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Properties and Applications of an Organic Fertilizer Inoculated with Effective Microorganisms

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Research studies were conducted to elucidate the chemical, physical and microbiological properties of an organic fertilizer that was inoculated and fermented with a microbial inoculant (Effective Microorganisms or EM). The quality estimation methods employed addressed the mechanistic basis for beneficial effects of soil improvement and crop yield. Effective Microorganisms or EM was utilized as the microbial inoculant that is a mixed culture of beneficial microorganisms. Tests showed that the fermented organic fertilizer contained large populations of propagated Lactobacillus spp. Actinomycetes, photo-synthetic bacteria and yeasts; high concentrations of intermediate compounds such as organic acids and amino acids; 0.1% of mineral nitrogen mainly in the ammonium (NH4 ) form, and 1.0% of available phosphorus; and a C:N ratio of 10. The quality of the fermented organic fertilizer depends on the initial water content; addition of molasses as a carbon and energy source; and the microbial inoculant. The medium pH appears to be reliable fermentation quality criterion for producing this organic fertilizer. Beneficial effects of the fermented organic fertilizer on soil fertility and crop growth will likely depend upon the organic fraction, direct effects of the introduced microorganisms, and indirect effects of microbially-synthesized metabolites (e.g., phytohormones and growth regulators).
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Properties and Applications of
an Organic Fertilizer Inoculated
with Effective Microorganisms
Kengo Yamada
a
& Hui-Lian Xu
a
a
International Nature Farming Research Center ,
5632 Hata, Nagano, 390-1401, Japan
Published online: 20 Oct 2008.
To cite this article: Kengo Yamada & Hui-Lian Xu (2001) Properties and Applications
of an Organic Fertilizer Inoculated with Effective Microorganisms, Journal of Crop
Production, 3:1, 255-268, DOI: 10.1300/J144v03n01_21
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J144v03n01_21
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Properties and Applications
of an Organic Fertilizer Inoculated
with Effective Microorganisms
Kengo Yamada
Hui-lian Xu
SUMMARY. Research studies were conducted to elucidate the chemi-
cal, physical and microbiological properties of an organic fertilizer that
was inoculated and fermented with a microbial inoculant (Effective
Microorganisms or EM). The quality estimation methods employed
addressed the mechanistic basis for beneficial effects of soil improve-
ment and crop yield. Effective Microorganisms or EM was utilized as
the microbial inoculant that is a mixed culture of beneficial microorgan-
isms. Tests showed that the fermented organic fertilizer contained large
populations of propagated Lactobacillus spp. Actinomycetes, photo -
synthetic bacteria and yeasts; high concentrations of intermediate com-
pounds such as organic acids and amino acids; 0.1% of mineral nitro-
gen mainly in the ammonium (NH
4
+
) form, and 1.0% o f available
phosphorus; and a C:N ratio of 10. The quality of the fermented organic
fertilizer depends on the initial water content; addition of molasses as a
carbon and energy source; and the microbial inoculant. The medium pH
appears to be reliable fermentation quality criterion for producing this
organic fertilizer. Beneficial effects of the fermented organic fertilizer
on soil fertility and crop growth will likely depend upon the organic
fraction, direct effects of the introduced microorganisms, and indirect
Kengo Yamada is Research Agronomist, Hui-lian Xu is Senior Crop Scientist,
International Nature Farming Research Center, 5632 Hata, Nagano 390-1401, Japan.
Address correspondence to: Hui-lian Xu at the above address (E-mail: huilian@
janis.or.jp).
[Haworth co-indexing entry note]: ‘Properties and Applications of an Organic Fertilizer Inoculated
with Effective Microorganisms.’ Yamada, Kengo, and Hui-lian Xu. Co-published simultaneously in Jour-
nal of Crop Production (Food Products Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press, Inc.) Vol. 3, No. 1 (#5),
2000, pp. 255-268; and: Nature Farming and Microbial Applications (ed: Hui-lian Xu, James F. Parr, and
Hiroshi Umemura) Food Products Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press, Inc., 2000, pp. 255-268. Single
or multiple copies of this article are available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service
[1-800-342-9678, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST). E-mail address: getinfo@haworthpressinc.com].
