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            What makes AGGRAND Natural Fertilizers so superior to unnatural, chemical fertilizers?  Before we can answer that, you first need to know a few things about your soil biology.  You might be puzzled why I’m saying that.  Many are unaware of the connection, but your soil biology is foundational and vital to your soil’s natural fertility. 
To truly understand why AGGRAND Natural Fertilizers are so good, you must appreciate certain details about the numbers, functions, complexity & inter-relatedness of your soil’s resident microbial ecology.  With this foundation you will better be able to see how chemical and natural fertilizers employ entirely different methodologies when it comes to fertility.

            Your soil biology is arguably the single most important aspect of your soil’s health & fertility.  It's other major aspect is not far behind in importance: its chemistry.  We’ll save that for later, however, when we broach the topic of soil chemistry on the Soil Analysis page.  And following that, feel free to read both parts of: A Tale of Two Fields.



​The Basics of Natural Soil Fertility

            There are more microbes and tiny creatures living in one handful of healthy, chemical- free top soil than all the people currently living on earth.  These are numbers that truly stupefy.  There are untold zillions and thousands of pounds of these invisible critters in any healthy field.  Organisms like bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae and molds, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods and earthworms, and many, many others.  To be simplistic, among these organisms are “good guys” and “bad guys,” and they perform a myriad of immensely important functions for all living things, including your plants. 

            The microorganisms in the soil are intricately bound up with its fertility and the way a natural fertilizer works.  All other factors being equal (though they’re usually not), if your soil’s biology is diverse, numerous and healthy, its fertility, in general, will be high.  This idea is foreign to many conventional growers today.  Soil biology is scarcely given any consideration at all.  Soil in't considered alive.  It's viewed as inert, almost irrelevant, and there merely to hold plants up.  Soil is just dirt.  Yet we reiterate: soil is living and its fertility is inherently bound up with its biology.  How so?  

            First, many of the nutrients your plants need to grow and live are contained inside the organisms living in the soil.  Nutrients are not just found in the soil itself.  In healthy soil, the trillions upon trillions of living microbes and creatures form one huge collective nutrient holding tank that only releases its payload at a controlled rate: that rate being the natural life cycle of those microbes.  This releases nutrients at just the rate needed for healthy, not excessive, plant growth.  This presupposes healthy, robust soil biology is present, however.  Soils are bankrupted to the same extent as they have their native biology eradicated through various "modern" agricultural or gardening practices. 

            A second vital job these microbes perform is to convert mineral nutrients in the soil into forms bio-available and usable by plants, often through a process of chemical reduction.  This is acomplished via the microbes normal metabolic functions and constitutes the very foundation of all natural nutirent cycling!  Let me state that again.  The soil's resident biology, and only it, is what enables and powers all nutrient cycling.  They even work on rock and other mineral inorganic sources, physically and chemically breaking them down into plant food over time.  This is a vital lesson that needs to be learned today!  No soil microbes means no nutrient cyling and no natural fertility.  All we will be left with is the ever bleaker picture of crops always taking from the soil and a soil never able to replenish itself.  This will eventually bankrupt agriculture everywhere. 

            And a third vital function microbes perform is to recycle organic matter back into the soil, ultimately converting it into the wonder called humus if all the necessary precursors are present.  In healthy soils there are different organisms to work on every type of organic material at every stage of its decomposition.  This is the process that, over time, gives healthy soil its rich black colour and tilth.  This is another vital lesson then: no soil humus or top soil development.  We are unable to stress just how immensely important humus is for all involved, not just plants. 

            These combined functions of the soil’s biology are what provide soil with its natural fertility, and it’s a wondrous and elegant system that works perfectly all on its own and has for millennia.  Without healthy life in the soil it doesn't matter how much chemical fertilizer you put down; its benefits will be very limited and it will also cause a lot of harm.  Even natural fertilizers like AGGRAND would be limited if there were no soil biology present.  It shouldn’t be hard to figure out that we do a lot of harm to ourselves, our operations and the environment when we destroy the microbes that perform these vital functions on large scales. 


            Let's return to humus again briefly, because it is so important. Broadly speaking, humus is comprised of humic and fulvic acids, and humin.  Humus is the final & highly concentrated broken down remains of organic matter.  It contains such useful components as complete proteins, amino acids, enzymes, DNA fragments, minerals, vitamins, natural sterols, hormones, fatty acids, polyphenols and ketones, as well as phytochemical subgroups of compounds such as flavonoids, flavones, flavins, catechins, tannins, quinones, isoflavones and tocopherols, among others. These compounds are some of the most valuable and promising anti-cancer nutrients known today, and are potent aids for plant growth as well.  These are all present only when balanced, aerobic soil biology fully decomposes organic matter, however.  The absence of the same spells the end of any hopes of humus production in your soil.  

