As in most other farming situations, the applications in Fodder Crops are centered around improving a farms biggest asset - the soil. So the aim for an EM application is to get biological activity cranked up. That means microbial stimulation, effective organic matter recycling, nutrient breakdown and improvements in nitrogen fixation. In addition, if short term crops are your main activity, these are generally high value and come under periods of disease and pest pressures during the growing phase. During these periods EM is targeted as a foliar application to crops, this has 2 main functions, firstly it creates better growing conditions and leads to a stronger healthier plant. Secondly it provides competitive exclusion, which means that it out-competes pathogens for space, by inoculating the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.
Using EM will improve soil health and yields and enhance fertiliser performance. EM will enhance growth and improve soil health through:
- Fixing atmospheric nitrogen
- Converting organic matter to plant nutrients
- Decomposing organic residues
- Recycling soil nutrients
- Breaking down fertiliser compounds
- Improving root structures
- Reducing compaction issues
The end result of using EM on a crop and all of the above is an increase yield
Fodder Beet is potentially the highest yielding winter forage options available to farmers currently; it is for this reason that we have trialed using EM technology on a Fodder Beet Crop over the past 3 seasons. We have had great results on Fodder Beet for the past 3 seasons with an average increase in yield of 19% across 5 different trials. We have also trialed using EM with both conventional and biological systems – both had good outcomes.
Maize is another high yielding crop which responds well to EM. We have trialed maize over the past two seasons with pleasing results – An average yield increase of over 12%. We have also looked at the impact of EM with N. In these trials EM plus a half rate of Urea outperformed a full rate of urea every time.