Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems

Johnson-Su BEAM Research & Bioreactor Registry

Dr. David Johnson standing in his cotton field

Adjunct Faculty member and CRARS Associate Dr. David Johnson has been doing breakthrough work in regards to the efficacy of biologically correct, fungal-dominated compost for carbon sequestration and improved soil health and crop yields. His method is called BEAM (Biologically Enhanced Agricultural Management) and centers around the products created using the compost creation system he devised with his wife Hui-Chun Su (called the Johnson-Su Bioreactor).

Compost is usually thought of fertilizer, a way of adding nutrients to the soil. BEAM compost actually addresses soil health through soil biology. It replaces soil microbes in soil degraded through conventional agriculture methods. That, along with no-till practices, cover crops and other Regenerative Agriculture practices, enable the normal symbiosis between these microbes and plant roots to occur. Quite quickly, the soil starts to recover, and striking improvements in crop yields and carbon sequestration occurs.

On this page you can access information about David Johnson's research, instructions on how to build your own bioreactor, and how to share your results through a Bioreactor Registry to add to the research necessary to show how well this method works in a variety of climates and soil conditions, with specific crop types, etc.