Using EM to Improve Soil Health and Performance

EM works by getting the natural processes to function, the way nature intended by stimulating biological activity in the soil. Using EM will improve soil health and yields and enhance fertiliser performance. 

EM will not only add to the microbial population, but will also stimulate resident microbes. This stimulation can lead to increasing the resident nitrogen fixation capacity directly through the increase of N fixing bacteria, and indirectly by increasing clover growth, increasing mycorrhizal activity and other fungal and earthworm activity. 

EM will enhance growth and improve soil health through:

  • Enhancing fertiliser inputs
  • Fixing atmospheric nitrogen
  • Converting organic matter to plant nutrients
  • Decomposing organic residues
  • Recycling soil nutrients
  • Breaking down fertiliser compounds
  • Improving root structures
  • Breaking down pollutants in the soil
  • Increasing earthworm numbers
  • Reducing compaction issues

Improved Organic Matter Breakdown

EM will help the decomposition process of organic materials, and during fermentation will produce normally unavailable organic acids, such as lactic acid, acetic acid, amino acid, malic acid and bioactive substances and vitamins. A key ingredient in this process is organic matter which is supplied by pasture residuals, (dead matter) recycling crop residues, green manures and animal manure. In addition, this process leads to increased humus in the soil enhancing fertility and soil health. Earthworm numbers will also increase with the use of EM to further aid soil health and performance. 

Enhancing fertiliser inputs

The microbes in EM® will solubilise compounds both organic and inorganic that are largely unavailable to plants and make them available for uptake by the plants root system allowing the plant to put more energy into growth. In performing this important function the Microbes create a more efficient use of added nutrients, generating a better growth response from fertiliser inputs. Also, our research has demonstrated the ability to lower fertiliser use while still gaining the same yield. Research has shown the microbes in EM® stimulate Mycorrhizae and Trichoderma further enhancing nutrient uptake and the plants root system. EM® works effectively with most fertiliser and can be sprayed on with most pesticides and herbicides decreasing your application costs.

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 yield. 

Building Soil Humus

EM efficiently breaks down organic matter into stable humus, a key component to aggregate formation, by reducing oxidative forces that primarily rob the soil of Carbon and Nitrogen in the form of methane and ammonium gases, respectively. This is achieved from a reduction of available Hydrogen ions due to a favourable change of organic acid composition and concentration in the soil. The result is that a greater amount of organic matter is converted to humus, aiding in aggregate formation.

Improved Root Structure

This was shows the difference between a paddock of clover treated with EM and one without. The main differences and the improved root structure and many nodules on the treated paddock. There was also a much better breakdown of organic matter in the soil.

EM's Impact on Soil Compaction 

EM will support the growth of other beneficial organisms like mychorrizae, worms, and insects already in your soil, bringing nature back into balance. 
It will also produce lots of polysaccharides - glues that hold the soil together and hold in moisture, improving drought resistance.
A healthy soil and stimulated biological activity help build stable aggregate and soil structure. Increase aggregate stability prevents the pore spaces between the aggregates from collapsing during heavy, saturating rains and reduces compaction. Improved soil aggregate stability reduces soil erosion and run-off.  Soils are better able to absorb and retain moisture, as well as cycle nutrients. 

Low Cost Bio-Stimulant

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 $2.50 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.

Please contact us for more information on how to make EM as cost effective as possible.

Relevant News Articles

Utilising Waste to Improve Soil Health in New Zealand Farming - Large Scale Bokashi in NZ

An in-depth look at Bokashi in New Zealand. Farmer Tim Hawke shows us how he is making a difference in New Zealand by using waste products to enhance the soil on his farm. We speak to EMNZ who make the key ingredient and a Soil Consultant who talks about how Bokashi has improved the farm.

An in-depth look at EM Technology in New Zealand and the Company taking it into the 21st Century - Video

In-depth interviews with Mike Daly, Founder and Paul Daly, Director, about EM in New Zealand, its roots and what they are doing to grow awareness in NZ. We also get to look at a Farmers operation which uses EM in a variety of ways and with huge success.

Soil Compaction the Production Killer

The threat of soil compaction is greater today than in the past because of the dramatic increase in factors such as stock density/stocking rate, heavy tillage and poor crop rotations, an increase in the size of farm equipment and the changing climate.

Mycorrhizal Helper Bacteria

The Rhizopshere is a dynamic and complex environment where microbes, plants, through their roots, and soil elements interact. This Rhizopshere with an abundance of life, is an environment rich in microbial diversity, and is physically, chemically and biologically different from soil deeper in the profile. It is this direct link between plant and microbes which makes this area so unique.

EM and its Impact on the Quality of Compost

This is a study which aims to assess the effect of EM application on the composting process of rice straw with goat manure and green waste and to evaluate the quality of both compost treatments. There are two treatment piles in this study, in which one pile was applied with EM and another pile without EM. Each treatment was replicated three times with 90 days of composting duration.

Effect of EM on Fungal Infections in the Soil

This trial published in the Polish Journal of Natural Sciences in 2008 looked at the Effect of fungal infection and the application of the biological agent EM1 on the rate of photosynthesis and transpiration in pea (pisum sativum l.) leaves.