            Fulvic acid in particular is a phenomenon, vastly improving the health of everything that can incorporate it.  It is an amazingly complex molecule yet is so small it can penetrate every cell and biological barrier.  Fulvic acid is a super chelator and cation exchanger. It complexes minerals and puts them into forms that are most beneficial to plants, increasing the efficiency of their uptake and utilization.  It is very unique in that it can both supply and take away electrons from molecules; it can both reduce 
and oxidize, and thus is a superb free radical scavenger & anti-oxidant, and electrolyte, increasing energy levels and balance between cells. 

           Moreover fulvic acid is very unique in that it has both positive and negative charges along its complex structure, which means every nutrient is attracted to it, not only negatively charged nutrients, or positively charged.  This partially explains the incredible fertility of humus, which is 3x as high as the richest clay.  It completes and reconstitutes the fragmented remains or leftover "junk" of cellular reactions, rendering them useable to the cell again.  This action cleans away cellular debris and empowers the cell to do more work. 

           On top of this it also has the remarkable ability to complex & bind many heavy metals and toxins, removing them from the cell so they can be flushed from the body.  The disappearance of so much organic matter and soil biology in commercial farming operations today means humic & fulvic substances have largely disapeared, to the immense detriment of the soil, the plants growing in it and everything that consumes them.  It's a staggering loss many do not comprehend or appreciate. Fortunately AGGRAND fertilizers incorporate fulvic and humic acids into some of their formulations. 

            This damage is most pronounced in intensive industrialized farming operations, where chemical fertilizers and sprays are often stacked or applied one after the other all season long.  When we kill off large numbers of soil microbes with multiple applications of toxins, these dead microbes decompose and release the nutrients they contained in themselves back into the soil in one big flush.  If sufficient microbes do not remain in the soil to grab on to those newly released nutrients, they will not be fixed in the soil again but simply wash away.  This destruction of the natural nutrient holding tank in the soil is a massive loss.  And if most of the soil organisms and/or the organic matter is gone, there can be no humus formation.   

            We can really help ourselves when we use a product like AGGRAND, which cultivates the health and numbers of beneficial aerobic soil microbes.  This will have a direct positive impact on nutrient cycling, the decomposition of organic matter and the production of humic substances, including fulvic acid.  It’s the modern synthetic chemicals that kill microbes, destroy nutrient cycling, destroy healthy soil structure & tilth and make the grower ever more dependent on toxic rescue chemistry when things go south. 


​You Scratch my Back...

           Soil microbes participate in a legion of symbiotic relationships with other microbes and plants.  They mingle and mix with the enzymes, proteins and other chemical exudates that plants release in their rhizosphere (the narrow region of soil directly influenced by root secretions and associated soil microorganisms). 

             Farmers are aware of nitrogen fixation via specific bacteria living in symbiotic relationship with the roots of legumes.  Yet not so many are aware of the extremely important role of mycorrhizal fungi, for example, which can effectively multiply the root surface area of plants by several hundred percent.  Amazingly, these fungi also form an underground network for all the plants in the field, allowing them to inter-communicate, share nutrients and pass along warnings of encroaching dangers and pathogens so other plants can prepare.  This is but one example of the innumerable unseen wonders worked in the soil.  There are many, many others. 

            Mycorrhizal fungi are nutrient magnets!  They produce their own chemical exudates which break down the tight chemical bonds between inorganic nutrients and humus or clay that make them unavailable to plants.  They break down these chemical bonds, pull in the nutrients, and supply them to the plant.  Phosphorus in particular is supplied in large amounts to many plants through this fungal network, which should be of large interest to commercial operations.  A lot of phosphorus applied today is supplied in a form that is far from ideal.  Because of its very high acidity (pH of just over 3), super triple phosphate, or 0-46-0, for example, ties up quickly in the soil (within several weeks) and thereafter remains unusable by plants, ultimately washing away and ending up in the drink.  At that point all it's good for is poisoning the environment.  

            Many view certain types of bacteria (rhizobium) as being the sole agents that fix nitrogen for use by legumes.  However, uptake of both nitrate and ammonium forms of nitrogen is stimulated by mycorrhizal fungi.  Not only is N directly absorbed by ectomycorrhizal fungi and supplied to the host plant, bacterial fixation is also enhanced by the presence of certain kinds of these fungi.  And some fungi even have the necessary enzymes to make nitrogen directly from the protein in organic sources themselves. 

