This project will measure and compare the soil health changes from the use of compost extract and compost tea in a soil health system. One of the advantages to a soil health system is that as the soil biology improves and organic matter is rebuilt this can lead to a reduction of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers needed which can increase a farmer’s profit per acre. There are a lot of products on the market that will help stimulate and feed the microbiology in soil. Many of these products promise improvements to the crop. If a farmer reduces synthetics as a result of their soil health system, but then trades one dependency for another by purchasing commercial biology stimulators, profit per acre is impacted which can reduce the incentive for a soil health system.
This research will demonstrate that a compost extract or a compost tea is effective in stimulating the biology in the soil and it is a product farmers can create and manage on their farm at a low cost. This project will target Minnesota crop farmers and demonstrate a low cost solution to improving soil biology.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Measure and compare soil health changes from 24 hour compost tea in different crop systems (regeneratively farmed hemp, corn, alfalfa, and conventional corn)
- Measure and compare soil health changes from compost extract
- Educate about the construction, costs and benefits of homemade compost tea and compost extract
- Empower farmers to produce their own soil biology stimulants
- Educate farmers with practical tools to positively transform the environment and local food production using soil science and regenerative agriculture
- Share results with other farmers through our member newsletter, website, YouTube and a field day