SOIL REHAB WITH NUTRITIONAL BALANCING SCIENCE
By Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© April 2015, L. D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
The soils of the planet earth are mainly depleted and somewhat toxic. The soils are depleted of bioavailable nutrients. This means that the minerals are present, but the plants cannot utilize them well. Minerals that are depleted include the trace minerals, in particular. However, there is also depletion of calcium, magnesium, potassium and other macro-minerals, as well.
Toxicity. The most important toxins in the soil are not the pesticides, as many people believe. Instead, they are oxides with iron, manganese, aluminum and, at times, other basic minerals such as boron, cobalt, selenium and chromium. To read more about the problem of oxides, as they relate to human health, please read Iron, Manganese And Aluminum – or the amigos on this website.
Only nutritional balancing science, as far as I know, can easily deal with these twin problems in a very unique and innovative way that does not cost a fortune and that can heal the earth in a permanent way. These are its strengths. Its drawbacks are that it is based on rather esoteric science that few are aware of. Also, it requires some calculations that must be done accurately, or it wonÕt work well. However, these are its only drawbacks, so far.
By gently balancing your soil micro-organisms with simple formulas, it is possible to permanently get rid of the toxic mineral compounds that are damaging the plants and the animals that eat the grass and other vegetation on the land.
Also, by balancing the soil in the same way, many trace minerals in the soil, and the macro-minerals, as well suddenly become bioavailable, providing great benefits for the farmer and rancher alike.
Additionally, one need not spend thousands of dollars on calcium, magnesium, lime, fish heads, kelp, crushed stone, or other products. Instead, one simply adds relatively small amounts of copper and perhaps zinc, and, when done properly, the soil microorganisms will do the rest.
A research report. We have used this method now for about three years, and our soils are still adjusting, but they are much more fertile. Farmers using this method are very excited about it, and that is the reason for this report.
In the future, we will report on how long it takes for the soil to balance completely, and we suspect it will take at least five years. If we find a way to speed up the process, we will also report it.
AGRICULTURAL PRINCIPLES WITH NUTRITIONAL BALANCING
1. No need for the garbage pail approach of loading up the soil with endless fertilizers, manures, rock dust, minerals, kelp, fish heads, sewage sludge, and more.
2. No need for tilling.
3. No need for expensive bug sprays, pesticides and insecticides.
4. No need for costly cover crops, in most cases. Some help, but are not necessary.
5. No need for gut-wrenching failures of crops.
6. No need for soil erosion.
7. No need for radionics, which is unfortunately yin.
8. Must use copper sulfate chemical, and not just organic matter.
HOW TO FIX THE SOIL
Here is what is required:
1. Copper. The main mineral that is needed is copper, usually in the form of copper sulfate. The reason why is explained below.
2. Bacteria. We are currently using is horse manure. This manure is working the best. Other manures will work, but horse manure seems to contain more of the bacteria that are needed to convert the oxide forms of the minerals into more healthful forms of minerals that the plants and animals can use. The horses whose manure one is using should eat at least some fresh grass to produce the bacteria we want.
Bio-dynamic enzymes. Some farmers are using the bio-dynamic enzymes to compost waste matter and to condition their soil. This will work. However, we are using horse manure whenever possible, and at this time we believe it is a little bit better, and usually less costly for the farmer.
3. Zinc. This is only needed when the ratio of total sodium to total potassium in the soil is high. This is explained below.
4. Water. Some soils need more water. This is also explained in more detail below.
HOW THE SOIL IS REHABILITATED
The basic process is that certain soil bacteria consume manganese and aluminum. The bacteria can, under the proper conditions, convert the forms of iron and manganese to more usable forms that the plants can uptake. In order for this process to occur, there must be:
1. Adequate copper sulfate in the soil.
2. Adequate clean water from rain, preferably, although irrigation water will work in most situations. We have found some sources of irrigation water that are so contaminated that they are less effective, however.
