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

Long Term No-Till Case Study

This family run is the pioneer of no tillage farming in the Parana state in Brazil. The Uemura family started with soybean cultivation applying conventional farming methods. However, they realised that the yield was decreasing due to soil erosion while the cost for agricultural inputs were rising, making farming more unfeasible. Because of this they decided to implement the no tillage system

Using Biological Inoculants to Enhance No-Till Agriculture practices

Over the past decade we have had many of our customers changing their systems/rotations to include No-till/minimum till systems or moving towards regenerative pastures for their environmental and economic advantages. No-till systems have the potential to offer benefits over more traditional intensive tillage systems,

Building Soil Organic Matter and Humus in Soils

High quality, fertile topsoil is rich in soil organic matter (SOM). SOM is formed by the biological, chemical and physical decay of organic materials on the surface and below the soil. This is made up of plant and animal residues at various stages of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms, and substances produced by soil organisms. This article looks at EMs impact on SOM

Root Health and Development with EM

Yield successes and failures start in the soil. With a healthy fertile seed bed, germination can be enhanced and root development can be boosted. When root development is inhibited, the climb toward high yields and healthy plants can be a long, uphill battle. EM enhances plant roots increasing both the number and density of root hairs. It does this through the unique combination of microbes

How EM can impact Trace Elements

17 essential nutrients for healthy plant growth have been identified. We often talk about the macro elements e.g. NPK but the smaller trace elements (or microelements) can often be treated as an afterthought. However it is often the case that they provide the key to how well the other nutrients are used and how well the plant grows, develops and yields. EM helps to enhance uptake of TE

Expanding EM - Saving you Money

Our EM1 products (Concentrate and Garden) can be grown/activated one time for economical purposes. This "growing" or "fermentation" process is called Activation, in the past expansion. Doing this process yourself can save considerable amounts of money in both product and freight, EM can be expanded for as little as $1 per litre (please contact us for more details).