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

Secondary Metabolites: What are they and how they can impact your Soil

11 June 2020

The ability for microorganisms to produce and release various metabolites stimulating plant growth and favourable health is considered to an important factor in soil fertility.

How Soil Microbes Influence our Health

11 June 2020

Until more recently than most agricultural experts would like to admit, we thought of the soil as nothing more than a matrix to hold plants and minerals. But due to a few ground-breaking scientists, like EM founder Prof Dr Terou Higa, we have a better understanding of the bacteria and fungi that make up our microbiome, leading to breakthroughs in soil science. These breakthroughs have shown us

How EM can boost your Growing System in Autumn

18 March 2020

As we enter autumn there are a whole host of ways EM can be used to enhance your soil and boost performance in crops and pasture. It is a great time to give your soil a bit of TLC, whether you are planting autumn crops, breaking down crop residues, looking to boost your soil or help it recover or looking to enhance an existing crop, EM can help.

The Prominent Role of Lactic Acid Bacteria in Agriculture and EM

17 March 2020

Lactobacilli or Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) are found in the gut and on the skin of all living organisms. They are found in every soil and on every leaf surface. Their abundance signals their importance. Ferments containing lactic acid bacteria (LAB) have been used for decades in agricultural systems to improve soils, control disease and promote plant growth.

The Contribution of Actinomycetes

3 March 2020

Actinomycetes are a broad group of bacteria that form thread-like filaments in the soil. The distinctive scent of freshly exposed, moist soil is attributed to these organisms, especially to the nutrients they release as a result of their metabolic processes. Actinomycetes form associations with some non-leguminous plants and fix N, which is then available to both the host and other plants

Probiotic Yeast and their Impact in EM

12 December 2019

Another group of organisms found in EM include several species of probiotic yeasts. These yeasts are crucial as they synthesize antimicrobial and other useful substances required for plant growth from amino acids and sugars secreted by bacteria, organic matter and plant roots. Bio-active substances such as hormones and enzymes produced by yeasts promote active cell and root division.