Do I Really Need Biologicals?
9 Jul 2318 min 27 sec

You've heard a lot about biologicals lately.  Damian asks the questions you want to know about biologicals.  Do you really need them? How do you know if you need them? How do you know if they work? Do you need them if you have already have rich fertile soil.  If you are considering biologicals, this is the segment you need to listen to first.

Rather Listen?

00:00 We're asking the question, what is a biological, why do I need them? When do I apply them? What do they do for me? You know, 00:07 there is some skepticism out here and we are extreme agro addressing that right now. So we're only asking the questions where I get them answered. 00:11 I've got whole GTeX guys here, Brian Feld and Brian Hansel, and I've got an agronomic genius right here by Buddy Mike Mangrove, 00:18 who works alongside Kelly Garrett and of course one of the original founders of Extreme Ag Chad Henderson. Alright, let's face it. I'm gonna start off my fan. 00:24 Chad. Chad, you're the skeptical farmer sometimes, but you're a very forward looking farmer. These things. Years ago, we address this all the time. Biologicals, then they became a dime a dozen. 00:34 What do they do? Why do I need them? That's the questions we get asked. How do I use them? When do I apply them? More importantly, here I am in Iowa, 00:41 some of the best soil in the United States of America. Does it need biologicals? Isn't it already good stuff. 00:46 Just kind of give me an overview from your standpoint as the farmer. I don't think it needs biologicals at all because I think they're making too 00:53 much corn now. So, but no, I mean, you're right. I mean, we don't know. I mean, and we've talked about it before, like biologicals, it's almost a wild, 01:02 wild west, you know? And farmers kind of get offensive, not offensive, but you know, they're standoffish about it because we don't know, 01:09 we can't test it. It's not something you can spray on and immediately see it, you know? Yes, you'll see it through root structure, 01:14 but all farmers going out there and doing root digs every day, you know, so that's, that's what it, yes, we need the biological to break down. I mean, 01:22 it's all about all the fertility's about plant availability. Yes. And that's where we get into with biologicals. All right, 01:27 So we talked about the measurability, and if you look on the camera, you'll see guys back here because they actually are digging in. 01:33 They do have a soil probe. They are doing some metering of nutrients and resources. We're gonna get into that in a different video. Let's face it. Uh, 01:40 you are in the ag retail business with integrated ag solutions, and also you work alongside Kelly Garrett. 01:45 You get your door banged on all the time. Organic, biological, biological, biological. You know, you gotta use this stuff. Three more bushels. 01:50 Three more bushels. There's a reality here when you're over about soil biology. But do I need organics? This is an amazing soil you have here. 01:58 Yeah. So at the biologicals, you, you're getting, you're getting the activity in the soil, which is giving you more poor space, letting water, water get in the soil, 02:06 which is helping with red uptake root stimulation for nutrients to come up. Um, like you said, people don't believe in biologicals yet, 02:13 or haven't seen the data to back it up. But when you do your root digs, you can actually see with the root mass all the different biologicals that are 02:21 helping grow that mass, which in, in turn helps with nutrient uptake. One Of the things we did in Alabama, Brian Feld, 02:28 was that we did a root dig and we saw this thing. And frankly that's about the measuring we've seen up till now is, well, here's the non-treated and here's the trial treatment. 02:37 You got twice as much root mass. That stuff I can see. I, I understand that. But what about all the stuff we learned in at ground 1 0 1, the chemistry, the, 02:45 the nutrients and all that stuff. Take me there, Brian Hanson. Well, again, I think the key thing about biologics, 02:51 and this is what's going on in, in, you know, in the marketplace, is everybody's talking about 'em. 02:56 And most of the products you're running across are some derivative of about 25 or 26 bacteria and there's a lot of bacteria already in your soil. 03:03 That's what's dominant. Right. Wait a minute. I think I heard once in one of these agronomic things, maybe Chad and I were there. They said there's like 10,000 microorganisms, 03:11 maybe 20,000 microorganisms, some that we haven't even identified in the soil. And you're telling me, okay, 03:15 we got these two dozen that are gonna make a difference. You can see where the skepticism comes from. Yep. For specifically, 03:20 what are those bacterias and I guess talk to me about the Bacteria. Well, and again, I think that's the key difference. 