            Aside from nutrient acquisition and helping other soil organisms to work for you better, mycorrhizal fungi also work directly for your plants by protecting them, physically, from predators and pests in the soil!  When present and in sufficient numbers, these fungal hyphae weave a natural sheath around the roots of many plants.  It's almost like the roots are wearing socks!  These sheaths physically block invaders from gaining access to the root, and some fungi even prey on them, as the bottom picture on this page shows us.  The soil's food web is inter-connected and complicated beyond what we can dream of...we're still only beginning to learn the half of it.  There's a lot more that can be said about mycorrhizal fungi, but the bottom line is you do not want to lose them!  It is a great loss that many farmers have destroyed these populations in their soils by their tillage practices and their perpetual use of fungicides.  There are more benign ways to deal with harmful fungal outbreaks. 

            Healthy soil structure is also dependent on the presence and functioning of the soil’s micro biota.  Among other things, bacteria exude a natural bio-slime.  Think of dental plaque to help picture this.  On your teeth this is not so desirable, but in the soil this bio-slime is very advantageous.  It functions like glue to help form and hold together soil aggregates, which then give your soil much improved tilth and structure.  This further aids your plants and soil biology because gases are better able to exchange, and water to infiltrate such soil.  (Similar things can be said about earthworms, which also leave a slime trail behind which stabilizes their burrow walls.  Worms perform an enormous amount of useful work for any grower...get some!)  Aggregate stability is an indicator of healthy soil, and its absence an indicator of the opposite.  Soil bacterium help form aggregates, but fungi further stabilize these aggregate bodies with their extensive hyphae networks.  Farmers who destroy both with their toxic sprays do so to their own great loss. 

           The common mindset that thinks all microscopic “bugs” cause disease and need to be eliminated couldn’t be more wrong!  Nine of out of ten microbes are beneficial and shouldn’t be destroyed.  They are needed!  Even those considered harmful have a part to play.  Microbes work wonders when healthy, diverse and in proper balance with each other.  This is because beneficial microbes out-compete & hold in check the harmful ones when conditions for them are favourable.  When conditions are not favourable for the good guys, the pathogenic types can rapidly take over and sickness can set in if the plant or animal's immune system is not functioning properly and at full strength.  Our own gut microbiota is a perfect illustration of this and gives a good picture of how it works in the soil.  We need healthy, diverse soil biology for healthy and robust soil and plant health.  

          And one more thing you must appreciate here is the exquisite complexity of this invisible life in the soil.  Many mistakenly view the smallest organisms as “simple” or “primitive.”  Again, this couldn’t be farther from the truth!  The tiniest cell is a wonderland of biochemical dynamism.  Each cell manufactures millions of complex organic molecules, enzymes, proteins, markers, etc., and contains within itself tens of thousands of highly complex, perfectly designed biological machines, each tens of thousands of times smaller than a period on this page.  

           A “simple” cell commands abundant energy production, near perfect waste disposal, complex immunity and self-defence systems, knows how to navigate its environment, search for food or flee predators, in addition to vast manufacturing, transportation, and highly encoded genetic information storage systems running at virtually 100% efficiency through billions of generations with the accumulation of basically zero genetic noise.  And so much more could be said.  Nothing we’ve built has even come close to matching the “lowly cell” in all its wondrous complexity.  The more we learn about the smallest mechanisms of life the more complicated we discover they are, and there is no end in sight!  The proverb rings true: the more we learn...the less we know.  This is very humbling, and a testament to the intelligence of the Creator. 


​Collateral Damage

            Chemical companies sell the idea that their synthesized or engineered products can be applied to vastly complex biological systems to “fix” your fertility, weed, pest or pathogen problem with next to no consequence.  It’s a shame so many have fallen for this nonsense.  Everything we do has consequences.  Synthesized Ag-chemicals can sometimes give a lot but they always take a lot in return, even when you can’t see it.  Always

            The modern chemical pitch is reductionist, naïve and misleading.  There are significant consequences to using most agro-chemicals and their manufacturers know this, but tell you otherwise.  Such corporate attitudes betray a real lack of respect for, and even ignorance of, the enormous complexity of life.  Using all these potent chemicals to ‘fix’ your problems is like swatting at gnats with a sledgehammer.  You'll kill the pest (until it develops resistance), but at what cost to everything else?  Invariably long-term consequences to this approach catch up to the grower with steep compound interest added in.  We’re seeing this confirmed today with all sorts of environmental and agricultural issues cropping up (no pun intended).  We need to improve upon the conventional model, and AGGRAND natural fertilizers are an ideal first step in the right direction. 


