The Soil Health Hub Podcast

#2 - Dr Elaine Ingham & Daniel Tyrkiel: Bringing biology and organic matter back in soil

February 24, 2021 Soil Health Hub Season 1 Episode 2
The Soil Health Hub Podcast
#2 - Dr Elaine Ingham & Daniel Tyrkiel: Bringing biology and organic matter back in soil
Chapters
The Soil Health Hub Podcast
#2 - Dr Elaine Ingham & Daniel Tyrkiel: Bringing biology and organic matter back in soil
Feb 24, 2021 Season 1 Episode 2
Soil Health Hub

In this episode, we have two incredible guests - Dr Elaine Ingham and Daniel Tyrkiel. Dr Ingham uncovered the Soil Food Web nearly 4 decades ago and has been pioneering research about Soil Food Web ever since. Widely recognised as the world’s foremost soil biologist, she’s passionate about empowering ordinary people to bring the soils in their communities back to life. Dr Elaine’s Soil Food Web Approach has been used to successfully restore the ecological functions of soils on more than five million acres of farmland all over the world. Our other guest, Daniel is the director of T.I. Soil Ecology Laboratory in charge of the commercialisation of a soil food web inoculum for use in large scale agriculture. The inspiration for his work and interest in soil health came from Dr Ingham. Tune in and listen to this fascinating discussion.

Dr Ingham's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elaine-ingham-7223221b9/
Dr Ingham's Soil Food Web  School: https://www.soilfoodweb.com/
Daniel Tyrkiel LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-tyrkiel-2b50b338/

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we have two incredible guests - Dr Elaine Ingham and Daniel Tyrkiel. Dr Ingham uncovered the Soil Food Web nearly 4 decades ago and has been pioneering research about Soil Food Web ever since. Widely recognised as the world’s foremost soil biologist, she’s passionate about empowering ordinary people to bring the soils in their communities back to life. Dr Elaine’s Soil Food Web Approach has been used to successfully restore the ecological functions of soils on more than five million acres of farmland all over the world. Our other guest, Daniel is the director of T.I. Soil Ecology Laboratory in charge of the commercialisation of a soil food web inoculum for use in large scale agriculture. The inspiration for his work and interest in soil health came from Dr Ingham. Tune in and listen to this fascinating discussion.

Dr Ingham's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elaine-ingham-7223221b9/
Dr Ingham's Soil Food Web  School: https://www.soilfoodweb.com/
Daniel Tyrkiel LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-tyrkiel-2b50b338/

Iliyana Dimitrova:

Hello and welcome to the Soil Health Hub podcast. In each episode, we invite key industry experts and farmers to explore and debate challenges, opportunities and innovations around soil health and its implications on farming. In this episode, we have two incredible guests - Dr. Elaine Ingham and Daniel Tyrkiel. Dr. Ingham uncovered the Soil Food Web nearly 4 decades ago and has been pioneering research about Soil Food Web ever since. Widely recognised as the worlds foremost soil biologist, shes passionate about empowering ordinary people to bring the soils in their communities back to life. Dr Elaines Soil Food Web Approach has been used to successfully restore theecological functionsof soils on more than five million acres of farmland all over the world. Our other guest, Danielis the director of T.I. Soil Ecology Laboratory, in charge of commercialisation of a soil food web inoculum for use in large scale agriculture. The inspiration for his work and interest in soil health came from Dr Ingham. Tune in and listen to this fascinating discussion with your host, Rob Ward.

Rob Ward:

Welcome everybody, this our next recording for the Soil Health Hub. The Soil Health Hub is all about issues around soil health, and bring together farmers, scientists, investors, anybody that's useful to the industry, but in a way that it's friendly and at the same time informative, and I couldn't think of a better two people to talk to than Dr. Elaine Ingham and Daniel Tyrkiel. Thank you so much for being here. So we're really honoured because what we have here is a real working business that's based in the UK, that's Daniel's business, which is called T.I Soil Ecology Laboratory, and his inspiration was from Dr. Elaine Ingham. And, Elaine, please tell us in a nutshell, what you think regenerative agriculture is.