03:24 So if GaN to why we're different is we have 800 species of microbes. Okay? Most, most are using two 03:29 Dozen. Okay. Right. And so if you say, do you need 'em or not, you measure your soil. 03:32 The good news is there's a lot of science and pattern ag is one example, but there's a number of different tests. 03:36 We have a actual one we do here in the field that measures the amount of microbial life in your soil. So one thing is how much life do you have? 03:43 The more you have, the better it opens up your soil. But the other's biodiversity. And that's what's been missing for most people. So as we till as we put down chemicals, 03:50 we're killing back some of those species, the ones that are most problematic are the big ones, right? So pro they are the largest, they're the biggest predators of bacteria, 04:00 but a lot of fields don't have any at all. Right? So if you're missing the biology, you know that that's the problem because you have a life cycle that should occur 04:08 in your soil naturally. And if you're missing the fungi, if you're missing the pro, 04:12 you don't have the the full food chain because bacteria are most aggressive, right? So you put your nutrients down, bacteria gotta go consume 'em. 04:19 And that's good. And that's what sometimes you'll see the, the root stimulation, um, because the bacterial outcompete your plant to actually eat your, 04:26 your inputs and now your plant's hungry. So it's actually growing roots and that's great, but inside of a bacteria, that nutrient still isn't available to the plant. 04:33 You need predators of bacteria to actually release it. That's where fungi come in. That's where produce, that's where beneficial nematodes come in. 04:40 And none of the other products in the market have those. So if you test your field and they don't exist, 04:45 which most even in Iowa don't have produce, are lacking fungi and don't have the beneficial nematodes, bio 800 brings all those to you. 04:53 So now you have the seed stock and then nature will start to feed those bugs and that's when you get the benefit. 04:58 I think that there is something to this, I mean I've read the, the regenerative ag books and all that. 05:04 We're gonna go to the farmer from southeast Iowa. Is it true you evil farmers like you have killed off all the beneficial bacteria in our soil? You've overc it. 05:12 Well, now that he ask, yes, we have killed all the, all the good buck off I Should say. You are, 05:17 you work for this company on a distributed distribution level, but you are a farmer. You are a farmer in southeast Iowa. 05:22 And the reason why I got into the biologicals are looked into the biologicals is my dad was talking that 40 out there did 60 bushel beans, you know, and, 05:31 and today I've been farming for 20 years and I'm still saying that farm's still doing 60 bushel beans. Yeah. Everything was supposed to get better, right? 05:38 Like what is wrong? That's why I look started looking into the biologicals. One of the 05:42 Things Chad Henderson that Kelly and I talk a lot about, you talk a lot about as an extreme man guy is we've probably been there on 05:48 fertility. In fact we've probably over fertilized. Cause it was always easy. Go to the co-op, 05:51 go to the ag retailer and they'd love to say bulk pound tons and tons of fertilizer comes in on a train stick the stuff out there. 05:58 It ain't about fertility. And also we've probably over chemistry, maybe we're guilty of that more in the seventies and eighties, early nineties. 06:05 I think we might have under chemistry. I'm talking about chemicals, not chemistry in the soil. 06:09 So am I right here we're finally starting to figure this out. Less chemistry applied, more understanding chemistry of the soil, 06:17 less fertilizer applied cuz we don't need more fertilizer to have fertility kind of help me out there from the farmer perspective. 06:23 Um, yeah, you're exactly right. I mean as much as we wanna go out there and just put out fertilizer, you know, we've, we've talked about, you know, 06:29 using the words and we talk about 'em all the time, you know, efficiency and, and, and this biological products help with that efficiency train, you know, 06:37 they're all hand in hand. So yeah, we, we've as farmers gone out and we've always put out, we just go out there and put the blend out and it's a blend. 06:43 It's a grand blend my granddaddy used because that 40 always made 60 bushel. That blend is working. 