​Toxicological Remediation

            Thankfully, there is something that can help remediate and even reverse all the damage caused by agricultural poisons, and it’s not the latest “cleanup” chemical.  Not surprisingly, it’s soil biology!  Microbe populations also function as huge scrubbers that break-down and remove all manner of synthetic toxins that people keep pumping into the environment.  There isn’t much that some form of microbe can’t break down given enough time.  In many cases of man-made environmental poisoning there are only certain bacteria that are truly able to deconstruct the toxin step by step and make its molecular content usable to living organisms again. 

            However, it takes much longer for a soil’s toxic load to be broken down when one continues to poison the soil and destroy the very mechanisms (soil microbes) needed to deal with the problem.  Inhibit or destroy the biology and you end up with accelerated toxification and yet more damage done to the soil: a brutal cycle.  T
here is a product that is extremely helpful at detoxifying the soil.  It’s next to free and is a naturally occurring substance that produces no harmful by-products.  In fact, the chemical by-products of this substance are only water and oxygen…both extremely beneficial to any field and especially useful for growers trying to convert to organic.  For customers interested in learning more about this, please contact me. 


​Modern Germ Theory

Modern germ theory states many diseases, both plant and animal, are caused by the presence and actions of micro-organisms, otherwise known as "bugs."  An obvious example would be the germs associated with the common cold or flu.  This theory started to gain acceptance and then ascendancy in the mid-to late 1800’s and to this day remains a guiding theory of modern biomedicine and chemical agriculture.  However, this is a dated theory.  Microbes can contribute to disease, but this is only half of the picture.  Nutrient deficiency is a leading cause of many chronic diseases, more than germ action even.  Scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C, rickets by a vitamin D deficiency, beriberi by a lack of thiamine, osteoporosis by a lack of calcium (simplistically--vit. D & K2 are also implicated), anemia by a lack of iron, and goiter and cretinism by lack of iodine, as examples.  There are many other conditions caused by nutritional imbalances & deficiencies.  The germ theory is in sore need of an update, but don't count on this happening soon as entrenched industries find the current model very profitable for selling drugs and chemicals.  

            Many people seem to think they only carry germs when they are sick.  Not so.  We harbor vast numbers of microbes in our bodies every hour of our lives, both good and bad, yet many are healthy and unaffected while others get sick.  Why?  What differentiates between sick and healthy when they carry the same germs? 
The pre-existing health and nutritional status of the individual are major factors that separate the sick from the healthy.  

          Everything else being equal, when people are healthy and nutritionally fortified their bodies grow, heal and function as they should, and their immune system has the remarkable ability to destroy pathogens and suppress a multitude of emerging conditions such as cancers, colds, the flu, viruses, etc., thousands of times every day.  Of course, there are many other factors that contribute to an individual’s health too, such as levels and quality of exercise & sleep, toxic load, stress, the health of our gut microbiota, genetics, diet, etc.   But sound  nutrition is a vital part of good health.  

             The same principle also applies to plant health.  Healthy plants growing in nutritionally rich and living soil, kept free of toxins, are much more resistant to all the plagues and pests that stalk the earth.  On the other hand, nutritionally deficient, poisoned and weakened plants grown in depleted and unhealthy soils are much more susceptible to disease, pests, pathogens and environmental stresses.  Common sense told this tale long before modern science confirmed it.  

          To complicate matters, plants make extensive use of exudates to attract or repel certain microbes.  Healthy plants release exudates into their root and leaf zones and each of these numerous exudates has its own particular chemical “scent” which draws a particular kind of beneficial microbe.  There are thousands of chemical scents and thousands of corresponding microbes.  This is amazing and complex design at work.  Compromised, damaged and nutritionally deficient plants release a different set of exudates, with different “scents” than those of healthy plants.  These scents irresistibly draw a different kind of crowd: they draw pathogenic insects and microbes. These guys are parasitic opportunists and can “smell” an easy meal at a hundred paces, and as we all know, they come flocking. 

         Many argue with this and say their plants look just fine even when grown under heavy chemical regimes.  Keep in mind that competent soil and plant tissue analysis will likely tell a very different story then the naked eye does.  Additionally, this is not to say healthy plants will never suffer pathogenic, pest or disease attack.  They will, because that's the world we live in.  However, healthy crops are much better equipped and more able to fight off attacks than sick, nutritionally deficient plants.  If given a choice between healthy plants in healthy soil or sick plants in poisoned and depleted soils, pathogens will always gun for the weaklings!  Always.  And when weak enough sick plants can fall prey to both nutritional diseases and pathogenicity simultaneously.   

