The biggest mindset change in the move toward a more sustainable agricultural future is the recognition that you are dealing with a living systemand that everything you do will impact that system. Your goal is to make that impact positive. However, a second paradigm shift involves an understanding that risk reduction, recession proofing and financial reward are intimately linked to the health of your soil life. It amazes me that research is still required to prove this point.
Disease is the biggest risk factor limiting financial success in cropping and there is no disease that is not naturally controlled by a fully functioning soil foodweb. There are hundreds of papers linking specific disease protection to particular beneficial soil organisms. There are older farmers the world over who lament the loss of earthworms, soil structure and resilience, linked to the rise and rise of extractive agriculture. There are younger farmers, of course, who have never seen an earthworm on their properties and perhaps they are the audience for the latest “findings”.