06:48 So if we can get that blend to work well now we're trying to, you know, do that with other things that make that more available. Whether it's, you know, 06:56 feed, having your biology and then feeding it with sugars, carbon, things like that. Really ramping it up, you know, 07:01 and making those two go hand in hand, you know? And so fertilizer, rain, always the way it's adding to anything to make b biology the life cycle, 07:09 the ground. Like we just gotta make it more healthier. Well and I think the thing that really is tricky about this, and this is the hardest conversation we have with farmers, 07:16 is pulling back on fertilizer, right? Because you know, it does work if you put so much down, you're gotta get your 60 bushel and I come to you, I say, you know what, 07:23 you need to pull back 10, 15% right? Yeah. On your inputs. And the reason I'm telling you, you figured out that without good biology, 07:29 that's what it, how much fertilizer it takes. If you put that much fertilizer on, that means that plant doesn't need to feed biology anymore cuz it's not reliant 07:36 on it. So when I put fresh biology down in your soil, if you're still over fertilizing the, the plant's not motivated to feed the bugs to grow them. 07:43 If it's hungry cuz it doesn't sense there's so much there then it's going to, i, a healthy plant will take 30% of the energy from the sun and put it into the, 07:51 into the soil to feed the biology to grow it. So all we do is put down the seed stock. If you put down our product and over fertilize, you just waste your money. 07:59 Cause the plant's not there to help me. I need the plant motivated to feed my bugs. So at what point are y'all talking about then a, 08:06 a farmer that comes along and y'all are talking about the whole point of, oh well then when am I gonna deplete my soil? When do you get that question? 08:11 So when am I gonna deplete my soil? Because that's what we've always heard. Oh son, 08:14 you don't fertilize for two or three years and you're not gonna make anything. You know, you're just gonna deplete your soil out of it. 08:19 And I think the whole conversation, let's go to the nitrogen cuz it's an easy one everybody talks about, right? You got corn, you got nitrogen. So when you take this corn out of the field, 08:27 you're taking about 0.66 pounds of nitrogen with you. Right? Average farmer in this neck of the woods is putting a pound of nitrogen per 08:35 bushel down. Yeah. So that's 35% more than you need. All we're saying is don't waste that 35%, make sure what you do put down against to the plant. And that takes biology. 08:43 But we know a lot of it leeches and disappears cause you don't have the biology delivering it. You, you've got relying on over fertilizing. You're right. 08:50 The big ag loves it. They'd love to sell you that extra 35%. That's their margin. But realistically, 08:55 to make a healthy plant and healthy soil, which is what we are trying to build this healthy soil, is you gotta have 'em working together. 09:00 That means it needs to be motivated and not overfed. Cuz if you're sitting a buffet, right? Yep. You're not asking for help. Don't get more food. It makes the plant lazy. It makes the plant lazy. Yep. 09:09 So what we do is try to work with the farmer to get that right balance of the right amount of fertilizers so we're not stealing from the soil, 09:15 but not too much. So I got a plant who's willing to build it soil. All Right. I like the tonk, but I wanna go back to the skeptical farm work. 09:21 Cause that's the, that's where I hear this, we hear this extreme ag like, all right, first off, you're a grounding major from Iowa State University. 09:27 It's a pretty, it is a pretty prestigious ag school. Did they ever talk to you about the fungi content and soil when you took agronomy 1 0 1? No. Okay. 09:35 So that's where we're going now with these biologicals. Is it real? Uh, because you know what, you're not that far removed from school. 09:42 Like 11 years ago you were a student and they weren't talking about fungi and they weren't talking about these, these, uh, 09:47 bacterial relationships and all that. They were, were talking about what, you know, aggregate size and nutrients, et cetera. 09:53 Yeah. You, they focused a lot on like, like they were talking about the nutrient removal rate that they took from their 180 200 bushel corn and what you had to put back on there for commercial 10:04 fertilizer to replace that. They weren't talking about the, the back bacteria in the soil. The good, 10:09 the bad to help with help with all the things. So My question is, if 11 years ago they weren't teaching this at Iowa State University, 10:18 it does make you realize why there's skepticism out here in Farmville. Because we were talking, 10:22 we were talking about it a decade ago at the agronomy program. What's the reality? 10:27 Do I need this stuff? Yeah. I do believe, um, with what we're seeing with the biologicals, like I said, the rip mass, the activity in the soil, 10:37 balancing the soil like they were talking about, we don't need to put on that fertilizer to keep adding on top of it. We need to balance it, make it more available to the plant. All 10:46 Right, so then go ahead Chad. I mean, you know, what we're going to see here is, is to, to his point is we're gonna see this, this, this a good base, 10:55 you know, a good, we're not talking about here never using no synthetic fertilizer. That's not what we're talking about. You know, 11:00 and that's what people wanna hear and wanna shut out real quick. No, we're talking about getting that blend down to a good base blend using the 11:06 money. That's all we do in ag is we got this one pool of money here as a farmer and we gotta shuffle that money around. We ain't talking about spending no more money. 