The Power of Organics

By Lou Newman, Southeastern Regional Manager

Nature Safe not only formulates fertilizers for the professional sports turf, landscape and golf industries but we also sell extensively to the organic agriculture market. This organic segment of the overall value of all organic crops in the agriculture market has grown about 15-20% annually for the last decade. Today, organic agriculture products are estimated to be a $26 B (yes, billion!) market.

The principles of plant growth used by turf customers are exactly the same as those used by farmers and growers in corn, cotton, tobacco, soybeans, vegetables and fruits. Nature Safe has the same benefits when growing a crop for harvest as it does when growing a crop for durability and appearance.

These basics are the Nature Safe story. Feed the soil microorganisms that mineralize and make available plant nutrients and they, in turn, will feed the plants. In organic agriculture it is important to have a well balanced soil with active soil life. Research at many institutions across all crop lines have repeatedly shown that healthier, less stressed crops have far less loss in production from insects and diseases. Pathogens in general are opportunistic and will do the most damage against plants that have less vitality.

These basics are the Nature Safe story. Feed the soil microorganisms that mineralize and make available plant nutrients and they, in turn, will feed the plants. In organic agriculture it is important to have a well balanced soil with active soil life. Research at many institutions across all crop lines have repeatedly shown that healthier, less stressed crops have far less loss in production from insects and diseases. Pathogens in general are opportunistic and will do the most damage against plants that have less vitality.

Farmers are the most difficult to change and are the most skeptical consumers in the world. They have been successful over a long period, and have seen methods and products come and go. So, when I make a presentation to an agriculture group, I know they will want to see results.

This is just what happened to me in North Carolina. After a presentation a farmer approached me and with many of his colleagues standing by stated that if I was so sure that Nature Safe was so good, surely I would give him some to try on his pastures. If it worked, he’d be glad to pay for it later.

Well, if there’s anything tighter than a hill country farmer, it would be my boss, Rick Geise. I didn’t want to turn the guy down, but then again Rick would want some valid justification for something like this. Besides, the farm dealer at whose store I made the presentation was going pale just thinking about giving out free goods and then trying to collect based on feel good results.

So, having been in many a previous rodeo I told the gentleman let me do it this way. You buy what you need and if you are not satisfied, you tell the store owner and I’ll credit him with any refund he has to make to you. The farmer got a twinkle in his eye, I guess because he liked the haggling as much as anything and he agreed. All eyes were going to be on this fella’s pasture, no doubt.

I didn’t hear much of anything, but also was never asked for a credit. Then the other day the store owner sent me photos. Not only was the farmer satisfied, but by the end of the season, he preferred the organic fields. And if you look at the shots you can see why.

The Power of Organics Organic Fertilizer The Power of Organics Standard Fertilizer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side by side fields were fertilized on the same day at the same rate of N. The photos were taken last fall on rye grass pastures.

The Power of Organics

Nature Safe may be a simple idea, but the power of unleashing multiple trillions of soil microbes to work on your behalf should never be underestimated. This is what made a believer out of an otherwise doubtful farmer. The farmer can put more cattle on the Nature Safe side than on the same area of the conventional. Thus, he makes more money so his return is better. Besides, did you notice what those conventional fertilizers did to that tree?