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  ecochem.com


 

NATURAL ORGANIC FERTILIZER REQUIREMENTS  FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

1.. Soil requires more than NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium) to maintain fertility.

2.. Soil must not only be capable of storing nutrients but it must also be able to transfer these nutrients to the root surface for uptake by the plant.

3.. Unhealthy plants result from unhealthy soil.

4.. Soil fertility is dependant upon the continued replenishment of nutrients and organic matter that is depleted each cropping season. 

5.. Perhaps the most depleted component in our soil is humus, decomposed organic matter.  

6.. Geological humus is produced as dead plant and animal material is metabolized by soil microbes.

7.. Organic matter cannot be built up permanently because it continually decomposes. Soil building must be an on going process.  To ensure continued soil fertility, organic matter, in the form of green manure, compost,  crop residues and similar materials should be incorporated into the soil after harvest.

8.. When soil is depleted there are two methods for restoring soil fertility (1) The soil can be left idle for several years allowing it to rebuild naturally or (2) Organic matter together with microbes and nutrients can be applied from an external source. In the latter case, the microbes metabolize the organic matter turning it into humus. This process replenishes and maintains long term soil fertility by providing optimal conditions for soil biological activity.

9.. Organic matter in the soil ensures a continuous food source for soil microbes. As the microbes metabolize organic matter, they help maintain good soil structure by developing compounds that cement small soil particles together into aggregates, allowing for both increased drainage and moisture retention. Microbes also change the organic matter into inorganic nutrients that can be used by growing plants.

10.. The physical properties of the soil are equally important. Space between soil particles can affect aeration and soil moisture both of which  affect root growth. In addition, space between soil particles and particle size directly affect microbial activity. As the physical properties and mineral structure of the soil improves,  run off lessens and erosion and nutrient loss is decreased.

11.. Fertile soil has been self perpetuating for millions of years without man's help. It will continue to do so if we practice sustainable agriculture.

12.. Healthy soil contains  nutrients, microbes, fungi and trace elements all of which are essential for plant growth.

13.. One teaspoon of compost rich organic soil hosts 600 million to 1 billion beneficial microbes from 15,000 species while one teaspoon of chemically treated soil can host as few as 100 microbes.

14.. Soil moves in a natural cycle aided by SBO's (soil based microbes) which decompose organic matter.

15.. Good soil consists of 93% mineral and 7% biological substances. The biological substances are 85% humus,10% roots, and 5% edaphon.

16.. Edaphon (soil life) is made up of microbes, fungi, earthworms, micro and macro nutrients.

17.. Healthy soil consists of:
Fungi .........................40%
Microbes ..................40%
Earthworms..............12%
Macrofauna............... 5%
Micro/mesofauna..... 3%

18.. Nutrients are lost through harvesting, leaching, prolonged wet weather, melting snow, flooding and de-nitrification. 

19.. Sustainable agriculture involves returning nutrients to the soil in the form of green manure, crop residues, composted manure and other wastes to improve and maintain soil life.

20.. During the growing season plants fix carbon dioxide by photosynthesis. Around 20 to 25 percent of this fixed carbon is returned to the soil through plant roots.

21.. Sustainable Agriculture involves not only the physical properties and mineral structure of the soil, but also the process by which organic matter is transformed into humus by microbes, fungi, earthworms etc. Incorporating crop residue and other organic mater into the soil promotes microbial growth which in turn promotes humus production and soil fertility.

22.. Nitrogen is a plant stimulator, regulator and a carrier of elements. For plants to benefit from nitrogen, the elements must first be mineralized. This mineralization is carried out by microbes that metabolize nitrogen, turning it into nitrite and then to nitrates. Feeding the soil with organic matter and biological nutrients will stimulate microbial activity and significantly improve the N.P.K. exchange.

23.. It has been proven that fungicides destroy soil life (microbes, protozoa etc.), but seldom do they fully kill the pathogenic fungus community. The simple fact is, fungicides create more problems than they cure.


"Serious problems cannot be dealt with at the level of thinking that created them."
 Albert Einstein
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