Manures have been used to improve agricultural soil fertility for over 7,000 years. Manures add nutrients and organic matter, increase soil bulk density, enhance structure and water holding capacity and increase biodiversity.
Unfortunately, manures can contain pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli), Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter spp., Yersinia enterocolitica and others. Even a small dose of some of these human pathogens – particularly some species of Salmonella and types of E. coli – can cause severe illness and even death.
Neutrog’s Microbiologist and R&D Manager, Dr. Uwe Stroeher talks about balanced nutrition for your plants.
We know that a balanced diet is required for us to be healthy and to perform at our peak, and for plants it is no different. Plants need balanced nutrition.
Often people look at a packet of fertiliser but only look for levels of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, but plants need so much more. Other critical nutrients which are required in relatively high levels are things like sulphur, magnesium and calcium as well as a whole range of trace or micronutrients such as iron, zinc, manganese – the list goes on. There are a plethora of plant issues related to the incorrect feeding of plants, but these can be overcome by using a nutritionally-balanced fertiliser and feeding your plants on a regular basis.
This week I want to talk about microbes and waste disposal – or more accurately composting. Last year it was announced that geoscience researchers at Penn State University in the US are finally figuring out what organic farmers have always known: digestive waste can help produce food. Although farmers here on earth can let microbes in the soil turn waste into fertiliser which can then be used to grow food crops, the Penn State researchers are trying to find a way in which edible microbes could be grown in a minimal space using human waste as a food source, so that the spacecraft wouldn’t need to take as much food into space. Obviously, I am not trying to convince you to try this at home, however it’s just another amazing example of what microbes can do. What I found so interesting was the way in which the researchers were able to optimise…