TO AGRICULTURE AND MICROBES
encompasses a wide variety of specialties and techniques, In the past century
there has been increasing concern to identify and quantify various forms of
agriculture. In the developed world the range usually extends between sustainable
agriculture (e.g. permaculture or organic agriculture) and
intensive farming (e.g. industrial agriculture).
The key element in modern
farming is soil health and sustainability. In the growth cycle of plants or
crops, elements in the soil are taken up through the roots of plants in
solution, becoming part of the compounds forming the plant. If plants are
allowed to die and decompose, these compounds return to the soil as part of a
natural cycle, such as the nitrogen cycle. However, when crops are
harvested the cycle is interrupted; the nutrients are not returned to the soil
and are used up. Fertilizers have become the modern solution to replacing these
elements, increasing the yield of crops and enabling the soil to be farmed year
Modern agronomy, plant
breeding, pesticides and fertilizers, and technological
improvements have sharply increased yields from cultivation, and at the same
time have caused widespread ecological damage and negative human health
effects. It is estimated that, worldwide, the agricultural chemical
industry is producing about 45,000 to 50,000 different pesticides. There are
approximately 600 active ingredients in various combinations and concentrations
in these pesticides. Many artificial fertilizers contain acids, such as sulphuric
acid and hydrochloric acid, which tend to increase the acidity of the soil,
reduce the soil's beneficial organism population and interfere with plant
healthy soil contains enough nitrogen-fixing bacteria to fix sufficient
atmospheric nitrogen to supply the needs of growing plants. However, continued
use of chemical fertilizer may destroy these nitrogen-fixing bacteria.
Furthermore, chemical fertilizers may affect plant health. For example, citrus
trees tend to yield fruits that are lower in vitamin C when treated with high
nitrogen fertilizer. Fungus and bacterial disease resulting from the lack of
trace elements in soil regularly dosed with chemical fertilizers is not
uncommon. This lack of vital micronutrients can generally be attributed to the
use of chemical fertilizers.
MICROBES AND SOILS
the oldest form of life on earth. These single cell organisms date back more
than 3.5 billion years to a time when the Earth was covered with oceans.
Without microbes, we cant eat or breathe. Microbes play many roles in the
earth's environment from recycling dead plant and animal matter through the
soil, removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by photosynthesis in the
oceans and fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere to form nitrogenous fertilizer
for plants. They play an important role in nutrient recycling, nutrient
management, organic matter decomposition and fermentation and in food
Most of the
chemical reactions that take place soils have active contribution of microbes.
The nitrogen-fixing bacteria, blue green algae, and phosphate solublizing
bacteria are already well known to enhance availability of major nutritional
elements to plants whereas the decomposer bacteria are instrumental in
recycling, thereby increasing the availability of carbon and several
micronutrients from plant residues to soil. Some other microorganisms similarly
contribute towards improved plant health and higher crop yield through the
production of growth stimulators such as plant hormones and vitamins.
recently, microbial handling of soils, crops or even animal and human health
have been looked upon as a nicety something which can be done to raise
organic crops or help people feel more natural. The chief reasons for this have
been efficacy and cost. The truth is, however, that correct utilization of
microbes can and should result in better yields at less cost than one would get
through only using fertilizers. Microbes are the organisms responsible for health, growth and survival in every
living environment (or organism) on the planet and thus it stands to reason
that they would be the logical solution better crops and livestock.
technology that point has been reached.
is a low cost and effective microbial technology that is highly beneficial in
agriculture. Because of the diverse combination of microbes in EM, the
application in agriculture can be on multiple levels and cover many different
applications. EM works by getting the natural processes to function and
enhancing every aspect of the soil ecology to assist in growth and health.
excellent results with:
- Higher yields
- Improved soil structure, leading to
better aeration and water holding capacity
- Improved nutrient availability,
leading to lower fertilizer requirements and higher fertilizer utilization
of applied inputs
- Lower disease pressure by developing
a disease suppressive soil
- Lower requirements for pesticides
- Improved quality of produce and
greater storage ability
- Improved animal performance by
creating healthy living environments and improved digestion.
