RevivaSoil Test Run: UK Farmer Trials Remineralization Against Synthetic Fertilizer
From Left to Right: Andy Carp from Agrimagined, Geologist; Mark Mitchelmore, Technical Manager of Breedon Quarries Ltd; David Lomas, Dairy Farmer; Prof. Suzi Huff Theodoro; Andrew Ollier, Mixed Farmer; Bryan Ollier of Agrimagined, Agricultural Engineer; John Morris, Organic Farmer
In England, Pickmere-area farmer Andrew Ollier has been running trials of experimental potato varieties alongside a separate trial with RevivaSoil rock dust supplied by Agrimagined Ltd. on potatoes to compare with his normal usage of synthetic fertilizers when applied with and without cattle manure.
Key trials consisted of utilizing just RevivaSoil versus synthetic fertilizer, as well as RevivaSoil versus a combination of synthetic fertilizer with cattle manure in either case. Ollier planted the crops on May 4 of this year. With little rain leading up to a July 13 ‘open day’ for farmers to inspect new varieties and see improvements with Revivasoil, the recorded differences between crops were minimal. However, increased rainfall thereafter greatly stimulated growth.
Rainfall is essential for activating and weathering the rock dust particles when in the soil so that the nutrients become slowly available for the soil microorganisms and plant-root systems.
Potato plants grown in RevivaSoil-treated soil had much more extensive root systems when compared with plants grown in soils treated only with synthetic fertilizer. A bigger root system means that plants can access more water and nutrients from the soil. It also allows for more air to penetrate soil, which is essential for soil microorganisms. With the addition of manure, though, the root systems in RevivaSoil and synthetic fertilizer-treated soils were more similar.
RevivaSoil is a product made of up to four-millimeter graded rock dust particles from local aggregate quarries that work on basic igneous rocks. The product has been carefully analyzed and approved, containing more than 40 different elements and micronutrients that are needed for plant growth.
While spreading RevivaSoil onto the potato trial area, adjacent grassland and wildflower areas were inadvertently also treated. As a result, the neighboring dairy farmer noticed denser, greener grass more suitable for feeding cattle. As for Ollier’s crops, he will harvest the potatoes in September. At that point, he can conduct final analysis for the trials.
Prof. Suzi Huff Theodoro visits UK farms
During her time in Great Britain for the 2022 World Congress of Soil Science in Glasgow, Suzi Huff Theodoro, professor of soil geology at the University of Brasilia, visited Pickmere farms using UK-sourced soil remineralizers.
For more than 30 years, Theodoro has advocated for soil remineralization in Brazil — a country that imports 85 percent of its chemical fertilizers. Known as ‘stonemeal’ in her country, the rock dust used for remineralization in Brazil is the same type of product as RevivaSoil in the UK, which contains macro and micronutrients, as well as trace elements.
Healthy plants treated with rock dust have greater resistance to pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. Healthy plants also make for healthier food. In Brazil, farmers have applied more than four million tons of rock dust so far in 2022, according to Theodoro.
By exchanging knowledge and experiences on alternative methods and technologies, farmers and soil scientists can better understand opportunities for improving farm production processes.