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Data for Transition - Decoding Soil Biology! With Adrian Ferrero
Episode 112nd June 2022 • We Are Carbon • Helen Fisher
00:00:00 01:03:10

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When we talk about regenerative agriculture we can often lean on words like 'traditional' and 'indigenous', which can give the sense that we're turning our back on modern developments in technology.

But of course the very best value and progress comes when we can integrate multiple points of view together.

In this interview I’m joined by Adrian Ferrero, co-founder of ‘Biome Makers’, a global AgTech company working to empower farmers through a greater understanding of the soil microbiome.

Biome Makers brings our logical, data driven mind into the picture to work alongside the wisdom of working with nature.

They've studied soil samples from numerous locations to build up the largest soil microbiome database in the world. 

Using computing technology and DNA sequencing they're continually deepening understanding of microbial communities and their relationships with plants.

As fertiliser prices continue to rise, regenerative farming methods are becoming increasingly desirable. Other interviews have taught us that working in close harmony with the soil life is a big part of making the shift. And since that soil life is so tiny and so varied, this growing understanding of soil biology is an invaluable tool to farmers seeking to make the transition away from synthetic chemical inputs.

Adrian shares a wonderful range of insights, from offering a broad understanding of why soil biology is so significant to farming, to details about the dimensions of plant growth and development that the microbiome can support. 

Some of my favourite take aways were learning how dynamic the communities are, and that they change to meet the needs of new crops that are sown, and that maximum diversity isn't necessarily best - it's more about having a range of microbes that are best suited to the job at hand!

Use the time stamps below to get a sense of what's included:

00:00:00 - Intro

00:02:15 - About Adrian

00:04:27 - Soil carbon for a layman

00:16:30 - How soil biology supports the farm

00:25:18 - The role of microbes in pest control & plant disease

00:34:36 - Guided by the data

00:38:11 - Biological inputs

00:39:30 - Soil testing to profile microbes

00:41:41 - The largest soil microbiome database in the world!

00:42:30 - Using microbe profiles to turn desert to arable land

00:44:23 - How does the data guide action?

00:45:54 - Microbe communities are dynamic (the most diverse isn't necessarily the best)

00:49:58 - Plant dimensions that can be supported by microbes

00:51:26 - Biological inputs are more affordable for farmers

00:53:44 - How Biome Makers work with farmers

00:55:57 - Developments at Biome Makers

00:57:59 - How diverse soil biology affects food

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