E 2000 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
255
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NATURE FARMING AND MICROBIAL APPLICATIONS
256
effects of microbially-synthesized metabolites (e.g., phytohormones
and growth regulators).
[Article copies available for a f ee from The Haworth
Document Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mail address: getinfo@
haworthpressinc.com <Website: http://www.HaworthPress.com>]
KEYWORDS. Effective Microorganisms, EM, EM bokashi, fermenta-
tion, microbial inoculant, nature farming, organic farming, plant nutri-
ents
INTRODUCTION
The concept of nature farming was first introduced in 1935 by Mokichi
Okada, a Japanese naturalist and philosopher (Anonymous, 1993). While
nature farming is somewhat similar to organic farming, e.g., both advocate
the non-use of synthetic chemicals, there are conceptual and ideological
differences. The use of Effective Microorganisms or EM has become an
important part of nature farming (Arakawa, 1985; Suzuki, 1985; Higa, 1998).
EM consists of mixed cultures of naturally-occurring, beneficial microorgan-
isms applied as inoculants to soil and plants which are widely documented to
improve soil quality and the growth and yield of crops (Higa and Parr, 1994;
Iwahori and Nakagawara, 1996; Iwaishi, 1994; Suzuki, 1985). Although EM
is comprised of a large number of microbial species, the predominant popula-
tions include lactic acid bacteria, yeasts, actinomycetes and photosynthetic
bacteria. Because most of the microorganisms in EM cultures are hetero-
trophic, i.e., they require organic sources of carbon and nitrogen, EM has
been most effective when applied in combination with organic amendments
to provide carbon, nitrogen and energy.
Consequently, there has b een considerable interest in applying EM as a
component of organic fertilizers. One such p roduct is EM bokashi in which a
mixture of rice bran, oil mill sludge or cake and fish meal is inoculated with
EM and fermented, often under poorly-defined conditions. While researchers
have often shown EM bokashi to be effective in improving soil quality and
crop growth, some results have not shown consistent beneficial effects (Kato
et al., 1997; Noparatraraporn, 1996). The reasons for these discrepancies can
likely be attributed to (a) the wide range in type and quality of organic
materials used to produce bokashi, (b) fluctuations in environmental condi-
tions, (c) variable conditions of fermentation, and (d) differences in practical
application technology. Moreover, research is needed to determine the mech-
anisms or modes-of-action on how EM bokashi actually elicits beneficial
effects on soil quality and on crop growth and yield.
Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to assess the properties of EM
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Part II: Microbial Applications
257
bokashi produced under standardized conditions as well as by farmers them-
selves, to evaluate methods for estimating product quality; and to determine
the mechanistic basis for the effects of EM bokashi on soil improvement and
crop production.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Experiment 1: Aerobic Fermentation
of Organic Materials with EM Added
EM bokashi was prepared by adding molasses (8 ml), water (800 ml) and
EM-1 (8 ml) to the mixed materials of rice bran (3.5 kg) and rice husk (2.0
kg), rapeseed oil mill cake (1.5 kg), and fish meal (1.0 kg) in a closed
container. The treatment was repeated three times with the mixed non -EM
materials as a control. The microbiological and chemical properties were
examined 7, 21, 42 and 84 days after the b eginning of fermentation. The
numbers of aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms, fungi, aerobic dye toler-
ant bacteria, Lactobacillus spp. and yeast were evaluated using the dilution
plate method with media of YG, VL, rose bengal, crystal violet added YG,
GYP agarose, and YM, respectively (Kanbe, 1990; Koto, 1992; Uchimura
and Okada, 1992). EC and pH were measured with glass electrodes (CM-20E
and F-7AD, TOA Electrics Ltd., Tokyo, Japan). The anaerobes and Lactoba-
cillus spp. were cultured in a nitrogen gas exchange incubator (BNR-110,
TABAI ESPEC Corp., Tokyo). C:N ratios were determined with a carbon-ni-
trogen analyzer (MT-700 Yanaco Analytical Industries Ltd., Kyoto, Japan).
