The energy of the soil
Energy, from all different sources, is required in consistent levels during the plants growth cycle. Energy levels that are too low result in delayed plant growth, poor quality produce and reduce the plant's ability to fight disease, weeds and insects. Excess levels of energy will result in plant tissue damage, stunted growth and ultimately death.
How do we measure soil "energy"
We measure the soil energy by monitoring the soil conductivity. Plants seem to grow best when the energy is above 250 ERGS in the soil and less than 1200 ERGS. Of course different species will require more or less for optimal growth and production. Soil microbes play a huge role in the containment of the energy in the soil as well as the level of humus and organic carbon reserves.
Plants main function is to produce sugar through the process of photosynthesis. The higher the sugar content the more energy is stored for plant metabolism, and to feed and support the soil microbes colonized around the roots. We measure the Brix levels of the plant with an instrument called a refractometer. Sugar readings should be at minimum 7 units of Brix and upwards to over 20 Brix units (depending on the plant). The follow chart was developed by Dr. T. Dykstra, Gainsville, Florida.