Renewable Farming

New ways to monitor your soil microbes to build productive power

Indiana crop consultant Jim Martindale is currently working with growers in eastern Russia and western China. But since distance doesn’t interfere with communication as much as it once did, he has encouraged one of his specialist friends, Mary Lucero, to offer a new online seminar — a “webinar” — for farmers. Here’s how Jim describes the opportunity:

Months ago I decided to follow up on an email conversation with Dr. Mary Lucero. The result: A new webinar scheduled Dec. 1, plus a tentative January 19thhands-on workshop conducted by Dr. Lucero.

In this webinar, entitled “Monitoring Soil Microbes to Assess Soil Health”,   Dr. Mary Lucero of End-O-Fite Enterprises ( describes new findings in microbiology and agroecology that indicate why excessive reliance on external laboratory analyses may actually hinder production. She introduces simple monitoring procedures that growers can implement themselves to assess soil parameters important for guiding management.

Routine soil testing has long been recommended for helping growers manage lands.  As testing technologies have improved, the number of recommended tests has increased — as has confusion about which variables to manage for. Which minerals do I test?  Which lab do I use?  What method is most reliable? I would add to these questions, “Is there a way to track the impact of crop rotations including cover crops, tillage, and other crop production inputs in developing a healthier soil eco-system?

She has set up a webinar registration on Eventbrite.  Click to go register. She can host 15 live participants, first come first served.  Live participants can ask questions and get real time answers. Even if you are too late to be in the first 15 to register or are unable to attend, know that the webinar is being recorded for playback later, so please register for the event.

Jim Martindale, Consultant, Soil Regeneration Unlimited


To get a broader picture of Mary Lucero’s expertise, please visit her website (

Also, here’s a link to a paper by Mary Lucero on restoring microbial diversity.