Total and available phosphorus as well as NO
3
and NH
4
+
were extracted
with vapor distillation methods (Bremner, 1965). Organic acids such as lac-
tic, acetic and butyric were measured by a high performance liquid chroma-
tography.
Experiment 2: The Quality of Bokashi as Affected
by EM and Molasses Additions and Water Content
EM bokashi was prepared similarly to that in Experiment 1 by adding
water (800 ml), molasses (8 ml) and EM 1 (8 ml) to mixed materials of rice
bran (2.7 kg), rapeseed oil mill cake (1.0 kg) and fish meal (1.0 kg). Treat-
ment varied with or without additions of EM and molasses, and with water
content (20% and 30%). Because material properties were observed within
21 days in Experiment 1, chemical properties and microbial numbers were
evaluated on days 7 and 21 in Experiment 2. Items determined and methods
used were the same as in Experiment 1.
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Experiment 3: The Standards of EM Bokashi
Prepared by Farmers
Although EM bokashi is commercially -marketable, most bokashi products
are produced and used by farmers themselves. Therefore, chemical analyses
were conducted for 9 different EM bokashi products made by farmers. EC,
pH, C:N ratios, inorganic N and available P were determined as in Experi-
ment 1.
RESULTS
The Characteristics of Bokashi
During Fermentationwith EM Added
As shown in Figure 1, the Lactobacillus spp. population was only 10
3
CFU g
1
, at the beginning of fermentation, but increased to 10
8
CFU g
1
after seven days. Yeast populations increased from 10
4
CFU g
1
at the
beginning to 10
8
CFU g
1
after t hree weeks of fermentation. The fermenta-
tion of bokashi with EM resulted i n different trends for microbial numbers.
Lactobacillus and yeast showed higher populations and lasted longer in EM
bokashi than in non-EM bokashi. On day 84, the population of Lactobacillus
was lower than 10
5
CFU g
1
and yeast was about 10
2
CFU g
1
in EM
bokashi. Fungi were never detected at levels higher than 10
4
CFU g
1
.
FIGURE 1. Changes in Lactobacillus and yeast concentrations during the
fermentation period.
10
8
6
4
2
0
--7 7 21 35 49 63 77 91
EM+ Lactobacillus
EM Lactobacillus
EM+ Yeasts
EM Yeasts
Day from the beginning of fermentation
Log (CFU/g)
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259
Electrical conductivity was higher and pH was lower in EM bokashi than
non-EM bokashi. The ratios of population of actinomycetes to fungi and of
bacteria to fungi changed during the fermentation period (Figure 2). Howev-
er, it is not clear what the trends mean and why the ratios change in these
ways.
The changes in concentration of organic acids are shown in Figure 3. Of
the three organic acids analyzed, L-lactic acid showed the highest concentra-
tion, increasing steadily from day 7 to 21, and remaining high until the end of
fermentation. This pattern was amplified by EM addition. An increase in
acetic acid concentration was also observed for EM bokashi but not for
non-EM bokashi.
