Soil Fertility and Animal Health, W. A. Albrecht

posted 9 Oct 2011, 22:09 by Taiss Q   [ updated 22 Feb 2012, 13:07 ]

Author: Dr. William. A. Albrecht
Publisher: Fred Hahne Printing Company (1958)
Other Titles: Too numerous to list - see wikipedia listing

This material first published 

in 

1956 

in serial

 form and was titled: "Soils, Nutrition and Animal Health" in both the Journal of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, and in The Aberdeen-Angus Journal. It was later printed in manuscript format in 1958 and 

and was once-again later posthumously printed as: Soil Fertility & Animal Health (The Albrecht Papers, Vol II ) by Acres USA, Kansas City. 


REVIEW:
Professor William Albrecht was a premier soil scientist and the Chairman for the Department of Soils in the University of Missouri. He was dismayed by the rapid chemicalization of farming that followed WWII and was exploring why animals in some areas did well while others did poorly. What he found was that poorly mineralized soils had a direct correlation to animal health.

This book is a well-organized explanation of the relationship between soil fertility, animal and human health. He shows why animal health (and ultimately human health) is based in the fertility of the soil and what farmers can do to improve soil quality, solving livestock disease problems in the process  were the root of many diseases in animals, including humans. 

THOUGHTS:
When I first read Albrecht, it was like being shown the world of soil all over again.

The entire basis of the works are based on tests were initially done on soils that consistently grew the highest quality crop yields and it was found that these soils all had a similar chemistry. Very definite levels were also established for N, P, K, S and the trace elements. Further testing revealed that agricultural crops and high production pastures grow best within the range of soil chemistry documented and that it seemed no coincidence that these same ratios were required for the health of the plants and the animals that ate them. 

Throughout his career, Albrecht proved, again and again, that a balanced approach to soil chemistry is the key to successful plant growth and that when this occurs soil pH, aeration, drainage, structure and beneficial soil biology also improved. His experiments included growing crops with varying degrees of minerals to determine the impact of too little and too much of any element. 

The Albrecht concept is very simple in its basic logic - if we can balance our soil chemistry including the trace elements, improved productivity and plant and animal health as a natural outcome.

I am currently re-reading this, and everytime I do, I get something new from it.

Availability:

1958 Edition: OUT OF PRINT 
Available as a download as a single PDF file (6.5 mb) via the Soil and Health Library who offer a wonderful service and I financially support to continue their operations. 

Albrecht Papers, Vol II 

Edition: Available via: Book Depository | ACRES USA | ACRES Australia

The Farming Ladder, G. Henderson

posted 8 Sep 2011, 17:30 by Taiss Q   [ updated 9 Oct 2011, 22:44 ]

Author: George Henderson
Publisher: Faber and Faber (1944)
ASIN: B0007J0DYW
Other Titles: Farmers Progress; The Farming Manual

REVIEW:
George Henderson is a unique man. He knew what he wanted, and he went after it with every fibre of his being. He wanted to be on the land. He wanted to work with it. Live on it. Have his very fortune tied to it. This book details the rungs he climbed to reach those dreams. 

As much a biography of his life as it is a discussion on aspects of farming, his story provides one with an interesting read of the affairs of rural England during post World War 1 and through the 20 years into World War 2. 

For those interested in farming, it goes into details of setting up sheep, cattle and pig herds, the division of the farm, buildings, looking after labour, accounts and even the importance of taking a holiday. 

A man before his time, George details how his 85 Acres of intensively applied, sustainable and organic farm became synonymous with quality farming practices. 

Thoroughly recommended to anyone interested in farming, farming practices or simply tertiary historical data source of the state of brittain from the view of a farmer over the period of 1922 through 1924

THOUGHTS:
This book was an early influence on me -- up till the discovery of this book, I only really considered farming as either something that was out of reach to be commercially viable and that "small holdings" were something that were only usable for small vine plots and self-sustainable ventures.

I see George as an early Joel Salatin, demonstrating a mix of what (to him) were "non-fancy", "common sense" and "easily achievable" approaches to farming, management and commerce.

I think it's important to think about the nature of farming and the methods available that were achievable a half-century ago as a means to consider what is available and repeatable today. 

I can honestly say that this book is what convinced me to re-consider my approach and plans for a farm and choose to look beyond a few vines, a chicken coop and a house cow.

Availability: OUT OF PRINT 
Available as a download as a single PDF file (1.25 mb) via the Soil and Health Library who offer a wonderful service and I financially support to continue their operations. 

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