutting, while biological amendments increased production on second cutting. Further testing over a full growing season will provide more definitive data. The investigation demonstrated that Converte and compost tea extract increased soil biological activity and pasture productivity. Plant nutrients were of some initial value in increasing biomass production, but suppressed soil biological activity. Biological amendments are a cost effective, ecologically beneficial alternative to chemical fertilizers. Used correctly, these products could significantly increase the productivity and health of pasture lands worldwide.

Read Johannes’ full report here.

healthy soil

Terms like “chelated minerals” are often used without much of a definition. So, why is chelation important, how does it work and are all chelated minerals the same?

Chelation increases the availability of nutrients to plants. In soil, chelated minerals are absorbed more rapidly by both plant roots and leaves, and this faster nutrient transfer results in accelerated growth, higher Brix levels and higher yield.

Historically, healthy soil has been rich in organic matter and humus, which resulted in natural chelation. Today, natural and synthetic chelates are routinely added to fertilisers. We’ll talk more about that in a minute, but let’s first look at 6 ways chelates can impact your soil.

  1. Chelators in soil increase the solubility, and thus availability of certain metal micronutrients to plants. For example, in soil with high pH levels, chelating agents will bind insoluble iron, converting it into a water soluble form that is available for plant uptake.

  2. Likewise, chelating agents prevent chemical reactions that turn some nutrients into insoluble compounds that are unavailable to plants.

  3. Chelates can reduce the toxicity of some metal ions to plants by returning their concentration to normal beneficial levels.

  4. Chelates prevent loss of nutrients through leaching, or wash out.

  5. Chelation increases the mobility of nutrients in soil.  This increased mobility enhances the uptake of nutrients by plants.

  6. Chelating agents reduce the growth of plant pathogens by reducing available iron.

Sounds like a great case for chelates, right? Yes, but many of the popular chelating agents currently used in agriculture are inefficient — meaning a large amount of chelating agent is needed to chelate a low percentage of metal ions in the soil. The expense can be huge for farm-scale application.

Converte is different. Converte is built on the work of David Menne, a brilliant chemist who created a completely different chelating system based on natural polysaccharides. Ironically, his work wasn’t intended for agriculture, but a chance discovery led to years of experimentation and refinement that resulted in a major breakthrough in chelation efficiency called the Shuttle System.

In conventional chelation chemistry, agents carry trace elements through the outer cell walls into the plant. Using the Shuttle System, the chelator never actually enters the plant, enabling it to transport nutrients to the plant then return to repeat the process. The net effect is a greatly enhanced uptake of the applied nutrients and greater efficiency of the chelating agents.

Chelating agents are an important step in restoring soil health.

Learn more about Converte Chelating Minerals and our complete nutrition system.