Microbe Stress

Strengthen Soil Microbes Against Agrochemicals

Healthy soil microbes suppress disease.

Healthy Crops Need Soil Microbes

Soil microbes are the key to creating disease suppressive soils. They have a pivotal role in improving soil health and reducing disease.

Intensive agriculture has reduced soil microbial biomass and diversity.

There is a clear relation between the decline of soil microbial activity and the use of agrochemicals.

Crop Stress Programs use targeted soil health inputs to get soil microbes working for you to create healthier crops.

Why Are Soil Microbes Down?

Soil microbial biomass and diversity has significantly declined with intensive agriculture which has negatively impacted on yield, disease & farm sustainability.


There is a clear relation between decline of soil microbial activity and the use of agrochemicals. (Geense et al 2015) Yardim and Edwards found under field conditions that frequent use of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides caused a decrease in bacterial-feeding, fungal-feeding, predatory and omnivorous nematodes and an increase in plant-parasitic nematodes. (Geense et al 2015; Bailey 2003; Imfeld 2012)

Moeskops 2010 and Ratnadass 2012 found agrochemicals had a strong negative impact on soil enzyme activity.

Why Microbes Are Important

Soil microbes are the key to creating disease suppressive soils. They have a pivotal role in improving soil health and reducing disease.

Research around disease suppression is related to:

  • a global increase in soil microbial biomass - A large biomass creates a competitive environment deleterious for the pathogens. ( Janvier 2007; Ratnadass 2012)
  • diversity and structure of microbial communities - A greater biodiversity (number of species present in the ecosystem) has long been synonymous with better soil quality, diversity being considered as a key component of soil stability and function. (Janvier 2007)
  • Suppressive soils consistently have higher populations of actinomycetes and bacteria than do soils conducive to diseases. (Ratnadass 2012)
  • the total amount of microbiological activity at a time critical to the pathogen. (Janvier 2007)
  • good soil health and soil biota - Soil-borne diseases are most damaging when soil conditions are poor as a result of inadequate drainage, poor soil structure, low organic matter, low soil fertility, and high soil compaction. (Abawi 2000; Bailey 2003)

The Solution

Organic amendments are a cost-effective way to bring microbes into intensive agricultural systems and create disease suppressive soils. Research:

  • Organic amendments increase microbial biomass which reduces disease. (Janvier 2007)
  • Organic inputs increase the general level of microbial activity. The more microbes there are in the soil, the greater are the chances that some of them will be antagonistic to pathogens (Altieri 1999; Widmer and Abawi 2002). Organic inputs can improve the soil biological status by increasing both the diversity and the size of populations of beneficial species . (Ratnadass 2012)
  • Stimulating soil microbial diversity and activity (with OA), thus increasing competition, can reduce soil pathogen conduciveness. (Geense 2015)
  • The toxicity of pesticides to soil micro-organisms is markedly reduced in soils containing large amounts of organic matter or amendments. (Imfeld 2012)

Targetted Inputs

Sustainable Farming Solutions has developed key soil health inputs to get microbes working for you to create disease suppressive soils. Our inputs and programs target four key areas:

  • Microbial Activity - increasing microbes
  • Microbial Diversity - adding beneficial microbes
  • Active Carbon - feeds microbes + much more
  • Energise the Plant - root growth & photosynthesis Talk to us now about what will work best for you.