- Restoring waterways and enhancing
EM is a naturally fermented liquid
probiotic solution utilising effective microorganisms, a technology developed
in the early 1980s in Japan. The basic groups of microorganisms in EM are
lactic acid bacteria (commonly found in yogurt, cheeses), yeast (bread, beer),
and phototrophic bacteria. The microbes in EM are non-harmful, non-pathogenic,
not-genetically-engineered or modified (non-GMO), and
Placed in contact with organic matter, the organisms which make up
EM secrete substances such as vitamins, organic acids, minerals and
antioxidants that beneficially affect plants and other micro-organisms. This
process increases the humus content of the soil and is capable of sustaining
high-quality food production by creating a favourable environment for both soil
organisms and plants to grow. EM promotes crop growth and yield through
improved release of plant nutrients, increased photosynthesis, and resistance
to plant diseases, efficacy of organic matter as fertilizers and in suppression
of soil-borne pathogens and pests.
EM Pro Agriculture is a mixed blend of beneficial
bacteria which promotes the growth of naturally occurring beneficial microbes
found in agricultural environments.
EM Pro Agriculture has enhanced levels of
phototrophic bacteria also known as photosynthetic or purple non-sulfur
bacteria (PNSB). These purple
photosynthetic microbes have powerful detoxifying, anti-oxidative and
anti-entropic properties. These
properties are active in re-establishing a wide range of beneficial microbes in
polluted or unbalanced environments, such as poor soil conditions.
As a natural and cost-effective alternative to
chemical additives, EM Pro Agriculture offers a sustainable solution for
organic farming and gardening.
EM Pro Agriculture is a microbial soil builder
containing nitrogen-fixing bacteria, which pull atmospheric nitrogen for plant
utilization. The photosynthetic
bacteria (PNSB) component works to break down toxins, including ammonia,
hydrogen sulfide and mercaptens, which toxify soils and reduce nitrogen-fixing
bacteria. The PNSB also detoxify
soils and provide more oxygen to strengthen plant roots by transforming harmful
substances such as hydrogen sulfide into useful elements including oxygen.
All living systems, including soil, plants, and
trees have a microbial ecology that can be managed and improved by the constant
delivery of EM Pro Agriculture.
Regenerating good bacteria produces a microbial ecology where beneficial
bacteria dominate harmful bacteria, creating a healthier, more vibrant
The following are examples of the different ways in
which EM can be implemented into farming. The particular program for each farm
would be determined to best suit the land and crops being farmed.
Soak seeds one day before planting in a 1:10 000 EM / water
solution. If the seed cannot be soaked, moisten the seed before planting with
the same 1:10 000 EM / water solution.
Water-in new transplants with a 1:750 EM /water solution. EM can be added
with other products, such as organic fertilizers, mineral supplements and
compost teas during this process.
Apply EM with a sprayer at a 1:500 EM / water dilution rate. Application
frequency should be every 2-6 weeks depending on conditions and objectives. Approximately
10 Litres / hectare of EM should be applied during a foliar treatment. If total
spray rate is less than 1 000 Litres / hectare and more EM is needed for
desired results a lower dilution rate, 1:250, may be necessary. Treat a smaller
test plot with the lower dilution rate and monitor the crop response for 24-48
hours before treating the entire crop.
Add EM to irrigation water at a rate of 50 Litres of EM per
hectare. This can be done 4-8 times a year depending on climate. Dry or cold
climates require more frequent treatments. If you do not irrigate, EM can be
drilled into soil at a 8-15cm depth and a rate of 50 litres per hectare.
Apply EM as a foliar treatment at a 1:100 EM / water dilution rate just
before or after the cover crop is incorporated back into the soil.
- Nitrogen fixing bacteria to feed plants
- Breaks down organic amendments
- Increases crop yield by up to 30%
- Encourages beneficial microorganisms to flourish
- Cost effective with increased profits to farmers
The species used in
producing EM Pro Agriculture:
Bifidobacterium animalis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum,
Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus bulgaricus,
Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, Lactobacillus fermentum,
Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactococcus diacetylactis, Lactococcus lactis,
Rhodopseudomonas palustris, Rhodopseumonas sphaeroides, Saccharomyces cerevisiae,
and streptococcus thermophilus.
