Thursday, January 18, 2018

Growing Tomatoes With Soil Secrets

A few years ago one of our customers at the Trees That Please Nursery dropped in with a photo of him on a step ladder with his tomato plants.  He was impressed by how large and healthy the plants got.  This is not an  uncommon thing to see and in fact Bob McClendon at McClendon Select in Arizona once complained to us that we did not warn him this could happen at his organic certified farm making it hard to harvest his crop.  Now that we also have the best mycorrhizal product in the industry and the best Consortium soil probiotic (BioPack) in the industry I'd love to see what would happen to the vigor, yield and taste of this man's tomato crop if he would use those products along with the high energy dipole moment molecules of the carbon matrix of TerraPro combined with the amino acids of our Protein Crumblies product. 

Salt and Crops

Here's another successful test trial using our carbon matrix product called TerraPro.  The situation was one of salt causing dehydration on raspberries on Driscoll's farm in California.  If you go into any grocery store in the United States you can find strawberries and raspberries that came from Driscoll's. Globally, a gradual salinity build up on farm soil is a problem where salts are being contributed by the irrigation water, by the fertilizers and by the use of strong acids on alkaline soil in the attempt to reduce the pH.   As salts build up water is inhibited from being taken in by the plant as water is attracted to the salt in the soil pulling water out of the plant.  As salinity gets worse the farmer is forced into using more irrigation water to try and compensate for the osmotic drag of the salt.  This only works to a point. The two images shown here are of a crop being dehydrated by soil salinity and within a dozen feet plants treated with our TerraPro that are not being damaged by the same saline site.  

At the time of this trial at Driscoll's we did not have the Consortium BioPack ready and I'd love to see this test repeated using the BioPack because within the 20 strains of microbes in the BioPack are microbes that can help us break down the salts and also feed the plants solubilized minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, etc…….   The Consortium BioPack is ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) Certified.    There's nothing like it on the market.  

If you were included in this blast, you are free to pass it onto anyone you think could benefit from this information.  

Michael Melendrez
Director, Soil Secrets LLC
1850 E. Main St. Suite A2
Los Lunas, NM 87031

Conserving Water while also Fixing Soil

This story is about TerraPro a soil additive discovered and made by my company Soil Secrets LLC.     The active ingredient of TerraPro is a biomimetic substance called a Carbon Matrix of molecules that are supramolecular in behavior.  At the National Nuclear Labs in New Mexico we have performed a full molecular characterization study of this soil molecular substance which now gives us the information we need to replicate it for the objective of fortifying soil.   Using a Commercial Proprietary Information Contract with the National Nuclear Labs we have information that no other entity on earth has, which is the description of these molecules, the geometry of the structure and chemical formulas of the molecules and exactly who the Functional Groups are that are attached to the molecules that make them work, called the Mechanism of Action.   In this story, 450 pounds was top dressed onto the arid soil of an organic cotton farm in Trans Pecos Texas (Chihuahuan Desert) and a control field without TerraPro was compared to the treated field.  Both fields are side by side and you can see the same tanks in the background to confirm this.  The field that appears dormant did not grow as tall or as productive as the field that is still green, but both fields had the water shut off at the same time in late summer.  The non treated field terminated from drought while the treated field did not!

The "Rest of the Story" is that the water management story on this site is just beginning.      TerraPro alone is helping to hold water in the soil on this site, however if this farmer continued treating his field with the protocol of Soil Secrets biomimetic molecular biology we would also see a process of carbon sequestration taking place in the soil over time.   This will provide an added water management advantage to the farmer as it's known and accepted by people of knowledge in soil science that one pound of carbon in the soil can provide the benefit of holding an additional 10 pounds of water.  If we could increase the concentration of carbon in the soil by a tiny 1%, we could increase the water holding potential of one acre of land one foot deep by about 400,000 pounds of water.   

Please pass this story on to others if you like,

Michael Melendrez
Director, Soil Secrets LLC
1850 E. Main St. Suite A2
Los Lunas, NM 87031

