Agriculture that focuses on heavy chemical and physical interventions has decimated our soils, diminishing biodiversity and thrusting us towards ecosystem collapse. In 2022, almost a third of UK farmers reported negative net farm income. Meanwhile, the cost of fertilisers and pesticides has tripled year on year. Farmers can no longer afford to continue with a chemical-inputs model.
Recent scientific understanding points to soil biodiversity as the foundation of soil health, but current soil tests focus on chemistry. The biodiversity within the soil beneath our feet is estimated to be orders of magnitude greater than above the soil, but we have yet to invent new methods of measuring it.
What can we discover through listening?
Biofonic is an eco-acoustic monitoring device that measures soundscapes within soil. By listening to the soil we can detect key indicators of soil health.
Biofonic will enable farmers and researchers to quantify the impact of ecosystem-focused farming. This data will accelerate progress towards saving farmland in a sustainable manner, illuminating how regenerative soil practices impact crop yield, reducing the environmental cost of agro-chemicals, and quantifying the carbon sequestration potential of our soil.