ST. CLOUD -- When it comes to farming knowing what's happening below the soil is just as important as the progress above the ground.

BioAg specializes in soil fertility and consultant Michael Lovlien says there is more to soil then what meets the eye.

"You know soils are a pretty complex entity. They are more than something that just holds the roots," says Lovlien.

He says there are three key properties that make up a healthy soil quality - Chemical, Physical and Biological properties.

"You can't have one property without the other because the organisms that live in the soil they need to breathe and when you put air into a soil with those properties your soil microbiology wakes up," says Lovlien.

Lovlien says when they survey a farms soil they look at the first six inches of dirt and test its chemistry to see how they can help improve the overall product.

"There are three minerals we are looking at fixing with a grid sample and that would be calcium, phosphorous and potassium," says Lovlien.

He says to completely modify the soil can take about three years before farmers begin to notice a difference.

Soil fertility has come a long way already and Lovlien says they are just scratching the surface of the industry and still have a lot to learn.


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