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Soil Secrets LLC is on the go. In the world of agriculture, or urban horticulture a major hurdle is how to make or keep the root system of the crop or the landscape plant material healthy. While I've made my living as a nursery owner, tree grower and the founder/operator of a soil ecology company, my formal academic training is from the world of human health and one thing we can say for sure about us humans is that oxygen and water are an essential part of our survival. Without either we die! Well the same thing can be said about the roots of our crops, or our lawn and trees in our yard as everything that's good that must take place in that soil keeping the plant alive and roots healthy is contingent upon water being able to penetrate the soil along with enough oxygen. If there's one thing I can hang my hat on while giving the 30 second elevator speech about what does Soil Secrets do, its that we increase the porosity of soil rapidly therefore allowing water and oxygen to penetrate. All the chemical reactions needed in the soil, the solutioning of minerals into the soil water matrix, the building of the soil carbon matrix, the uptake of water and minerals into the plant, all require that enough water and oxygen get deep into the soils sub structure. Roots of trees only grow where there's enough oxygen and porosity in the soil structure to allow for root growth so when we see your favorite lawn shade tree growing roots on the surface, that exemplifies the problem that you have poor soil health and not enough structure and porosity of soil. Soil Secrets is used by the largest pecan growers in the world, where nutrient uptake is a constant problem. When our molecular biology products are used its easy to measure the change that takes place in the soil structure, the oxygen content in the soil, the water uptake into the plant, the greater chlorophyll content to the foliage and a better overall productive crop. For example here are three moisture penetration charts provided to us by FICO (Farmers Investment Company) from their huge SE Arizona pecan orchards. Block 57 was not treated by our product because it was felt it had the best soil on the farm and was absorbing irrigation water without inhibition. Block 9 was a problem site, with desert clay soil and poor structure that would not allow rain or irrigation to penetrate. After one treatment last summer Block 9 passed Block 57 in water penetration and porosity and now holds moisture for many months making for a better pecan orchard. In December of 2016 the site had a 1.7 inch rainfall event and on block 57 the water only penetrated 5 inches, while on block 9 it penetrated 17 and eventually 19 inches by March. The third chart is showing that block 9 is still retaining the moisture in the desert soil into March. This is Proof of Concept that the highly electrified carbon matrix molecules of TerraPro do work in fixing the main problem of soil health! The molecular characters of TerraPro are 100% Bio-Identical and are a unique product globally of Soil Secrets, a Los Lunas New Mexico company. I'm the founder of the company, the person that discovered who and what the molecular descriptions are of this carbon matrix is, and the person that figured out how to create them using a biomimetic process.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Soil SecretsBiomimetic Soil Ecology - "To Copy What is Life Like"
Category of Product: 
Pre-Biotic - substances that stimulates the growth or activity of microorganisms (e.g., bacteria and fungi) by creating or supporting a favorable environment.    In this case the environment is soil and the  area close to the plant roots called the rhizosphere. 
1. TerraProTested and Measured doing a molecular characterization down to a sub-atomic level,  under a Commercial Proprietary Information Contract by Los Alamos National Labs with Sandia National Laboratories,  TerraPro is a carbon rich Macro-Molecular Substance (huge molecules clustered together into Supramolecular groups).  Supramolecular just means that the molecules are highly energized and they self assembled into larger structures where the molecules are not chemically bonded to each other.  In nature the carbon that accumulates on the surface of plant roots, the result of a chemical reaction and carbon sequestration, are recalcitrant carbon structures that are macro huge and supramolecular.     Recalcitrant means that this form of carbon will not decay at the hands of the soil microbes and will persist in the soil for a long time.   Some people will call Humic Acids recalcitrant however Humic Acids have never been described down to a molecular level, so not much is known about them.  TerraPro has been described using a molecular characteriztion study at the National Labs.   It fortifies the soil using a Biomimetic  molecular substances that support the healthy function of soil structure, soil porosity, drainage, salinity control, sodium remediation, improved uptake of water, improved uptake of mineral elements into the plant, improved environment for soil microorganism.     This products active ingredient is protected by the Intellectual Act as proprietary and is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.  

2. Protein Crumblies - Provides a nutritional calorie of energy for the soil microbes to feed on by using protein.  Protein molecules are built from amino acids, which are the  the building blocks of all life and essential for stimulating and supporting the growth of beneficial soil biota.   The Data Sheet for Protein Crumblies defines the exact caloric contribution from Amino Acids that the product provides to the Terrestrial Biosphere (soil, microbes and plants).  The product also provides the Amino Acids needed to build the most common protein on earth, which is RuBisCo, a critical part of Calvin Cycle   (the photosynthesis process) in plants.   Without Calvin Cycle, nothing happens and we have no plants!
3. SUPRAPLEXused by  fertilizer company's as the base liquid to add other soluble nutrients.  Also could be used by lawn care company's for the same use for foliar feeding.  Made from TTP Supreme Compost by minimizing the compost down to a sub collodal particle size into a liquid solution.  The mechanism for doing this is proprietary.    

4. Earth Nectar & Earth Ambrosiacompanion items containing SUPRAPLEX,  enzymes, Kelp and solublized oxidized lignite shale that provides a Humic Acid value.   Keep in mind that the term Humic Acids does not describe a molecular substance that's ever been characterized or described.   It's only a term that's used to describe a carbon substance measured using a very basic non molecular technique.   

