Healthy plants grown in a well balanced soil environment are naturally more resilient against pest and disease attack and as a consequence they also require less chemicals to control problems and are better able to take up and utilise nutrients from the soil.
In the quest for increased production and performance it is easy to forget that the plants and soil we manage on a daily basis are natural, living organisms. In fact, all plant species have evolved over millions of years in the presence of, and are reliant upon, a team of beneficial soil organisms that help feed and protect the plant. This is how trees deep in native forests which have never seen human activity, can grow and produce tonnes of plant material each and every year.
Throughout most modern plant based industries however, these natural processes and beneficial soil organisms are severely impacted by the very unnatural management imposed on them via the use of artificial (salty) fertilizers and crop protection (rescue) chemicals.
In fact, the trend across most commercial plant based enterprises is for increasing pest and disease pressure and a strong reliance on chemicals to control them. This is despite that fact that there has never been more products available to treat the effects of pests and disease. The problem however, is that in the quest to find products to rectify or minimise the effects of pests and disease, we have inadvertently focused our efforts on treating the symptoms rather than on understanding and treating the causes - in reality we need to do both.
We can't just ignore the need to treat an infestation, but equally we shouldn't ignore the need to deal with the cause, otherwise we end up like many plant managers who deal with the same problems year after year.
We Need Balance - It's Not About One Approach or Another