The Impact of EM with Poultry Manure
- 5 July 2019
Healthy nutrient dense and microbial rich soils produce more food and are more resilient to climate fluctuations and the impact the intensive farming has on our soils and crops. Many farmers are now looking at ways to create these healthy soil environments in sustainable ways without an overuse of synthetic fertilisers. Manure and Effluent stand as a renewable resource which contains nutrients and organic matter essential for good soil fertility and soil health. This has become a paradigm shift in mind set, that Manure is not a waste product but something which can greatly benefit their farming system.
Poultry manure contains more plant nutrients than all other organic manures. Owing to its high organic matter content combined with available nutrients needed for improving plant growth, it is widely utilised around the world as an excellent soil amendment. Decomposed poultry manure stimulates microbial activities which contribute to soil fertility restoration.
Incorporation of Effective Microorganisms (EM) into organic matter will increase decomposition and mineralisation. EM consists of mixed cultures of beneficial and naturally occurring microorganisms that can be applied as inoculants to increase the microbial diversity of soil and plant. Research has shown that the inoculation of EM to the soil plant ecosystem can improve soil quality, soil health and the growth, yield and quality of the crops. This ultimately leads to increase in the microbial diversity and activity in soils and plants. More importantly, EM helps to enhance crop quality and health to resist pest attack by improving their strength to withstand infestation.
To maximize its nutrient value, it is recommended to mix Poultry Manure with EM prior to application. EM will accelerate the breakdown of organic matter from the manure leading to improved soil processes and eventually increased humus levels. EM will also release the nutrients into the Rhizosphere faster, leading to fewer losses. Together with the beneficial effect of chicken manure as the source of nutrients and high CEC, EM will be able to increase crop yields and improve crop quality. It will also increase the population of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.
This trial published in the African Journal of Plant Science in 2016 showed the effects of poultry manure treated and untreated with effective microorganisms on growth performance, yield and insect pest infestation. The results from this study show that incorporation of effective microorganisms into poultry manure significantly increased shoot height, stem diameter, leaf number, leaf area and fresh leaf weight. Increase in number of leaves in plants provided with adequate nutrition is a common occurrence in plants and can be attributed to increase in the photosynthetic activity of the plants. Read the full trial here