Changes in pH, EC, and inorganic nitrogen (NO
3
-N and NH
4
+
-N) are
shown in Figure 4. In EM bokashi, pH decreased significantly from day 42
and reached 4.5 on day 84. However, pH for non-EM bokashi remained at a
high level of 6.0 until day 84. EC increased rapidly until day 21 for EM
bokashi and then decreased slowly while a slow and steadily increase in EC
was observed for non-EM bokashi. NH
4
+
-N concentration was higher than
NO
3
-N that was only 1/2 to 1/10 that of NH
4
+
-N. On day 42, the total
FIGURE 2. Changes in actinomycetes/fungi and bacteria/fungi ratios during
the fermentation period
Organic + EM
Organic
Chemical + EM
Chemical
20 40 60 80
600
400
200
0
1500
1000
500
0
Bacteria to Fungi ratio
Actinomyces/Fungi ratio
Day after fermentation started
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NATURE FARMING AND MICROBIAL APPLICATIONS
260
FIGURE 3. Changes in concentration of organic acids during the fermentation
period.
4.0
3.5
3.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0.0
--7 7 21 35 49 63 77 91
Day from the beginning of fermentation
Organic acids content (%)
Acetic acid EM+
Butyric acid EM+
Lactic acid EM+
Acetic acid EM
Butyric acid EM
Lactic acid EM
nitrogen content was higher in EM bokashi, but on day 84 it was higher for
non-EM bokashi.
Fermentation Quality as Affected by EM,
Molasses and the Water Content
In the present study, only when the water content of the materials was
maintained at 30% during fermentation was lactic acid production observed
(Figure 5). Addition of molasses did not show any effect on lactic acid produc-
tion. As shown in Figures 5 and 6, pH at the beginning of fermentation was 6.1
in EM bokashi with a water content of 20%, while it was 4.8 for EM bokashi
with a 30% water content. If no EM was added, pH was always about 6.0
whether the water content was low or high. EC was 3.2 mS cm
1
in bokashi
with a 20% water content, but 5.1 with a water content of 30%. EC was 5.0
for EM bokashi without molasses added and only 3.4 for non-EM bokashi.
The population of Lactobacillus was 10
7
CFU g
1
in bokashi with a 30%
water content and EM added (Figure 5). However, the number declined
markedly when EM was not added, and was only 10
3
CFU g
1
when the
water content was 20%. There was no fixed trends observed for the numbers
of aerobes and yeast. Moreover, only when the water content was 30% with
EM added did L-lactic acid reach a high concentration.
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261
FIGURE 4. Changes in chemical properties during the fermentation period.
EM+
EM
Day from the beginning of fermentation
N (mg/100 g)
EC (mS/cm)
pH
--7 7 21 35 49 63 77 91
7
6
5
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
50
40
30
20
10
0
Properties of EM Bokashi Produced by Farmers
The farmers EM bokashi was made mainly from rice bran that was locally
available. The range in quality parameters for 9 different bokashi products
produced by farmers is presented in Table 1. The lowest pH was 4.5 and the
highest was 6.8 with a mean of 5.5 and standards deviation (SD) of 0.76. The
lowest EC was 2.5 mS cm
1
and the highest was 6.5 with a mean of 4.9 and
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NATURE FARMING AND MICROBIAL APPLICATIONS
262
FIGURE 5. Effects of preparing factors on the quality of EM bokashi.
7
6
5
6.0
5.0
4.0
3.0
0.0
2.5
2.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0.0
7
6
5
4
3
pH
EC
Lactic acid
Lactobacillus
(mS/cm)(mM)(Log CFU/g)
Syrup
EM
Water 20% 30%
SD of 1.38. The total carbon and total nitrogen contents were 44.5% and
4.5%, respectively, with a C:N ratio of 10.3. The average NH
4
+
-N and
NO
3
-N contents were 1007 and 85 mg kg
1
, respectively, both having
large variations. The available phosphorus was as high as 9934 1549 mg
kg
1
, but variable among the products. Even so, the survey showed that
these bokashi products are all good nutrient resources.
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263
FIGURE 6. Effects of water content on pH of EM bokashi.