The reason for EMs efficacy and results
is not, as many people believe, the number of microbes present in the product
but, rather the number of microbial
species. In the natural world various classes of bacteria are utterly
reliant upon each other for growth and stability, as can be seen by the
diversity of microbial life in soils and plants. EM technology is one of the
only technologies on the planet that allows for a variety of different classes
of bacteria to be grown and maintained stably in a probiotic consortium. This
consortium dominates any system into which it is introduced, motivating all
existing bacteria in that system in a regenerative direction. The
microorganisms in EM are known to produce bioactive substances, vitamins,
hormones, enzymes, amino acids, and antibiotics. EM consists of a wide variety
of effective, beneficial, non-pathogenic aerobic and anaerobic micro organisms
cultured in diluted molasses that are mutually compatible with one another.
Other factors to look at when considering EM Technology based probiotic
cultures is that they are all naturally fermented. This means the finished
products are raw, containing 40 trace minerals, amino acids (up to 18), various
organic acid compounds, nearly 100 types of enzymes, B complex vitamins,
Vitamin A as well as the live microbes which make up the solution itself. Lastly,
consider that one microbe produces one type of enzyme, one type of vitamin,
and/or one type of organic acid. When there is not a variety (diversity), the
nutrients and digestive aids are not supplied. This is another reason why the
benefits of EM products are so great and varied.
The principal classes of microorganisms in EM
Photosynthetic Bacteria the key to EM.
The photosynthetic or phototropic bacteria are a group of independent,
self-supporting microbes, considered to be the most versatile bacteria in
existence. In soils and plants, these bacteria synthesize useful substances
from secretions of roots, organic matter and/or harmful gases (e.g. hydrogen
sulphide), by using sunlight and the heat of soil as sources of energy. Useful
substances developed by these microbes include amino acids, nucleic acids,
bioactive substances and sugars, all of which promote growth and development.
The metabolites developed by these microorganisms are absorbed directly into
living organisms and act as substrates for increasing beneficial populations.
Phototropic bacteria are one of the key
elements both in EMs structure and its workability and benefits. These
micro-organisms have been on Earth since before there was oxygen. They are, in
fact, anaerobic and consume carbon dioxide, ammonia, methane and
hydrogen-sulphide. In short: they survive by consuming toxins and pollutants.
Even more importantly, however, phototropic microbes excrete oxygen, amino
acids, antioxidants and other substances that enhance life. The aerobic
bacteria then consume the oxygen generated by the phototropic bacteria and they
in turn excrete carbon dioxide. This is food for the phototropic bacteria -
which they readily consume.
The entire key to EM and why it works lies
in this following paragraph. If any datum within this document could be
considered to be an axiom and of senior importance to anything else, this would
It is the interdependency and mutually beneficial actions of these
various microbes which make it possible for them to establish themselves within
any environment and motivate the already-existing bacteria in a beneficial and
regenerative direction. Any one of these classes of microbes attempting to
influence any environment without the others is, therefore, attempting to
operate in a synthetic environment
because they do not operate alone in the
natural world. To word it differently: although Lactic Acid Bacteria,
beneficial yeasts and other microbes have properties which are hugely
beneficial to plant, animal and human life, they will never be able to function
as they should without the other bacteria (namely phototropic bacteria) that
are essential to the establishment of viable survival conditions.
The action of EM in providing living
systems with mutually-supportive bacteria which have the ability of influencing
the entire bacterial population of
that system has never before been uniformly achieved. Thus it can be said that
we have reached a new era in the evolution microbial technology.
B. Lactic acid bacteria
Lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid from sugars and other carbohydrates,
developed by photosynthetic bacteria and yeast. Therefore, some foods and
drinks such as yogurt and pickles have been made with lactic acid bacteria for
decades. However, lactic acid is a strong sterilizing compound, and suppresses
harmful microorganisms and enhances decomposition of organic matter. Moreover,
lactic acid bacteria promote the decomposition of material such as lignin and
cellulose and ferment these materials, thereby removing undesirable effects of
non-decomposed organic matter.
Lactic acid bacteria have the ability to
suppress disease-inducing microorganisms such as Fusarium, which occur in
continuous cropping programs. Under normal circumstances, species such as
Fusarium weaken crop plants, thereby exposing plants to diseases and increased
pest populations such as nematodes. The use of lactic acid bacteria reduces
nematode populations and controls propagation and spread of Fusarium, thereby
inducing a better environment for crop growth.
