Arable Farming

As in most other farming situations, the applications in arable farming are centered around improving your biggest asset - your soil. So the aim is  to get biological activity cranked up. That means effective organic matter recycling, to build humus - the food for your soil and plants, Improvements in nitrogen fixation, greater micorrhyzal activity, leading to more effective nutrient availability. 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.

Therefore the target is your crops and soils. EM can be applied directly with a sprayer or injected through an irrigator.

Improving Yields

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 Fodder Beet. 

Improved Root Structure

The below images show the differences between two crops treated with EM and control crops which were untreated. The first crop shows the difference between a paddock of clover treated with EM and one without. The main differences are the improved root structure and many nodules on the treated paddock. There was also a much better breakdown of organic matter in the soil . 

The second image shows difference between a paddock of Soya bean treated with EM and one without. The main differences huge number of extra roots on the treated paddock. 

Breaking down crop residues

Following harvest or grazing high levels of stubble residues remain. These are either burnt off which equates to over 80% of that carbon being lost to the atmosphere, blown out or a plow is used to work this residue into the ground. Using EM can greatly improve this process while also boosting your soil for the next crop. EM will speed up the breakdown of this stubble/OM/green manure to ensure that the next crop doesn’t suffer from immobilisation and makes nutrients plant available. In regards to Nitrogen in good conditions and with active soil biology you can extract up to 15kg of free N per percentage of OM in your soil. So if you have 5% OM in the soil it can potentially mineralise 75Kg of N.  Conversely poor OM, aeration and soil biology will mean that you mineralise very little or even lose N through immobilisation. For more information on EM breaking down organic matter see this article: Building Soil Organic Matter and Humus in Soils 

Crop Development

Using EM has a whole host of benefits to your crops. It gives the soil a probiotic boost to help stimulate biological activity, enhancing natural processes and boosting the pathway between the plant and the soil microbial environment. For existing crops in the ground, using EM can further enhance crop development through times of stress, help to prevent disease through competitive exclusion in the soil and on the plant leaf and boost the production of plant growth regulators enhancing crop growth and yield potential. For more information on EM enhancing crop development see this article - How Microbial Inputs can Enhance Crop Development 


The following pages showcase both local and international trial data:

Key applications for Arable farming

  • On crops, apply 20 litres EM RTU per ha with as much water as possible, target key periods such as primary cultivation (stubble incorporation), pre-plant and critical growth stages( tillering, reproductive development, flowering, ripening). Crops can be treated frequently during the season with an accumulative effect apparent.
  • Crops treated with EM RTU during the growing phase and ripening phase have less storage problems, such as rots etc.
  • Combine with fertilizer applications to increase efficacy of applications (10-20 litres EM RTU/ha
  • Applying EM RTU through your irrigator is a very effective way of getting the microbes into the soil
  • Combine the application of EM RTU with weeding operations, so that the dying weeds can be broken down rapidly.
  • When coating vegetable seeds, EM RTU can be added at 1:1000 (EM:water) to the coating recipe, to enhance germination and seedling growth.


We have conducted trials in New Zealand regularly over the past 17 years with great results. In addition EMs prolific use around the world also gives us access to trial data from a variety of countries and crops which gives us a picture of the overall efficacy of EM.  This ensures that we always receive the latest and the best expertise and thus we can remain the market leaders in terms of development and research in the field of Effective Microorganisms and biological inoculants.

Click on the links below to review our trial data. 

Fodder beet
Sweet Potato

Low Cost EM Use

For large scale use we recommend using our EM Soil and Crop product. This is our expanded ready to use product and is the most cost effective way to use EM. It can cost as low as $2 per litre depending on volume purchased (please contact us for volumes in excess of 200 litres). We recommend using 15-20L per hectare when using EM by itself or 5-10L per hectare when used in conjunction with other nutrients.

For more information please contact the EMNZ team or to purchase EM visit the online shop. 

Also see publication ref. "Innovative use and adaption of a microbial technology (EM) for large scale vegetable, arable and stock production on an organic farm in Canterbury, New Zealand."

EM1 Concentrate

EM1 Concentrate is the original and authentic Effective Microorganisms that was originally formulated by Dr. Teruo Higa. EM1 is an all-natural probiotic for plants and soils. EM1 Concentrate is a natural, safe technology with many applications around the Garden, Farm, Vineyard and Environment. A certified organic input, EM1 Concentrate can be expanded by the user to increase the product volume 20 fold, making it a low cost microbial input.

From $29.00

EM Soil & Crop

EM® Soil and Crop is a certified organic technology with many applications around farm, orchard, and vineyard environments. This ready to use product works by stimulating soil biology to enhance soil performance and plant production.


EM Environment

EM Environment is a Ready to Use product which is a natural, safe technology with many applications around waste processing, odour, septic systems, compost and water quality. A certified organic product, EM Environment, works by getting the natural processes to function, the way nature intended. This includes breaking down odour, organic matter and sludge, balancing the microbial environment and improving composting activity


EM Amino

EM Amino can be foliar or soil applied on its own or with fertiliser and crop protection products. It is quickly mobilised within the plant to areas where it is most needed. The importance of amino acids is often overlooked in relation to crop results


EM Fulvic Acid

EM Fulvic is a powerful extract from humates designed to mobilise and naturally chelate elements in the soil