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Establishing perennial crops
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Root health enhances soil health and soil fertility: Soil fertility can be described as the presence of adequate plant nutrients, and the absence of elements that restrict plant growth, in a well-ventilated environment.

Soil is a living and dynamic system required for plant development.  
“Soil health can be described as the soil’s potential to maintain biological productivity.  Soil health can also be described as soil quality.  Soil also needs to promote plant and animal health”.  Ref (Dr Elmarie Kotzé, UFS).

“Measuring soil health can be very difficult,” says Dr Kotzé.  That is why people tend to look at indirect indications such as yield, soil colour and the quality of the water, to determine the status of soil health.  Other indicators can also be taken into consideration, for example, the soil’s pH and carbon levels, as well as biological indicators, for instance, organic matter, and whether organisms and earthworms are present in the soil.

Kotzé further confirms that good soil health leads to better soil structure and promotes root development.  

Root health is a component of soil health.  Crop rotation offers the best solution for soil health as it promotes a diversity of organisms.
If crop rotation or cover crop approaches are not followed, the diversity of microbes decrease, and the focus should then be on the application of more organic material.

Atlantic Fertilisers offer a variety of organic and enriched products, as well as a liquid fish hydrolysate, to support the important processes in the soil and plants.

The correct planning of a fertilisation program takes root health into account, as it will promote increased yields.  Following this approach, the focus area would be the growing root zone, which represents less than 5% of the 0-30 cm soil volume.
Basic principles for root health:

1.  Grow a cover crop.
2.  Regular small applications of lime or gypsum.
3.  Regular small applications of organic matter and fertilisers, for example:

  • Bio Ganic, Bio Rock, Bio Ocean and Fish hydrolysate.

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Atlantic Fertilisers’ products and fertiliser programs are planned with regular and smaller applications, soil fertility and promote root health.