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.
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.
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.
Click the below papers to download the PDFs.
Effect of EM on Growth of Maize Innovative Use of EM on Large Scale Farm in NZ
Effect of EM on Seed Germination Utilisation of EM in NZ
Changes in the Soil Microflora by EM EM for Sustainable Agriculture
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 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
These pictures indicate a soil full of active microbial life. This is the conclusion of a trial performed by a soil consultant in Waikato. The block this trial was performed on was a pasture which had sparse pasture and the soil consultant observed that the soil lacked life and smelled slightly anaerobic. Another issue was large amounts of organic matter in the soil that wasn’t breaking down.
Potassium (K) is an essential element for plants and is involved in nearly every aspect of plant growth. Plants require a fairly large quantity of K and it is second to only Nitrogen in quantity uptake by the plant.
A biological soil will help unlock P as well as ensure that P provided in fertilisers is made available to plants. In NZ we have had significant volumes of P based fertilisers applied to our soil over the past 60 years.
Mark Nichols a Beef and Dairy Farmer from Northland talks to Tony Johnston, Avoca field rep and EMNZ about his experiences with Fertiliser and Biology
It is the time of year that many would have planted or be planting Fodder Crops ready for Autumn and Winter grazing/feeding.
Waiheke Island Organic Gardener Claire Mummery showcases her great results with EM.