Pro-Biotic - In the case of Soil Secrets are specific microbes including  live bacteria, mycorrhizal fungi or yeasts that are good for the health of the whole system.   By specific we are saying we know exactly who the bacteria are and how many live cells the product contains of each species.  The bacteria Pro-Biotic called BioPack is a Consortium product.   These are the organisms that support and directly articulate with plants, providing something for the plants while the plants provide something back in exchange.  This class of soil microbes are also involved in the anabolic construction of precursor chemicals such as enzymes, aromatic carbon rings, glyco-proteins (Glomalin), etc.   They are also the microbes that provide both a solutioning and solubilizing effect on the mineral elements of soil such as silica, sulfur, iron, zinc, copper, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium.  These type of microbes are specialists and are not the same microbes that we call the Saprophytes, such as those microbes we find in compost  involved with the catabolism (tearing down) of soil organic matter.      

1. EndoMaxima - Single species Rhizophagus irregularis  (formerly known as Glomus intraradices)  mycorrhizal product containing the industries highest spore count AM product at 3200 viable spores per gram.   We are also capaple of providing this product at a spore count of 6400 spores per gram, approprieate for growers using vacuum air planters so that 300,000 live spores per acre can be targeted for treatment on seed while planting.
2. MycoMaxima - a multiple species mycorrhizal product including both AM species and Ecto species, useful for diverse landscaping projects including hardwoods and conifers plus species that use only AM (VAM) mycorrhizal relationships.
3. MycoMaxima Professional - For Landscaping, this product contains a blend of MycoMaxima with TerraPro, plus a buffering base cation blend of calcium and magnesium.  For placing the mycorrhizal spores directly into the planting hole, this product has a specific application chart for planting containerized plants and larger trees.    
4. White Lightning - is the retail MycoMaxima 
5. BioPack Soil ProBiotic Consortium - includes 12 species of yeast and bacteria that directly support plant health by solubilizing elements from the soil so plants can uptake those elements.    

Fertilizer - any product that supplies elements of nutrition such as N-P-K or the minors, regardless of the product having a guaranteed analysis statement.

1. TTP Supreme Compost - While not legally a fertilzer, compost provides elements of nutrition for plants such as nitrogen, calcium, phosphorous, etc.   However a guranteed analysis is difficult to do with compost as the reciept of ingredients is impossible to keep exact.  Therefore compost is more easily recognized as a Soil Amendment.  Our compost called TTP Supreme is screened to a minimum particle size so it can be used in a  hydroseeder, while minimizing plug up problems.  The screening process also  concentrates the mineral nutrient value by increasing the bulk density of the compost, therefore more compost per cubic foot of product.  All compost contains mineral nutrients and nitrogen so the greater the bulk density the more compost per cubic foot and the higher the nutrient concentration per cubic foot.    Also contains microbial saprophytes that will fortify a sterile soil with microbes for the objective of breaking down organic matter.  Remember, these are not the same microbes that we can provide in our Consortium BioPack product.  
    Saprophytes are more generally plants, fungi, or micro-organisms more accurately called myco-heterotrophs because they actually parasitize fungi, rather than dead organic matter directly. They live on dead or decomposing matter.
Bio-Stimulantspretty much any Pre-biotic could be called a Bio-Stimulant, however most bio-stimulants I see being offered also claim to have a microbial component, which is usually not identified.  Most products sold are illegal and are not properly identified or registered in those states that are tough to get registration in.  

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fixing Soil using Carbon: Can Soil Carbon Sequestering be Encouraged and How Does This Change The Water Management Equation?

By Michael Martin Melendrez, Founder and Managing Member - Soil Secrets LLC

It's common knowledge that the idea of increasing the amount of soil organic matter is generally a good idea.   Its an even better idea if you live in a place on the globe where soils never truly developed a defined zone of topsoil that one can see with the naked eye.  Where I live in the arid Southwestern Chihuahuan Desert the only place we can truly see carbon rich topsoil is where lots of natural vegetation was able to grow over many hundreds of years, depositing organic debris and growing lots of roots that finally decay and contribute to this accumulation of decaying organic matter.   An example of this might be along a creek or river where riparian vegetation is getting enough water.  

It's also commonly accepted that soil organic matter (som) increases the soils potential for holding onto water, where its been said that for every 1 percent of increase in soil organic matter you can hold an additional 25,000 to 30,000 gallons of water per acre of soil.   That's a bunch if you can increase the percentage by 3-4 or 5 percent.  However lets be even more specific on how to calculate this out.   For example, it is also commonly accepted in the world of soil science that the carbon fraction of the total soil organic matter is about 58 % and that the carbon part of the soil organic matter is what actually holds the water, capable of holding 10 times its weight    So for every 100 thousand pounds of organic matter we have 58,000 pounds of the element carbon which can hold 580,000 pounds of water.   A huge number!     Water will weigh about 8.36 pounds per gallon if fresh water, less,  so 580,000 pounds of water is equal to 69,378 gallons of H2O.  