Dr Elaine Ingham:

It's putting back into the soil, all of the components that we have to have for us to call it soil. The problem is that most of the current agricultural practices, we're destroying the organic matter, and we're destroying the life in that soil. And once those, either one or both of those are gone, it's not soil, it's dirt. And so you have no choice under those conditions, where you've killed all the biology, blown off all of your organic matter as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, you have no choice but to use the toxic chemicals to try to grow a plant. The plant is not going to have all the nutrients that that plant requires to be healthy for any organism to be consuming it, either your animals or yourself, you're going to be lacking nutrients. And so therefore, we have this whole other huge industry that's grown up with the vitamins and the minerals, and we take all of those pills. And most of those nutrients just go washing right through your digestive system right back into the rivers and lakes and streams, reducing water quality, even more. Run-off from the chemicals in the field into our lakes and rivers and streams, destroying water quality. So we're slowly but surely causing all of the desertification, the inability to grow crops on land. We have some pretty big projects that are coming up where we're going to be given 50,000 hectares of land to remediate it, and bring it back into a condition where you can grow crops on it. That's a lot of land to be out of the food production system, providing people with the nutrition that they need. But the way to deal with it is put the biology back into the soil, put the organic matter back into the soil. And we have very easy simple ways that anybody really can utilise those methodology. And in the regenerative world, that's what we're trying to do is convert dirt back into soil.

Rob Ward:

Absolutely love what you're saying, and it's exciting to hear this because it's something we feel very strongly about too, as well. One of the things you said there, which I think is so true is we've been treating land as if we live of vitamin pills, and I think that's spot on. If we just tried to live on vitamin pills, and this is the thing, isn't it? You could say, well, I've had 50 milligrammes of vitamin C, because that's what our daily requirement is. And I've had B 12, as a multivitamin, but in fact, we all know that that very quickly would be very poorly because there's all the stuff in between that which we don't even know much about yet, because I've got health just deteriorate so much. And yet for over how many decades, 70 plus decades, we've been doing this to our soil, vitamin pill farming. I went to ag college, and I remember in the lessons, thats what we were told, you spend X on this vitamin pill to get this result to make that and there's the math. That's the that's that that's how it works. Do that to get that. And there's a whole industry that's been created around that thinking. Our challenge then is to reverse that. So, firstly, what got you into this and how are we going to change this round? And why should we change it around, other than what the points you just said?

Dr Elaine Ingham:

What really got me started on looking at soil is probably my father, he was a veterinarian at the University of Minnesota, and he would take me out into the field with him. So I was kind of his surrogate son. I have two sisters and that's it. So my dad didn't have a son and I was the tomboy of the group. I wasn't interested in dresses, and fancy clothes and makeup and all of that stuff, I'd rather be outside sticking my hands into the, hopefully, soil. So you know, when I was six years old, my father sat me down at a microscope, taught me how to use it. And as he left to work on something else in his lab, he said, count the e coli in those plates. And I proceeded to do that. And it entertained me for the whole afternoon while my dad was off doing something else in the lab. It really did influence me in the choice of my careers. I worked on marine microbiology when I was a graduate student at Texas A&M, and then soil microbiology at the Colorado State, and kind of the rest is history. I've been working in this field for the last 50 years. And so I probably do know more than most people about all of the various aspects and surprise little things that we learn. And it's great being able to transmit this information to the next generation coming along like Daniel. There has to be somebody that replaces me. And so having young people, any age really, it all depends on how young your mind is. And if you've got a more young attitude, you can learn this, I try to make it very easy. I try not to use the big scientific words, because I don't have to impress anybody with my vocabulary. Although sometimes it's hard as a scientist to not slip and use words that the general public have no idea what I just said. And so it's great to have people like you having these kinds of opportunities where when I use the big scientific term, you can say, wait a minute, hold on, what did you just say? And we can talk it out. I've been working in this area for a long time. And when I did my PhD at Colorado State University, I was working with a group of people, David Coleman and Pat Reed. There was just a whole 20-30 people, working there trying to understand what it is that these organisms do in the soil. When I started my PhD, my major professor Donald Klein sent me out to all of the soils people at the university and said, Ask them if the research project that you're going to do is worthwhile, should you do it, is there a future in going down this pathway, and what I was going to do was come up with a way of measuring fungi and bacteria and protozoa and nematodes all in the same sample, instead of having four different methods of each one that extracts in slightly different ways. And it takes slightly different amounts of time, so that you don't get a clear picture from that sample for four to six weeks. Well, what use is information that's four to six weeks out of date, when you're growing crops in the field, you need to know today, whether your crops are facing a disease or whether they're going to be benefited, which way are things going. So that's what I was set to do by my major professor. I went around to all these other professors at the university, the crop science, the agronomy department, the all those various versions of people who work with soil. And after I gave my little spiel, they looked at me and they said, don't do it. There's no point in doing any research on organisms in the soil, because they don't do anything. They're just there. And of course, my response was something along the lines of, but wait a minute, the bacteria have been in soil for the last 4 billion years, the fungi have been around for 3.5 billion years. Why would Mother Nature, promote and make certain that these organisms are still in the soil? They have to be doing something? Well, nobody's gonna hire you, sweetie, no one's gonna want to bring you on board because these organisms, they're not important. They don't do anything. And you know, that was kind of depressing to hear that walking back to my office and then just no, they've got to be there for a reason. We've got to figure out just because we don't pay any attention doesn't mean Mother Nature isn't paying attention. And so here we are some, you know, 40-45 years later, where everyone's finally catching on to exactly how important the biology is in the soil. We have to stop toxifying all of the land. We've got to stop having run-off into our rivers and lakes and streams and destroying water quality. How do we as human beings expect to stay alive? If we don't have any good food, if we have water that's going to kill us.

Rob Ward:

On that note, I understand that you've got a whole educational programme, which we'll cover, we'll talk about that more later on. One of your graduates from this programme or even inspired individuals is Daniel. He's here today, Daniel, we had a good chat the other day and you talked about some of the things you're doing. But I now quote you everywhere, by the way, because I'm so impressed. Tell us, tell the listeners what you're doing. What is that, just mentioned that, the trial you're doing on the farm in the UK.

Daniel Tyrkiel:

So the thing that hasn't been done yet properly in the UK is taking the knowledge of Dr Ingham and actually doing controlled trials. So there have been some pioneers in the UK, the information was not not very well collected and recorded, and we can't really show it to anybody. We know that it works, we know that it has worked in the UK. But what I'm trying to do is basically do controlled trials. So this year is my first trial with grain. And over in Hampshire, we're taking just a small piece out of a field of spring barley, we chose one tram line and around that tram line, we're going to have four strips of six metres each and one strip is going to be cultivated only with biology, the second one will be a control. So anytime we apply biology to the biology strip, we'll be applying water to the control strip. And then we repeat that, again, a biology strip and a control strip and everything around that experiment, it will be done conventionally. So there's gonna be a regular header or basically a strip surrounding the whole field. And then everything else inside this is chemical and just that strip is going to be done with biology.

Rob Ward:

So just explain it in farmers terms, your treatment will be a biological treatment only. And there'll be no NPK, there'll be no pesticides, no fingicides used.

Daniel Tyrkiel:

No, nothing. And it's actually going to be raw biology, it's actually not going to be the whole regenerative agriculture system. So I want to be very, very clear that this season is basically just for biology. And I always like to say that this is just one piece of the puzzle of the entire regenerative space, because we need cover crops, in the end, the next year if the farmer is happy with that trial, I'd like to take the whole field, but then I want him to work with a regenerative agronomist and put the cover crop in place. The whole point of this trial, and all the future trials I want to do with other farmers, is that on their own field, they're going to have a control test, where they will basically see a difference. What does a chemical system do? What does a biological system do? And what does nothing do. And that way we're going to establish a baseline to say how this works.