6.5
6.0
5.5
5.0
4.5
4.0
pH
20%
25%
30%
40%
0 7 14 21 28 35
Day from the beginning of fermentation
TABLE 1. Quality Parameters (EC [mS cm
1
], Electrical Conductivity; Av.-P [g
kg
1
], Available Phosphorus; TC [g kg
1
], Total Carbon; TN [g kg
1
], Total
Nitrogen; C:N, Carbon to Nitrogen Ratio) of the Commonly Used EM Bokashi.
pH EC NH
4
-N NO
3
-N Av.-P TC TN C:N
5.5 4.9 1.007 0.085 9.934 445 45 10.3
0.7 1.3 0.6 0.076 1.549 26.9 6.1 2.3
+
DISCUSSION
The beneficial effects o f EM bokashi for improving soil quality and crop
production have been widely reported. However, some experimental results
have not shown a clear effect of EM because of fluctuations in environmental
conditions and a lack of practical technology (Kato et al., 1997; Noparatrara-
porn, 1996). The application of EM bokashi is vital for the adoption of EM
technology and sustainable crop production in nature farming systems. Con-
siderable research on cultivation technology with EM application has been
conducted (Iwahori and Nakagawara, 1996; Iwaishi, 1994; Suzuki, 1985).
However, the various properties of EM bokashi and application characteris-
tics have not been elucidated clearly. The farmers bokashi is aerobically
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NATURE FARMING AND MICROBIAL APPLICATIONS
264
fermented by mixing the organic materials with soil to provide beneficial
microorganisms, while EM bokashi is characterized by anaerobic fermenta-
tion in enclosed containers with EM added. EM bokashi produced and used
in the p resent study is quite different in materials and fermentation conditions
than the common bokashi p roduced by farmers. Therefore, the material prop-
erties of EM bokashi for both chemical and microbiological aspects will
likely be different from the common bokashi.
Results of the present research suggest that lactic acid fermentation does
occur during the incubation period. Lactobacillus propagated rapidly under
anaerobic conditions that resulted from the activities of microorganisms at
the early stage. The pH decreased as the lactic acid concentration increased.
This low pH suppressed the propagation of many other microbes and enabled
yeast to reproduce dominantly. Consequently, the intermediate substances
like lactic acid, amino acid and others increased due to the activities of
Lactobacillus and yeast. The principles of lactic acid fermentation technolo-
gy are extensively utilized by industries that process foods and agricultural
products (Kanbe, 1990; Uchimura and Okada, 1992), but rarely used for soil
improvement and crop production. However, EM bokashi is now considered
as an organic fertilizer that is uniquely different from other organic fertilizers.
As mentioned earlier , the quality of EM bokashi depends on whether or not
lactic acid fermentation is predominant. One of the most important conditions is
the water content of the materials at the beginning of fermentation. If the water
content is too low, the aeration of the materials will increase and activities of
anaerobic microbes will be suppressed, resulting in a poor quality bokashi as a
consequence. The research presented in this paper found that maintaining the
water content at a proper level was critical to producing high quality bokashi.
The water content must be maintained at 30% or a little higher to ensure the
desired decrease in pH, increase in EC, synthesis of lactic acid, and propagation
of Lactobacillus. In general, farmers tend to use little water in preparing bokashi
that may result in incomplete fermentation and poor product quality.
Even so, under a wide range of conditions, a decrease in pH is usually
indicative of lactic acid synthesis and propagation of Lactobacillus.There-
fore, pH can be a reliable indication and a simple criterion of the quality of
EM bokashi. This is supported by results of the present research.
The chemical properties of EM bokashi are characterized by high NH
4
+
-N
and very low NO
3
-N levels, which result from suppressed aerobic nitrifica-
tion because of anaerobic conditions. The high available phosphorus content
suggests that EM bokashi can be a good nutrient source for plants.
Based on the present research, the following conclusions can be drawn for
EM bokashi prepared according to stated directions: (1) EM enhances anaer-
obic fermentation of organic materials, increases the production of lactic acid
and decreases the media pH; (2) EM bokashi is an organic fertilizer that
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265
contains 0.1% mineral N, 1% available P and has a C:N ratio of 10; (3) the
quality and maturity of EM bokashi can be simply estimated by changes in
pH and EC. Although it was not determined, it is likely that photosynthetic
bacteria and actinomycetes might also exist in EM bokashi along with Lacto-
bacillus spp. and yeast. Therefore, EM bokashi can be considered as a ‘liv-
ing fertilizer or ‘microbial fertilizer.’