Natural Beneficial Yeasts
Yeasts synthesize antimicrobial and other useful substances required for plant
growth from amino acids and sugars secreted by photosynthetic bacteria, organic
matter and plant roots. The bioactive substances such as hormones and enzymes
produced by yeasts promote active cell and root division. These secretions are
also useful substrates for effective microbes such as lactic acid bacteria and
EM is produced through a natural fermentation process; it is not
chemically synthesized or genetically engineered or modified. The purple
photosynthetic microbes present in EM at enhanced levels have powerful
detoxifying, antioxidative and anti-entropic properties. These properties have
the ability to reduce levels of certain toxins, toxic gases, odors, and can
help to re-establish a wide range of beneficial microbes in an otherwise
polluted or unbalanced environment.
In general, EM microbes such as Phototrophic group can utilize
both inorganic and organic materials as hydrogen donors and are capable of
growing in light and/or dark conditions of which the microbes will require
different growth factors. Phototrophic bacteria are known to play an important
role in carbon assimilation and nitrogen fixation. They can be found in extreme
condition where temperature ranges from 0-90C or at the depth of 2,000m. They
can convert sunlight to cellular energy by absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide
or breakdown inorganic as well as organic carbon and converting it to biomass.
This microbe can also degrade and recycle a variety of aromatic compounds that comprise
lignin, the main constituent of wood and the second most abundant polymer on
Rhodopseudomonas palustris containing in EM, for example, is
acknowledged by microbiologists to be one of the most metabolically versatile
bacteria ever described. Not only can it convert carbon molecules into cell
material but nitrogen gas into ammonia, and it can produce hydrogen gas. It
grows both in the absence and presence of oxygen. In the absence of oxygen, it
prefers to generate all its energy from light by photosynthesis. R. palustris
also can increase biomass by degrading organic compounds including such toxic
compounds as 3chlorobenzoateto cellular building blocks. When oxygen is
present, R. palustris generates energy by degrading a variety of carbon
containing compounds (including sugars, lignin monomers, polymers and methanol)
and by carrying out respiration.
EM inoculants have been used successfully to:
improve the growth, yield and quality of crops.
growth & weight of livestock when used as a probiotic food additive;
enhance human health through use as a probiotic supplement;
malodours associated with livestock production;
treatment, reducing COD/BOD levels & eliminating pathogens and toxins.
improve composting of municipal and kitchen waste into high quality soil
conditioner and bio fertilizer;
process technology for recycling plastics, paper, rubber, and textiles;
house, EM can be used for household cleaner.
HISTORY OF EM
Throughout the 1970s and 80s Dr. Teruo Higa
pioneered the research that led to the development and commercialization of EM
technology. This natural biotechnology has since been successfully
commercialized throughout world markets in human health, agriculture, livestock
and industrial waste treatment.
Originally, EM was developed for use in agriculture (crop farming) as an
alternative to agricultural chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. EM
however is not a conventional fertilizer and unlike the purpose of fertilizers,
the purpose of EM is to increase the number of beneficial microorganisms in the
soil. This improves the soil's microbial health and promotes a healthy
environment for plants. It can also be used as a processing tool to manufacture
From crop farming, its application flowed naturally into livestock. EM is
actively used in livestock operations, including hog, cattle/dairy, and
poultry. From livestock, the positive effects on the livestock waste and
effluent into lagoons and rivers led to the use of EM for environmental
purposes: from land/soil remediation to water purification. EM environmental
applications throughout the world have included cleaning polluted waterways,
lakes and lagoons, in septic systems, municipal wastewater treatment plants,
and landfills/dump sites. As EM became used extensively in livestock, research
began into its use as a functional food supplement for human health. It was
discovered that EM exhibits very beneficial effects as an antioxidant and
probiotic on the digestive system.
MICROBES SOUTH AFRICA
Microbes is a privately registered company dedicated to the use of natural
microbial-based products and services for human health, agriculture, livestock
and environmental sustainability.
Microbes has its head office in Durban, South Africa, with a sales office in
Johannesburg and a wide network of distributors based throughout Southern
Africa. Efficient Microbes is committed to the consumer and to the environment,
and offers the most effective and environmentally friendly solutions to a large
number of problems that are normally solved with medicines or harsh chemicals.
Microbes entered the human health market in South Africa three years ago and,
through the success of EM products in dealing with a wide range of health
issues, now contract manufactures various products for a number of major local
health companies and also manufactures the product for use in food programs in
Microbes also manufactures EM products for use in agriculture, the rearing of
livestock and environmental remediation, with increased focus over the past 12
months in the areas of poultry, dairy cattle and agriculture.