Rob Ward:

So just to be clear, so you will not use any

Daniel Tyrkiel:

Nothing,no, no chemicals. And actually, this is the interesting bit because when I was having conversations with with Robert, the farmer, when I was asking him, how are we preparing for the season? Well, he said, Well, I'm going to apply my compost, he's got a greenwaste site so he produces his own compost on site. So I'm going to apply the compost, and I said fine, that's not a problem. And then I'm going to blast the whole field with glyphosate. And I said okay, just make sure that you keep it away from my test site. Oh, so you don't want it there, no, so the idea is that he's got his bags of fertilisers in the shed, and none of that is going to be going on the test site.

Rob Ward:

So what we're looking at, and also it's good to talk about the maths here because farming is a business, farms have gotta make money. So what we're saying here is that the objective here is to prove that we will save the cost of all the inputs that are traditionally used, but then of course we'll have the cost for the biologicals. But I think it's to give you a figure, I think it was 500 pounds a hectare.

Daniel Tyrkiel:

At the moment I'm sort of judging a healthy figure for my business for the future that would allow me to want to go in and work with a field at farm scale would be about 400 pounds per hectare. What we're trying to do is we're trying to fix the biology in one season. And so, once you have the biology in the soil, and once you have cover crops, obviously in the UK, we really have mild winters. So the cover crops will be growing year round, so there is no winter where there's nothing growing. So the biology is always going to be fed by the plants. So once we establishe the biology and the farmer changes his system from a ploughed field to a directly drilled constant cover crop, then we've got a situation where he doesn't have to reapply the biology. And the only time he's going to be applying biology is when we do, you could call it compostees. I really don't like to use these terms because a lot of the times people think we've done a compostee, it doesn't work. We apply biology in an activated form to the surface of the plant. And the reason I'm calling it that way is because a lot of the trials that have been done even in the UK with compost and compostees, nobody even bothered to look under the microscope. Do they actually have the biology to multiply? And this was in my opinion, that's the reason why these things fail. What I'm basically providing is the biology. Not compost, compostees. I'm actually going to be saying biology. Here's a microscope. There's biology.

Rob Ward:

Thank you. What I was trying to get to is that the costs that the farms are spending on average at the moment using conventional farming, i.e. NPK and pesticides, and fungicides, I think the number you gave to me is around about 500...

Daniel Tyrkiel:

Oh yeah, the average spending.

Rob Ward:

Per heactare, that was the numbers we're looking at which I think from my maths, it's about $200 an acre, I may have that wrong, but it's something there abouts. So we get this international and I often find this with talking to people about regenerative farming is that you could have a one off costs with an input that could be an application of pesticide but it's gone whereas biologicals you're building them up and actually it's not. It's an appreciating assets, you could even look at as different costs. Really, you're investing the future rather than just the benefit today, am I right there, Dr?

Dr Elaine Ingham:

Absolutely, with fertilisers and pesticides and things you're losing part of your investment, because those chemicals are always going to be destroying part of that healthy growing system. So now, we come along with the biology, we put that back in, biology grows, it starts to do all these beneficial things. So you need to add on, what's the price tag on improving your soil. So you're getting higher yields, you're not having to work as much, you don't have to be out in the field with tractors and driving back and forth 14 times in a growing season to grow your crops. So it's a lot of other reductions.

Rob Ward:

I appreciate that. And it'd be very different if there's a carbon tax, which is highly possible. So people would think about all this stuff they need to do to farms if that was there. But actually, if you didn't have that, in year one, Daniel and assuming that we've got additional costs of say, $200 an acre, 500 a hectare, whatever that works out as, and if your system works in the trials, which I'm sure you are confident are and didn't say they did. What would be the net gain, purely on that year one. Let's not talk about the benefits long term now, year one, what do you think it'll cost them to do the biological treatments that will achieve either the same result or a better result,

Daniel Tyrkiel:

I'm looking at about 400 per hectare to spend on biology, I still believe that they should be so you know, competitive with the average. Year one, the idea is that the yield is the same, and we match, or just a bit less than the average.

