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.








I'm thrilled to share this Proof of Concept with the world. For many decades there have been products that claimed to fix soil, conserve water in agriculture, help soils retain water, increase carbon in the soil, and make the soil a better place for microbes to live. In recent years Bio Char has become the rage with similar claims of success. However Bio Char can be nothing else other than the cellulose of wood that has burned off the lignin glue that holds the cellulose together as wood. Remember that Cellulose is glucose linked together as a larger complex sugar, so once the lignin is gone, the remaining molecular structure cannot have much of a Mechanism of Action that can change the chemistry or physics of soil. Since Bio Char is lightweight in bulk density its possible that if you used enough of it you could fluff up the soil and change its porosity, therefore increasing the soils ability to absorb water and oxygen. Remember that an acre of sand one foot deep will weigh about 4.8 million pounds so to decrease its bulk density by enough margin to make a difference you'd need to add 250 tons to the acre. This would not be economically feasible! However our company, Soil Secrets LLC has performed molecular analysis of soil carbon structures down to a sub-atomic level, describing for the first time what these molecular structures are and how they work and we can now manufacture them in bulk. We have a clear understanding of what the Mechanism of Actions are concerning these structures, some of which address the benefits I listed at the start of this statement. The attached images, part of the Commercial Proprietary Information of Soil Secrets demonstrate the evidence that this product called TerraPro, a Biological Biominetic of Nature will fix the many problems of soil including the loss of soil carbon, collapsed disperse soil, poor porosity reducing water percolation and excessive demand for irrigation in both urban landscaping as well as agriculture. We've performed a vegetation analysis on clients crops in California using Color Infrared (CIR) Imagery that shows when a crop is getting enough water, when the soil is cooler and therefore not evaporating as much water, and showing when the crop leaf temperatures have gotten too warm for photosynthesis to continue. The green on the following images are the cooler areas where TerraPro was applied. On the Corn silage image the rate of application went from 2000 pounds per acre down to 66 pounds, where even the smaller amount still shows some green. Not as much as the 2000 pounds, but still impressive results. In a future post I'll show some almond and pistachio orchards where you can see the trees have more foliage where the TerraPro was applied. Keep in mind that TerraPro is not a fertilizer, it's a soil biologic treatment. The images at ground level showing the base of corn plants shows which plants are under stress and which are not. If the stem shows pink, that's nitrate accumulation happening because the plant is under water stress, while the plants showing little to no pink are not as stressed. These two images are only a few dozen feet from each other but the green non-pink plants were treated with 2000 pounds of TerraPro per acre at planting. I can guarantee you that 2000 pounds of compost or 2000 pounds of bio-char cannot achieve this same benefit.






Friday, October 14, 2016

Why We Need Phosphorus!!

Here's a lesson on why we need phosphorus available to our plants.  
 
Phosphorus is easily tied up in the soil chemistry by a concretion effect when acids come into contact with alkaline substances in the soil.  For example, Phosphorus is often sold in the agriculture business or the retail nursery trade as an acidified product where the phosphorus rock called Apatite is ground up into a powder and then  treated with Phosphoric acid to make a product called Triple Super Phosphate or a water soluble phosphorus fertilizer.   However the problem is that once this acidified phosphorus hits the soils chemistry the buffering capacity of the soil rapidly turns it into a insoluble salt. 
 
Here's our dilemma.   Plants and all life need Phosphorus as its a main ingredient for making energy.  The energy will be in the form of a high energy molecule called ATP (adenosine triphosphate ) which is made in the mitochondria of the cell in a cycle called Krebs cycle or the Citric Acid cycle.  I've attached a simplified chart of this process.  If a plant is trying to make a seed, a fruit, or more biomass it needs energy and that energy comes in the form of ATP, therefore we need Phosphorus to get that done.   For example, we often hear from the Cannabis growers that they want Phosphorus during the budding stage of the plant and the reason, energy is needed.
 
On another note, we humans also need ATP, so if you take a Statin drug to try and lower your blood Cholesterol, you will contraindicate your energy cycle to make ATP, which will lead to Heart Failure, as your heart is a high energy demanding muscle.   I've attached a chart to show that metabolic pathway exemplifying the point of where the inhibiting effect of the Statin drug gets in the way of the process of making the reduced form of Co Enzyme Q10 called Ubiquinol, a key enzyme in the ATP production cycle.    
 
Michael Martin Meléndrez
Managing Member of Soil Secrets LLC
 
www.soilsecrets.com 

Monday, September 19, 2016

These are the non cation nutrients

In the red column are the nutrients called Anion, which have a negative charge opposite of the Cation nutrients.  The soil has a negative charge of various strengths called the CEC or Cation Exchange Capacity.  For example sand has a weaker CEC than clay therefore clay can hold more Cation nutrients than sand. However the negative charge of soil will repel the nutrients that already have a negative charge, the Anions in the soil therefore cannot hold onto those nutrients. TerraPro however can hold both Cations and Anions by having the Mechanism of Action of a Chelation Overlay.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Soil Secrets Helps Corn


This is corn I grew in Bosque Farms in order to harvest the corn as silage and then turn the silage into compost.  I treated my side of the field with EndoMaxima (the Soil Secrets Mycorrhizal product) and TerraPro (the Soil Secrets Humic Acid product)  while the field right next to mine did not get Soil Secrets.   Both fields historically were amended with 30 tons of dairy manure per acre per year, resulting in high levels of soil nitrogen.  For that reason on my side of the field I did not apply nitrogen while the other side was fertilized with N.   

What's important about these images is the pink showing up on the bottom foot of the corn stem which indicates nitrate accumulation.  This is indicative of the plant being under stress.  Both fields were identical in soil type and irrigation, with the only difference being Soil Secrets on our side.   Our side shows little to no nitrate accumulation which I believe is proving that our protocol of Molecular Biology is helping to reduce stress on the crop.  The image with Fred standing between the two fields also shows that our treated field on the right  is much taller, has more biomass and out performed the conventional field on the left.  





The final image shows both fields after the corn was harvested and winter oats sown.  The border going down the middle separates the control (without Soil Secrets) on the left hand side of the image with the Soil Secrets treated side, where the germination advantage is more than obvious.  

Michael