3. An adequate supply of the bacteria, which are found most abundantly in horse manure. The manure must not be composted for good results. This is very important. Usually, when manure is made into compost, the heat generated by the process kills most of the bacteria, and this is desirable. However, this is not the goal with this methodology. In this case, we are not trying to break down the manure. We need the bacteria intact. We are using the manure mainly to provide the proper bacteria on the soil, and not to provide anything else, although other components may be of some benefit. This is the reason the manure must not be made into compost.
This relates to biochemistry. Copper, we have found, helps to raise a low sodium/potassium ratio in the soil. It also reduces something called a fast oxidation rate. Both of these conditions are commonly present in the soils of the earth. So that is the reason copper sulfate is so helpful.
Copper may have this effect because copper supports oxidative metabolism in many species of micro-organisms, worms and other soil inhabitants. Copper is required for the krebs or carboxylic acid cycle found in many organisms. As oxidative processes increase, so do all life processes increase in our soil. An end result is to raise the sodium/potassium ratio.
Copper may reduce a fast oxidation rate by making calcium more bioavailable in the soil. This has a calming and slowing effect upon the soil oxidation rate. Oxidation rates are discussed below.
Measuring the soil with nutritional balancing science. To measure the soil properly for this method, one must measure the total amount of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium. The other mineral levels appear to be less critical.
One would think that we must measure the copper and the zinc levels. However, this does not appear to be true. Indeed, the amount of copper and zinc to add to your soil does not depend upon the copper level in the soil. This is quite confusing, but true. Also, be sure your lab reads the total amounts of the minerals, and does not ÒplayÓ with the basic numbers.
The mineral ideals. With this method of healing the soil, the ideal mineral levels are different than what most laboratories use. We know this, by experience. We think this is because the soils are all weak or sick, and the labs are accustomed to these soils. So we must modify the ideals that most soil labs use.
Here are the ideal mineral values that we use and suggest at this time. All the values are in parts per million, unless otherwise indicated:
This means that the current ideal ratios that we are using are:
CALCIUM/MAGNESIUM about 1.5
CALCIUM/POTASSIUM about 1.33
SODIUM/MAGNESIUM about 0.01
SODIUM/POTASSIUM about 0.008
This may vary, but so far it is consistent across different soil types such as sandy, loamy or clay soil.
Other mineral ideals. Since we are discussing soil testing, here are our other trace mineral ideals. Remember, however, that we do not base our supplementation on these levels. They are for reference, only, at this time. All, except for phosphorus, are in parts per million:
ALUMINUM 140 (a toxic metal)
PHOSPHORUS 1100 (as P2O5 in lbs/acre)
Eventually, we will set up a calibrated chart with the ideal values listed for convenience.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE NUMBERS
Two calculations are required:
I. Calculating the oxidation type and rate.
The three oxidation patterns or metabolic types. In nutritional balancing science, the rate of oxidation of nutrients is measured in three basic patterns:
1. Fast oxidation – an acute inflammatory state of the soil.
2. Slow oxidation – an exhausted soil.
3. Four lows – an even more depleted or dead soil.
These metabolic types or oxidation types are determined by 1) the mineral balance of the soil, and 2) the types of microorganisms such as bacteria, and the types of worms or other creatures that are in the soil. These are very related, but not identical.
How to measure the oxidation type. To measure the oxidation types, the basic formula using total soil macro-mineral amounts is:
FAST OXIDATION: (usually indicates soil under acute stress)
Calcium/potassium ratio EQUAL TO or LESS THAN about 1.33.
Sodium/magnesium ratio EQUAL TO or GREATER than about 0.01.
SLOW OXIDATION: (indicates an exhausted soil)
Calcium/potassium ratio GREATER than about 1.33.
Sodium/magnesium ratio LESS than about 0.01.
FOUR LOWS: (indicates very depleted or dead soil)
TOTAL CALCIUM less than about 7,000 parts per million
TOTAL MAGNESIUM less than about 3,000 ppm
TOTAL SODIUM less than about 50 ppm
TOTAL POTASSIUM less than about 5000 ppm
We continue to research these figures, but they are very close to perfect.
