“To fix the carbon cycle, we need more photosynthesis. We need more carbon coming into the soil than what we're spending. But we cannot shut down microbes spending it. They have to do the decomposition, because the decomposition is what helps build soil structure. It cycles nutrients. It's what helps the water cycle…” — Lance Gunderson, president and co-owner, Regen Ag Lab, Pleasanton, Neb.
Soil testing has historically focused mainly on the chemical and physical properties of soil but the recent attention being paid to the biological components of the soil has spurred new tests and measurements as well as new areas of research and development on the biological systems involved in nutrient use and cycling. Lance Gunderson, president and co-owner of the recently launched Regen Ag Lab in Pleasanton, Neb., keys in on the biological components of the soil as he endeavors to help farmers build a better functioning ecological system.
For this No-Till Farmer podcast, we caught up with Lance to talk about some of the new soil tests, how they differ from conventional tests and why it matters. He talks about the Haney test, the PLFA test, and the differences between organic carbon and total carbon and why bulk density plays a critical role in understanding the difference between them. He also talks about the carbon cycle and why he refers to carbon storage instead of carbon sequestration, how technology will help facilitate the necessary soil testing for the emerging carbon markets, and how synthetic inputs affect soil biology.
No-Till Farmer podcast series is brought to you by The Andersons.
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