Research is needed to elucidate the exact mechanisms and modes-of-ac-
tion whereby EM bokashi elicits beneficial effects on soils and plants. As
mentioned earlier, EM bokashi includes propagated EM microbes; intermedi-
ate bioactive products from fermentation and other metabolic processes; and
inorganic nutrients and undecomposed organic substances. Obviously, there
will be individual effects and interactive effects when EM bokashi is applied
to soils and plants. The occurrence and magnitude of these effects may
depend on soil conditions. According to a recent study the (Kato et al., 1997),
most NH
4
+
-N was nitrified within 20 days when EM bokashi was applied to
an Andosol soil. Such rapid nitrification was also observed in the field where
EM bokashi was applied. The release of available plant nutrients from EM
bokashi depends on the activities of ammonium-oxidative microbes and ni-
trite-oxidative microbes in the soil. Therefore, rapid nitrification does not
occur in degraded and infertile soils because these nitrifying microbes do not
thrive there. The nutrient availability of EM bokashi is comparable to clover
leaves and chicken manure because the C:N ratio is only 10 and the unde-
composed materials are quickly mineralized.
Extensive research has been conducted on the effects of bokashi on plant
growth, photosynthesis and grain yield compared with chemical fertilizers
(Fujita et al., 1997; Xu et al., 1997). The total dry matter of plants produced
by chemical fertilizer was clearly higher at the early stage of growth, but
lower at the later stages. However, plants nourished with bokashi maintained
vigorous growth with greater root mass and activity and a higher rate of
photosynthesis until harvest, showing a different growth pattern compared
with plants treated with chemical fertilizer (Fujita et al., 1997). The well-de-
veloped roots of the bokashi-treated plants would likely play an important
role in maintaining a higher rate of growth and photosynthetic activity (Ya-
mada et al., 1997). This may largely be the result of the sustained nutrient
supply of bokashi (Kato et al., 1997). However, the possibility still exists that
EM contains phytohormones or other biologically-active substances that can
delay senescence of plants. Similar phenomena have been observed for other
organic materials with low C:N ratios. It was also found that plants nourished
with aerobic bokashi showed a higher growth rate, higher photosynthetic
activity, and finally higher grain yields than plants treated with anaerobic
bokashi (Fujita et al., 1997; Xu et al., 1997). This was also due to the more
developed root system of plants treated with aerobic bokashi. Compared with
anaerobic bokashi where nitrification is needed after application to the soil,
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NATURE FARMING AND MICROBIAL APPLICATIONS
266
aerobic bokashi contains available NO
3
-N that is immediately available to
plants after soil application. In most cases, however, nitrification can occur
rapidly after application of anaerobic bokashi and should provide adequate
available N for plants. However, in the case of rapid early plant growth, the
anaerobic bokashi should be treated aerobically to promote n itrification and a
higher level of NO
3
-N before application.
Because EM bokashi was prepared by fermenting organic materials with
the EM inoculant, comparisons between non-EM bokashi and EM bokashi
were made (Fujita et al., 1997; Xu et al., 1997). In addition to a higher growth
rate, and increased photosynthetic activity, the most obvious effect of EM
was enhanced root development and root growth (Yamada et al., 1997). The
percentage ratio of root dry mass was clearly higher for the EM treatments
than for non-EM treatments. It is also possible that phytohormones or other
auxin-type growth regulators produced by EM and present in EM bokashi,
could have stimulated root activity (Yamada et al., 1997).
