Enhancing Fodder Crops

It is the time of year that many would have planted or be planting Fodder Crops ready for Autumn and Winter grazing/feeding. 

Growing fodder crops is an important tool for farmers to extend the grazing season, and be more self-sufficient in home-grown feed and fodder, resulting in less off-farm expenditures and also safe guarding against climate stresses.

Since it was developed in the late 70s EM has been used to enhance crop performance and production but over the past couple of years we really honed in on looking at Fodder Crops and the impact EM can have.  These include Kale, Maize and Fodder Beet, with impressive results especially Fodder Beet with huge increases in production shown in both conventional and biological systems.

The Impact of EM on Fodder Crops

EM can play an integral part in establishing successful fodder crops that deliver healthy plants and a good yield. EM works firstly through effective organic matter recycling which builds humus, the food for your soil and plants. It will also enhance fertiliser and nutrient breakdown in the soil and uptake by plants, will give improvements in nitrogen fixation and stimulate micorrhyzal activity.

This has two main functions, firstly it creates better growing conditions and this 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. The cumulative effect of all of these functions is a higher yielding crop.

The graphs on the right show the impact EM can have on the yield of both Fodder Beet and maize. For the full reports visit the results page

Applications of EM when establishing a Fodder Crop

Using EM will improve crop and pasture yields and enhance fertiliser performance. Crops can be treated frequently during the season with an accumulative effect apparent. The below applications outline the many ways EM can be applied to enhance your fodder crop.

  • If you are ploughing in crop or pasture residues EM can be applied to speed up the breakdown of this organic matter in the soil. It will also make sure the nutrients extracted through this process are made plant ready.
  • If spraying and direct drilling EM can be used as part of the application to breakdown dead matter post spraying and prepare the soil
  • Spray EM to enhance fertility and fertiliser performance
  • Apply in early seedling stage is very important
  • A second application mid-growth is also strongly advised as a foliar

For more information please contact us