             All of this helps explain much in industrial production farming today.  That which is largely responsible for many problems today are our chemicalized farming practices which both destroy soil health and predispose plants to further disease & pathogenic invasion.  It takes years of careful effort to reverse this kind of damage.  So yes, germs are implicated in disease, yet they don’t cause disease so much as respond to the presence of immunologically compromised and weakened cells/organisms.  They’re simply responding to their environment the way they’re programmed to by removing the weak, which is what nature does. 

            If you want healthy plants it’s your job as a grower to provide a favourable environment for beneficial microbes and healthy soil
.  Many do precisely the opposite and provide a favourable environment for pathogens by destroying most of the beneficials!  The long-term answer to your weed, bug or fungus problems is not another chemical bomb each time: the long-term answer is to remove the scenarios that cause the problems in the first place.  Yes, you might have to spray *right now* or lose your harvest this season, but this doesn’t change things: your long-term answer is to remove the scenarios that cause the problems by simultaneously fostering favourable conditions for healthy soil life.  If your soil is beat up, this can be a hard transition, but it's one that must be made if long-term regeneration is your goal.

             Chemistry and biology work hand in hand.  They're all part of a system.  If you altar or damage the one you altar or damage the other, which then compromises the health of your soil and the crops grown in it.  Such crops then compromise the health of any who consume them.  Fortunately there is hope.  By using a product like AGGRAND and curtailing your chemical usage, you can avoid and slowly reverse this.  You can turn things around and even improve upon already healthy systems.  This is news worth sharing.  


​Concluding Thoughts

            All those zillions of soil microbes reproduce, interact, perform their useful functions and prey upon each other in a continual dance.  If things are healthy it will be a balanced dance where everything is kept in check, including the bad guys.  Through normal metabolic processes and death these organisms release their nutrient content at a measured pace: neither too fast nor too slow but just right. 

            AGGRAND fertilizers support healthy cellular and microbial function, and multiply vibrant soil microbe populations.  It will not leach into the water supply because soil microbes promptly fix it in place in the soil.  That is, they grab onto it and incorporate it into themselves. They then use this fertilizer with its nutrients and sugars to go on a breeding spree: their equivalent to our shopping sprees after we get a fat pay-cheque.  Soil devoid of biology cannot support life for long.  Commercially farmed fields aren’t sterile, but are in much worse condition than generally assumed. 

Pathogenic Nematode captured by the predatory fungus Arthrobotrys Anchonia before consumption.


             We live in an area with very rich, loamy soils, but large scale industrial cropping is changing that.  For example, one field by our house has a three year cycle of two years beans followed by corn.  The last time corn was planted there was still residue from corn grown three years earlier.  (Unhealthy soil can lead to microbial production of both alcohol and formaldehyde, by-products which hinder the break down of organic matter).  In addition the soil is turning much harder, more grey (low organic matter) and becoming less able to drain, retain or allow water infiltration, among other things.  These are reliable indicators this field and many others are being fundamentally altered at the micro-biological level. 


            Plants can live off the borrowed inheritance of healthy soil for a while, even years or decades sometimes, but that won’t last forever.  If all that is taken out of our soils year after year isn’t replenished, it will become depleted.  This is basic arithmetic.  Applying one or two synthesized chemical isolates of N, P or K, while neglecting organic matter and all the dozens of other vital nutrients plants need, year after year, is not sustainable practice.  And with toxic inputs and nutrient deficiencies come weakness, disease and armies of pests and pathogens that can smell the crop’s susceptibility from a hundred paces. 

          AGGRAND offers real solutions to many agricultural problems because one, it doesn’t pollute or harm, two, it contains all the nutrients your plants & soil microbes need, building both up, and three, it's very fast acting, especially as a foliar spray, and can relieve the hidden hunger in deficient plants *now.*  With competent soil analysis and AGGRAND fertilizers your fields will become more balanced and naturally fertile over time and your dependency on fertilizer inputs will actually
diminish!  So to summarize this page: the fertility of your soil is directly related to, and bound up with both its biology and its chemistry, and AGGRAND is an ideal first step to kick start things and get your soil back into a healthy, balanced, regenerative state.  

            For a closer look at your soil’s chemistry, let’s proceed next to the
Soil Analysis page.




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