Mixed oxidation. At times, the soil test indicates:
A. A calcium/potassium ratio less than 1.33 and a sodium/magnesium ratio less than 0.01
B. A calcium/potassium ratio greater than 1.33 and a sodium/magnesium ratio greater than 0.01
This situation is termed mixed oxidation. This is a temporary state that will resolve to either fast or slow oxidation as you adjust the soil with this method, usually within a year or two. It is a little trickier to dose the supplements, but not too bad.
Today most soil is in slow oxidation with a low sodium/potassium ratio. This is not good, and is the reason for this article and all of our research to improve our soils. Some soil is so bad it tests in four lows, which is much worse and more difficult to rejuvenate.
Agricultural scientists know that when the soil tests very low, particularly in calcium, magnesium and sodium, that they must add a lot of calcium in the form of lime to the soil or it will not recover. This is true. Interestingly, we do the same for human beings who have a similar pattern, and it works on them, as well.
Most soil measured in the USA, where this research is centered at this time, also has high levels of toxic compounds of iron, manganese and aluminum. I believe it is the same around the world, with local variations.
II. Calculating the sodium/potassium ratio
Besides the oxidation rate, the other critical measurement is the SODIUM/POTASSIUM RATIO or Na/K ratio. It appears to be very critical for the health of the soil. This may be because it measures an electrical charge on the cell membranes of certain soil organisms, or it may be for other reasons. Recall that sodium and potassium are the main cations responsible for the solubility of the soil.
The Na/K ratio in soil should be around 0.008, according to our research. When the ratio is lower than about 0.008, one must add more copper to the soil. This ratio also helps us decide how much copper or zinc to add to the soil.
HOW TO BALANCE YOUR SOIL
1. Calculate your soilÕs oxidation rate, as explained in the section above.
2. Calculate your soilÕs Na/K ratio, as explained above, as well.
3. Add mineral using this formula:
A. If the soil is in fast oxidation, use 100 pounds of copper per acre.
B. If the soil is in slow oxidation, use 50 pounds of copper per acre.
C. If the soil is in a four lows pattern, add 50 pounds of copper per acre. However, also add lime at a rate of 200 pounds per acre and magnesium at 100 pounds per acre.
4. Now add even more minerals based on the Na/K ratio:
If the Na/K is less than 0.008, add more copper, about 50 pounds per acre. Add even a little more if the ratio is less than about 0.005.
If the Na/K is above 0.008 but less than about 0.15, do not add the extra copper just above (in step 4). Instead, add 100 pounds of zinc per acre.
If the Na/K ratio is above 0.15, again do not add the extra copper just above (in step 4). Instead, add 200 pounds of zinc per acre.
If you do this right, you will always be adding at least 50 pounds of copper per acre, and often more. In addition, you may be adding some zinc to your soil.
5. The manure. One needs to add at least 100 pounds per acre, or maybe more. Too much, or if it is not spread evenly, will burn the soil, but eventually it should work. Try to use a good spreader to distribute the bacteria evenly.
6. The water. Most soil needs to be damp to slightly wet. Dry soil will not adjust or balance nearly as fast or as well. Therefore, you may have to irrigate if your soil is very dry.
Caution: If a heavy rain falls within three days of a mineral application, you may need to reapply the minerals if the rain all runs off your land. If the rain soaks in, the mineral application should be valid. Rain that falls more than a few days after an application of minerals should not disturb the balancing process.
Tilling in the minerals and manures. Some farmers just spread the minerals and manures on their fields using a no-till method. A superior method, in most cases, is to till in the minerals and manure.
CAN ONE GROW CROPS AT THE SAME TIME AS THE SOIL BALANCING IS OCCURRING?
Yes, in most cases. Soil balancing by this method is a little harsh, at times. In general, however, most crops can withstand the process quite well, we find.
Also, most livestock animals can handle the process quite well. We suggest keeping livestock off of a field for a few days after applying the copper or manure. Other than this caution, they can graze normally.
THE CORRECTION PROCESS AND RETESTING YOUR SOIL
During the correction process, the oxidation rate and the sodium/potassium ratio may vary, moving up and down a number of times. This is why frequent soil testing is essential! It is not too costly, so do it more often rather than less often.
Soil retesting. In most cases, you can wait three to six months between soil tests. This is about optimal in most cases.