11:13 We're talking about pulling money and moving money around to make the, to make the system work. And I think, 11:18 and I think from the skeptical side of this, right, is just, that is, and the other beauty of of bugs are they're self replicating. 11:25 So this is one input. If you put some money into it, when it gets in your ground, it'll multiply and it keeps growing based on what that particular ground means. 11:31 Oh, right. So you're telling me that you can put it down there and I can't mess it up. I didn't say it. The I didn't say that. You'll fertilize, steal, 11:40 shake some steel, my guess. And you can tell, and you can do all kinds of things to mess it up. Things kill bug, right? That's right. That's right. But it's probiotics. 11:48 I'm just making sure it was on the site. Yeah, yeah, man. You get, you get it in that soil and it's gonna grow, right? And, 11:53 and if you have the balance right, and that'll win. The beauty is, and you said, okay, do you keep using it forever or what's the reality of it? 11:59 Every year you're gonna see improvement. And Brian, you've seen this as a farm. Yeah. From year one to year two to year three, 12:04 you're seeing less fertilizer needs better soil and better yields. But is there a time we don't need to be adding it? I think yes, 12:11 if we keep moving our farming practice in the right direction, you may not need my product right in five years if you've built your soil back 12:17 up. But the challenge up the, you Gonna take the lesson from, from the companies before you like the fertilizer companies. 12:23 Is there a time you won't need me? No, you're gonna need more of me. You're gonna need more of me. 12:27 And this is be field by field basis. You instead of a farm by farm or or region by region. We'll get it down to field by field or acre by acre. You know, 12:35 it'll be like grid sampling. You know, we we're turning things on it up. Well I think nature already does that for us. 12:40 I think the beauty of our product is we're putting down the seeds. We're putting down live living organs. Our product comes in liquid. 12:46 You put it on your farm, it you can smell it, it is alive. Right? When it hits the ground, it starts to grow. Right? 12:51 And if this plant needs more of something, it's gonna feed that species and continue to grow. And season on season a healthy teaspoon of soil should have a billion living 13:01 bugs in it. I guarantee you this doesn't, I was looking for You. Guarantee you this doesn't. Okay, we're gonna get there. Now. 13:06 Next thing is, you talked a lot about your product. You know what? You're not the only biological company out there. Let's be, 13:13 let's be realistic here. You keep talking about your product, but I'm getting, when you and I hear about a new biological about every week, so do they work? 13:22 Do mean do I do? And then how do I use them? I mean, is this is the questions you get asked. So what do you think? Gimme it from the agronomist. Gimme it from the farmer. 13:30 Well I think, uh, for the farmer aspect, like there is a lot of biologicals out there, but they got, you know, 20 different products that are trying to get you to use, you know, 13:39 like the pharmacy type. We got everything in one product. All right, I wanna go to this. Let's talk about the activity. 13:46 You keep talking about it spurs on biological activity. What about, I don't know, earthworms is, is it, is it, can you prove, 13:51 can we prove that it does anything for the earthworm activity? Can we do anything as for porosity, for uh, for absorption rate? 13:56 I wanna talk about what it does. Cause I'm the skeptical farmer. What the, so the poor space, like I explained earlier, 14:05 you're getting water into the soil. You're advancing that biological activity, which is helping with your nutrient uptake into the roots. Um, 14:13 the skeptical farmer aspect is, you know, a lot of biologicals say yeah, the, their biology lives no matter what you do well, 14:20 you gotta kind of be concerned with that. If you dump it, damn the wrong water source, does it kill that biology right away? 14:27 How does that differ? We've heard, we've heard about that. I'm gonna be the skeptical farmer once again. Maybe I don't need porosity issue. 