Soil Life and

The carbon involved in all of these compounds, of course, comes from carbon dioxide (CO2), and a tremendous amount of CO2 is required to produce a good yield. It is important to understand that the atmosphere doesn’t contain sufficient CO2 to satisfy yield requirements. Supplementary CO2 must come from the soil. Plant roots metabolise oxygen during energy intensive processes like nutrient uptake, growth and respiration, and they release CO2 as a by-product. This CO2 diffuses out of the soil and is absorbed into the plant via the stomata on the underside of the leaf (see diagram). However, even this additional supply of CO2 is not enough here to ensure sufficient sugar production for maximum yields. The critically essential link here is biological. Aerobic micro-organisms also release CO2 as a by-product of oxygen metabolism, and it is this CO2 supply that can make the difference between ordinary and exceptional yields. This is undeniable testimony to the relevance of the biological farming approach in conventional agriculture. It is simply good business sense to adopt management practices that convert the below-ground environment into a carbon dioxide generator.