However, if you suspect that your soil has shifted its oxidation rate or its Na/K ratio sooner than in three months, then test it again sooner. You can test it as often as once a month.
How to determine if your soil has shifted its oxidation rate or its Na/K ratio. Your soil may well have shifted if your crops, weeds and/or animals living on it are not looking as well. They all tend to do best when the soil is balanced in the way described in this article.
Once again, do not test the soil more than about once a month. It wonÕt change any faster, so there is no reason to test more often than this. And again, most of the time you can go for three or even up to six months without retesting. However, do not go more than six months without a retest, as the soil can change and you may not be aware of it. Failing to retest the soil at least every six months will seriously slow down the balancing and adjustment of your soil.
Each time you find that the soil has shifted its oxidation rate and/or its sodium/potassium ratio, you must make an another application of the minerals. I know this sounds like a lot of applications, but it is necessary for success. Remember, however, that you cannot apply minerals or manures more than about once a month, or it will overwhelm the soil, and usually, you wonÕt be re-applying minerals more than once every three to six months.
Eventually, the soil will settle down into a fairly mild fast oxidation pattern with a fairly normal Na/K ratio of about 0.008. This is when your soil is now ready to produce at its optimum. This can take a few years of balancing the soil.
HOW TO KEEP THE SOIL BALANCED
Once your soil is balanced, the next question is how to keep it that way. Here are suggestions:
1. Strictly keep all toxic chemicals, including even some natural pesticides, off the land. Use as little as you can of any toxic substances, even natural ones. This is very important!
2. Let the land lie fallow at least once every three years. For now, this is helpful. Eventually, we may be able to keep producing through crop rotation, but most soil is still weak and needs a year of rest every three years.
3. Rotate your crops every year. This is essential, as well.
4. Love your soil. This means to be aware of what is happening on your soil, at all times. If you notice a problem, try to get help. However, see below for Reactions so that you do not upset the balancing process your soil is going through.
REACTIONS OR READJUSTMENTS
At times, using this method, the oxidation rate, the Na/K ratio, and/or the levels of the soil minerals may become very high or very low. This is normal for this method, so be prepared for it!
This process is called retracing in the human and animal populations. In nutritional balancing soil science, this effect is called a readjustment.
In this rather fascinating process, soil microbes may produce a lot of one mineral, or deplete a particular mineral, in the process of restoring the soil to health.
A problem for ag scientists. Readjustments of this type are a problem for scientists who may react with alarm when a soil test comes back with higher or lower mineral levels than are expected.
The correct response is to allow the process to proceed without interrupting it with symptomatic soil treatments such as adding lime, adding magnesium, or others.
This is difficult to understand for conventionally-trained soil scientists, however, so it takes a bit of experience to learn to let the process work itself out. Just continue to correct the oxidation rate and the Na/K ratio ONLY, and do not worry about the other aberrations that will occur, at times. Once again, this is normal for this method.
For more about this interesting healing process in human beings and in animals, please read Retracing on this website. While this article is about human health, the principles and the method of allowing the reactions to pass are identical to the way we handle the soil.
The future. In the future, we hope to have consultants to assist you. At this time, there are none in the USA and few anywhere. We are working to train a number of consultants, however, who understand this method well.
Rarely, we have applied the minerals and manure properly, and a crop or a livestock animal seems to do worse. If this occurs, here are the possibilities:
A. A crop or animal is very sensitive to copper, or perhaps zinc or a manure. This should subside as the mineral(s) and manures are absorbed.
B. You are having a readjustment episode in which the soil micro-organisms are producing more than the ideal amount of a mineral compound, and this is toxic for your crop of your animals.
This has not occurred, so far. However, it could occur. In most cases, it will subside on its own. Please do not rush to apply soil remedies in such a case. This type of reaction should pass within a week to a month. A soil retest might be needed if the problem persists, to see if another application is required.
C. Your seeds or animals are of a hybridized or GMO type that are only adapted for and can only thrive on depleted and sick soils. This is more common today than one may imagine. In this case, you might lose a crop or have a poor yield.
Rarely (it has occurred once) there is a need to change out a few animals that just do not do as well on healthier soil.