14:33 I don't have porosity issues because I I know till and I don't have compacted soil. Answer me of that. So 14:37 Again, well it's ironic and you don't need any more money go out. Yeah. Help. But I'm telling you is like no-till is not automatically open your soil up, 14:45 right? You still need the biology. So the funny thing, you know, we got guys walking around this field right now, 14:49 you know what they're measuring bulk density to see is the porosity actually working? Are we making a difference? Are we 14:54 Increasing porosity, Right? So we're opening up the soil. So if we get an engine after rain in the next hour, 14:59 you wanna make sure it stays in this field that runs down that hill. Our soil will hold onto it and we measure it to make sure that we're actually 15:05 having that impact. Actually, we talked about earth farm, just to finish that point that you made. 15:08 Produce are the favorite food of an earthworm. Most fields are missing produce, right? 15:14 We have over 80 species of produce in our product to get back into your soil. So you'll absolutely see it at all levels up through your earthworm 15:21 All. So answer me this, you're this, you're the farmer. Uh, and we ask, we said we're gonna set out to answer some questions. How do I use this stuff? 15:26 How do I start? I don't use any biologicals right now. You've convinced me. And, and without it being yours, any, any biological, how do I start? 15:35 Oh man, Where do I start? Where did you start Chad? Well, So I dumped it in the planter and look, it started foaming out the top. No, 15:42 we had a had a real good. So we took it, we put it in the, in furrow system cuz they wanted it as close to the seat as possible. 15:48 Cause that's where we're getting our start at. You know, we got a root system, we want as close seat as possible and we took off from there. Um, 15:54 with this product, the next step will be with the herbicide application, right? I mean that's what we was looking at. So, but, but I was, you know, 16:00 we want it in that zone. That's where it's at. You know? Yeah, we wanna treat outside, 16:04 but we're working on the root zone first and work our way out, right? Okay, So how, how do 16:09 We start? And, and we wanted to make it easiest for the farmer as possible. Like we did not want the farmer to change anything that they do. All 16:15 Right? So I take, take your product and I dump it in where I dump it in the planter. You either Put it in the planter in furrow or you put it with any of your chemicals 16:22 And you're the guy that's selling the to farmers and you're selling the skeptical farmers. If I wanna start, 16:25 I'm gonna experiment starting next season or even this season. Biologicals, where do you, what do you direct me to do? 16:30 How do you inform me to be a better farmer using biologicals? First off, I'd make sure it mixes well with the chemistry they're using. 16:37 Cuz if have we gone up there sprayer that and that's not a good Day, then I'll never use it again. Then I'm gonna say, see, I, 16:43 I I was right all along cuz that's how skepticism works. All right, I'll try it. And it sucked. I'm never gonna do it again. That's right. You're talking about, 16:49 all right, so you gonna make sure it's compatible. Next We're gonna make sure the timing's right. Um, make sure that timing's correct and make sure, let's have a, 16:59 a point of action what we wanna accomplish with it. And if I come to you this time of year, you, Brian, this time of year, and I say, 17:04 you know what? I think maybe biologicals the route and, and it's midseason. Do I have an option to use it then to do, do me bang for a buck? Midseason for 17:12 Us, we wouldn't waste your money. Wouldn't waste your money, right? So again, if you, you ask the question of what you should look for if I'm getting started, 17:18 there are, as Bri as Brian mentioned here, there's a couple of approaches. There's bio biologics, sorry, that do one job. Mm-hmm. 17:26 And if you have one thing you're trying to do, you can choose that and then, you know, bet on that outcome. We are trying to build soil health. 17:31 So ours is a different, different animal, right? I, yeah, I need to get that down early so I get it committed to a plant, 17:38 I get a plant motivated to feed it and that's how we start to unlock it. The next chance you really have for us is in the fall. 17:44 So when you have all this trash in your field and you wanna make sure that gets broken down and get those nutrients back in your soil, 17:49 that's the other thing biology does for you. So that's your second shot. So Use, 17:52 I would use your stuff at time of planting or after harvest when I want to get the big bang out of that. 17:57 And so we're talking about melting down the nutrients that are there and improving the soil health. We're asking the questions that you're asking us, 18:02 why do I need organics? Where are biologicals? What are biologicals? How do I use them? When would I use them? If I wanna start and dabble in this, 18:09 how would I go about doing it? Those are the questions we asked. You got the answers. Brian Hansel, Brian, uh, Feld, 18:15 and of course my friend Mike Wingrow and Chad Henderson. I'm Dam Mason For more cool stuff. 18:19 Go and look at all the library that we've created. Hundreds and hundreds of videos. Extreme

Growers In This Video

See All Growers