Soil Secrets success in increasing the percent of organic matter and soil carbon sequestering.    I've attached a inset of a soil analysis so we can see the values concerning the increase in Percent Organic Matter on a trial site we've been watching for 12 years.  At the start 12 years ago the site had a raw percent organic matter content of only .6%, slilght over 1/2 percent.   The site is sand soil so the bulk density will be higher with the whole acre foot of soil weighing about 4.8 mllion pounds, therefore 4,800,000 X .006 = 28,000 pounds of indigenous soil organic matter.  So before Priming with Soil Secrets Biomimetic process, the raw carbon of the site 1 foot deep can hold 19,980 gallons of water.    So if you look at the inset of the analysis done on 11/21/2016 you can see that the new percentage value has gone up to 5.8%, which is 278,400 total pounds of Soil Organic Matter.  The carbon fraction will be at 161,472 pounds holding 1,614,720 pounds of water which is 193,148 gallons of water per acre foot.   That's 4.4 gallons of water in every cubic foot of soil.  

 Humic Acid Percentage of Control and of treatment site

In conclusion, by using the "Applied Science" of the Biomimetic products invented by Soil Secrets LLC, we have proven that we can accelerate the soil carbon sequestering process faster than the application of soil amendments such as compost, manure or biochar can contribute.   The formation of topsoil defined by this Net Gain in Soil Carbon penetrates the earth 24 inches.  See the attached photo of a spade of dark top soil that was extracted versus another picture showing the raw site before Soil Secrets.    The 24 inch deep carbon rich top soil at 5.8% Soil Organic Matter is a massive accumulation far exceeding what Nature could normally produce over the course of several centuries.    The final evaluation we used to measure carbon accumulation was to measure the Net Gain in what we generically call Humic Acid, which are not really acids, but are carbon rich compounds that resist decay.  These compounds also called Humic substances fall under the catagory of "Recalcitrant Carbon" which are not measured using the Soil Organic Matter test.  In this case we had a net gain of 24,960 pounds of this type of carbon per acre one foot deep. 

Net Gain:
- Soil Organic Matter = 249,600 pounds
- Humic Recalcitrant Carbon = 24,960 pounds 

Combined, the two types of carbon add up to a successful story of a massive amount of Carbon Sequestering 

Deep Spade holding over 20 inches of carbon rich top soil extracted from the test plot.

The raw site used as a Control.  Collecting soil for analysis

Monday, December 12, 2016

I've been reading up on new ways to access changes in soil concerning the Soil's Biota (the microbes),  who they are and what diversity there is. I've found a bunch of published writings on using phospholipid fatty acid (known as PLFA) as a method of measuring this factor.   Microbial components are expressed as content of phospholipid fatty acid markers specific for each component.   I've attached one article that used this method in measuring the microbial community structure on various sites including one treated with biochar.   Since many of you continue to ask me about biochar this grabbed my attention.  The study found that the site treated with biochar tested out pretty good, so I decided to look at this closer and when I did I found that the amount of biochar used per sq. ft. was 3.5 pounds, 152,460 pounds per acre.   Holly Smolly, can you image using that much TerraPro, how fantastic the results would be? I've attached the paper so you can read it.  I've also attached two images of a Vegetation Analysis using infrared done by our team members in California, Don De Boar and Bob Geyer, showing a clear benefit on almonds using TerraPro at a rate that's a tiny fraction of what biochar was used in the attached study, or the amount of compost that is used by many DOT agency's in doing highway re-vegetation construction.  We have many images using Color Infrared (CIR) Imagery on corn silage, almonds, and pistachio orchards, all showing the same benefit of keeping the plants producing photosynthesis longer into the heat of the day while also keeping the soil and vegetation cooler. We can only imagine what the changes and benefits are to using less water because of this, but we do have reports from some of our growers who have been able to reduce irrigation by large amounts such as 50% or more.
Michael Martin Melendrez
Managing Member, Soil Secrets LLC
1850 E. Main St. Suite A2
Los Lunas, NM 87031

Monday, December 5, 2016

Here's additional information on how well TerraPro's organic chemistry benefits agriculture by using vegetation analysis with infrared. These are almond orchards in California. You can easily see that the fields treated with TerraPro have more leaf cover and are needing less water because the soil and biomass temperatures are lower. At our own arboretum in Los Lunas the soil temperatures are 16 degrees cooler than other sites in Valencia County at the same time. The lawn images are one year apart in Merced California.