Rob Ward:

So if I'm a farm, and I'm switching over to it, obviously, it does affect the direct drilling versus other till choices. And quite a lot of people are doing that now anyway, perhaps still using traditional inputs. But switching over what we're saying is, neutral is at worst case, neutral costs. But then over three years, what do you think the benefit would be? So by year three, if we presumably we have another treatment the following year, but maybe we don't use so much. And then year 3, the same again, as you're saying the biology is growing? And also you're topping it up, but over three years, that number must be quite significant in your favour?

Daniel Tyrkiel:

Well, yes, because the the idea is that once the biology in the soil is established, the only thing that really is left is protecting the top of the plant. And this usually achieved in three sprays of activated biology throughout the season. And that's it.

Rob Ward:

And so just to clarify for another practice point, it's all foliar treatment, is it?

Daniel Tyrkiel:

There's two treatments, one is for the soil and then there's foliar treatment.

Rob Ward:

Are there any issues about concentration on the foliar treatments?

Daniel Tyrkiel:

The one thing that we want to achieve is a minimum 70% coverage of the plant but 100% coverage of the plant is typical.

Rob Ward:

Dr Ingham, I wanted to ask this question for ages. How does the biologicals in a foliar treatment get back into the plant? And that might be a really dumb question there.

Dr Elaine Ingham:

You don't really want the biology to get into the internal parts of the plant. This is a surface coverage so that when like a spore of a disease causing fungus lands on a leaf, it doesn't actually land on the leaf, it lands on that layer of beneficial bacteria, fungi protozoa, nematodes, etc. And there is then no way that that spore or that dormant insect, agar, whatever might land on those leaves, it will never reach the plant tissue. Because of that protective layer. There's no food for that spore to germinate and start to grow. If it did germinate somehow, then one of the beneficial organisms would attack it, consume it, inhibit it, compete, outcompete it for all the nutrients. So you don't have any diseases or pest problems developing because there's just no way you've protected your plant on all the surfaces.

Rob Ward:

So it's like armour, really?

Dr Elaine Ingham:

Yeah. We call it castle walls, knights in shining armour, protecting your plant from the alien invaders.

Rob Ward:

Sounds good!

Daniel Tyrkiel:

So just just to clarify, the idea is that the following years only require that the foliar protection against spores that might be in the air because the surface of the plant normally what have that's, the higher the concentration of the biology in comparison to if we apply it. The actual real magic happens sub-soil, we need to first make sure that not only we apply this biology in the soil, but we check that it actually stays, and it establishes itself in the soil. And once it's there, then this is basically where all the exchanges in terms of nutrients happen.

Dr Elaine Ingham:

We don't have to keep applying year after year after year. If you're doing nothing to kill the organisms in your soil, they just keep growing and they establish an equilibrium based on what your plant requires. So we know what the different stages of succession, we know what onions require in the soil as opposed to tomatoes, as opposed to grapevines.

Rob Ward:

Okay, so because I had a chat with Daniel about this, and in our previous podcasts, we touched on this conversation around fungal-bacterial ratio and it's a very new area, certainly for many people, I think it's probably not to you, but that's why you are here now, talking about it. And I didn't appreciate it and Daniel helped me with this, is that there are different ratios for different plants. And so actually even the concept we're talking about fungal bacterial ratio, and in the previous podcast, I say, well, I think within five years, a farmer will say, well, my fungal-bacterial ratio is this, whereas at the moment, I don't suppose anybody would even have any idea what that is. And I'm sure some do, an awful lot don't. Can you please in a nutshell, explain what a fungal-bacterial ratios are, and how that does differ to different plants and why?

Dr Elaine Ingham:

So it's the ratio of fungal biomass, beneficial fungal biomass to the beneficial bacterial biomass, we maintain conditions in the soil the plant and these organisms are working together, will maintain the conditions that that biology requires. The plant helps maintain it, the microorganisms do as well. So you establish this ratio of fungi to bacteria. When you go through succession, we start out with some terrible catastrophic event happens and all plants are gone, the biology in the soil is severely depleted. And then nature starts to build the food web back. And the first thing that's going to be there are massive amounts of bacteria, photosynthetic bacteria, two bacteria come in. So you're starting at the beginning of succession with a massively bacterial dominated situation and that allows you to grow things like the brassicas, the cole and kale crops, the mustards, they grow very well in those conditions. But as the cellulose, the lignans the structurally complex plant materials go into the soil and get decomposed, those are more fungal foods than they are bacterial foods. And so now the fungi start doing better than the bacteria. So now you shift that fungal to bacterial ratio. And what you discover is that other early successional, grasses, the onions, the lettuce, those kinds of plants do best where you're at a fungal to bacterial biomass ratio of point 0.3 units of fungal biomass for every one unit of bacteria. And so these plants grow best, but they're still putting in more fungal foods than bacterial foods. And so succession is going to proceed along now you're going to be growing mid successional grasses, you're going to be growing your tomatoes and your potatoes and different sets of plant materials selected for that fungal to bacterial ratio. But as time goes by more fungal foods, so now you have an equal ratio of fungi to bacteria, and we're growing row crops, the highly productive grass species. Keep going, pretty soon, the soil is going to be selecting for the growth of shrubs and vines, and they do best as compared to at any other time in succession, but still putting in more fungal foods. So that shifts to deciduous forests and then deciduous forests putting in a lot more carbon, a lot more complex fungal foods that it'll eventually become a fungal to bacterial ratio that's going to select for conifer forest, old growth forests. Anywhere along the line, Mother Nature can come in and a disturbance, a really bad storm comes through, a fire happens and burns a great deal of land. We have flooding that can take you backwards in succession. So you find out what your fungal to bacterial ratio is and you start growing those plants at that stage of succession, you'll be successful, you'll recover very rapidly because the environment and the the plant material work together very well. And then you start building again towards the fact that you want to grow grape vines, you can very rapidly with enough input of biology. Instead of thinking of it as compostee or compost extract or even compost. Really, we should be basing our name on how much biology do you have? Is this a low biology? Is this a low fungus addition? Or is this a high fungal addition? So we need to change that terminology and Daniel and I will be kicking those ideas around exactly what do we call it. But this way growers can control very easily what the nutrient cycling is in the soil nutrient cycling done the way nature has done nutrient cycling for the last 3.5 billion years. And we need to pay attention to those things. Diseases and pests are only a message from Mother Nature saying you're not paying attention to the soil. There's something wrong down here, guys, now pay attention, or next year, I'll visit you with a worse disease, with a worse insect plague, don't pay attention to me, it'll be even worse. Ultimately, who's gonna win this war? It's not human beings.

Rob Ward:

It's not human beings, definitely not! Fascinating. My friends will be surprised I'm lost for words, but you are really interesting to listen to. And so Daniel, I assume then based on the type of crops being chosen, in this case, you've gone for high productive grass, which essentially what barley is, would that be an equal ratio?

Daniel Tyrkiel:

Yes, one to one.

Rob Ward:

Yes, I've understood it. I've passed first grade! No, maybe not! I'm always learning. So that's interesting. And then a guess you're constantly looking at what that ratio is, you're keeping that in check, too, because obviously, there must be some very different impacts that cover crops have or the timing of incorporation, the impact of that, and then you might have to readjust that ratio because of the circumstances you've had. The other thing that we talked about within regenerative farming or getting these biologicals really fired up in soil is the long term benefits, but also things like drought resistance, improving its ability to buffer extreme weather from too much or too little water. Is this something that you've seen a lot happening?

Dr Elaine Ingham:

Yeah, absolutely. We've done a lot of work in Australia, where, when I was in Australia for probably 10 years, they were in the middle of a 35-year drought. And there are still parts of Australia that are still in that same drought. So here we are at 45 years worth of drought years, and the only way you can grow crops is to build that structure in the soil. So every drop of rainfall that they do get is stored in the soil, kept in the system, far enough down into the soil so that evaporation doesn't take it out, you have to protect your soil surface, from the harsh rays of the sun evaporating things We don't want to have that layer of salt that gets left behind when water evaporates. So we've got to protect that surface. Well, you have choices, you want to do it with mulch, you want to do it with cover crops, or my favourite are to buy perennial plants. They don't grow more than two or three inches tall. Because they grow over the surface, they grow outwards instead of upwards, if you will, I don't have to mow them, I don't have to worry about competition with my plants. Plus, I can put in a furrow and drop seeds into that furrow. The only thing that's disturbed is that furrow where you drop the seeds or you put your starts in and close that soil back up. And pretty soon, here come your seedlings popping up through the soil and you've given a wide enough furrow so that your plant that you desire will be up above those short, low growing plants. But the root systems are all interconnected with mycorrhizal fungi instantly, instead of having to wait two or three months for the mycorrhizal spores to germinate and get going in your typical agricultural plot. We want these things to be perennial, they're gonna always be there. So you don't have to reestablish that biology every year, you should just be able to put your seeds in and let them grow naturally. Normally, you can just walk away for the summer, other than maybe occasionally going out into your fields and scouting for wether there's a small area or a place where the diseases are starting to get a foothold, you come back out with the right biology and knock the diseases back down. We don't ever go out and go spray the whole field. It's not necessary. If you've put all these willing agricultural workers to work. You don't have to feed them because your understory plants feed them, you don't have to worry about them going on holiday. You don't have to worry about weekends, they work 24/7, the whole entire time because that's their home. This is where they live and they maintain the system for you. If you kill them, then you have to do their work. And we as human beings are really pitiful at understanding what they need to do every second of every day. So put those organisms back into the soil. So they'll do your work for you. And they're happy doing it.

Rob Ward:

They're some of the best employees ever.

Dr Elaine Ingham:

Absolutely!

Rob Ward:

I think that's I think we're embracing this fully. You do have some great courses I see online, I will put them in the notes to the talk. But essentially, there's a whole range of different things to learn from, from podcast, to video recordings to all kinds of different ways to learn about this, I'm very excited about the potential that you're talking about, and how we can turn around the industry to be both healthy and happy and profitable. Which is the key that we all want, as well as being fit for purpose for the future. So that's wonderful. Daniel, is there a final word of thanks or recommendation to people about, we'll be talking about regards to the business that you're running, but also how you've learned from Elaine?

Daniel Tyrkiel:

Everything I know is from Dr. Ingham. And so I'm very grateful to have come across her work and actually start getting into it. When I speak to farmers. I'm very open. I am a townie, I didn't grow up on a farm. And I came from the permaculture background. And I noticed that, in permaculture, permaculture is fantastic and very necessary for the third world. But nothing's broken in the UK, there are some things that don't work very well and create problems on the side for farmers the actual system works. But what I saw with Dr Ingham's work is that we can fix all of these little side problems that chemical agriculture creates for us with this one thing, with this biology. And that was what really got me into this. And I have to say that there's not enough of us in the UK, I would say in the world as well, but obviously, we're in the UK here. And so I'm really pleased that more and more people are signing up to want to learn this. If whoever is considering this as a career choice, at the moment, it's very entrepreneurial, what I'm trying to do is to build a business where I can basically start hiring people. And so right now I'm doing an investment round, which will allow me to hire three people. And I've already got the team assembled, including a person who's just done a PhD in Biology, and she's a complete lab geek. But the whole idea is that across the country there are 1000s of agronomists that are working in the chemical paradigm. And maybe some of them will be looking to want to change career one day when we have more of this proof where we have more and more of these double-controlled trials. And maybe they'll be looking to re-educate themselves and Dr Ingham's School materials. And also the mentors that are actually now working with Dr. Ingham are now holding a wealth of knowledge and building a huge library of reference that we can all use.

Rob Ward:

That's fantastic. All of Daniel's contact details are in the notes. And so please check him out to get hold of him. To get hold of Dr Ingham's amazing educational materials, they will be in those notes too. So all I can say now is thank you, both of you so much, I think you're onto something that's incredibly exciting and a bright future for a very important industry.

Dr Elaine Ingham:

Well, thank you for inviting us to come on. It's always great to get this information out. So we really rely on folks like you to help us out here. Thank you.

Iliyana Dimitrova:

Thank you for listening to the Soil Health Hub podcast. If you'd like to learn more and join us visit soilhealthhub.com. See you next time!