From the foregoing discussion one may conclude that the beneficial effects
of EM bokashi can be mainly attributed to (a) the sustained release of available
plant nutrients from decomposition of or ganic materials, and (b) biologically-
active substances such as phytohormones and growth factors synthesized by
the EM cultures or produced as by-products during organic matter decomposi-
tion. This concept is illustrated in the schematic diagram of Figure 7. It is well
FIGURE 7. A speculative illustration of the effect of EM bokashi on soil fertility
and plant growth.
Intermediate
substances
Beneficial
microorganisms
Organic
materials
Soil organic matter
Soil organisms
Mineral nutrients
Roots
EM bokashi
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Part II: Microbial Applications
267
known that plant hormones such as auxins, gibberellins and abscisic acid play
important roles in root growth and development (Schneider and Wightman,
1974; Kuraishi, 1983). Moreover, research has shown that many soil micro-
organisms, i.e., bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes produce a variety of bioac-
tive compounds that can enhance plant growth and metabolism (Arshad and
Frankenberger, 1992). Some researchers have also speculated that to a large
extent, the beneficial effects of EM can be attributed to the biosynthesis of
antioxidants, although this has yet to be scientifically proven. Consequently,
research is needed to determine the mechanisms or modes-of-action as to
how EM elicits ‘growth-promoting’ o r ‘growth-stimulating’ effects on
plant growth and metabolic processes. Finally it was recently reported that
EM can enhance soil aggregation. Research is needed to determine the exact
conditions under which this occurs and the mechanisms that are involved.
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... Studies evaluating chemical and organic acid changes throughout the fermentation process are rare (Yamada and Xu 2001; Abo-Sido et al. 2021). A better understanding of fermentation processes can facilitate compost production and the combination of raw materials. ...
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Fermented composts obtained from a mixture of raw materials and a microbial inoculant, known as “bokashi,” are alternatives used by many farmers around the world. We evaluated the chemical composition, fermentation pathways, N availability, and agronomic efficiency of fermented compost obtained from different plant-based raw materials. The standard compost formulation composition was 60% wheat bran and 40% castor bean bran. From this formulation, wheat bran was gradually replaced by coffee husk, brewery residue, and elephant grass bran, and leguminous bran replaced castor bean bran. Incubation tests evaluated nutrient content (C, N, P, K, Ca, Mg), pH, electrical conductivity, and fermentation pathways (by the organic acids lactic, acetic, propanoic, butyric, and ethanol). A bioassay in greenhouse conditions accessed N availability. Additionally, a field experiment evaluated the agronomic efficiency of 5 formulations and 4 doses (0 to 400 kg N ha ⁻ ¹) in successive vegetable production. The formulations with a balanced C/N ratio showed the potential to combine desirable fermentative and nutritional characteristics with good N availability and plant growth. Some formulations drastically changed the compost characteristics, especially the full replacement of wheat bran for coffee husk and elephant grass, which presented undesirable fermentation pathways. Leguminous bran maintained the fermentative quality and increased the soil’s biological activity but decreased the nutrient content, N availability, and vegetable productivity. The brewery residue showed the most prominent fermentation quality, nutrient content, and N availability. The addition of 30% coffee husk resulted in agronomic performance and nutrient accumulation similar to the standard compost.
... The wide range of uses of these biopreparations include a number of benefits from having been introduced into agricultural practice. The producers of individual commercial preparations containing EM declare that applying them to soil or topically to plants provides many positive effects that ultimately increase yields [15]. The most important include improving physico-chemical and biological soil parameters, providing plants with nutrients, breaking down soil toxins, or reducing the occurrence of phytopathogens [16]. ...
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Despite the eco-political difficulties that accompany the application of principles of the European Green Deal policy on agriculture in the current world crisis, the need of their implementation seems to be absolutely necessary. The practices recommended within the sustainable agriculture strategy include replacing traditional fertilizers and pesticides with eco-friendly preparations and optimizing the management of biomass produced on farms. The aim of the research was to determine the effect of eco-friendly preparations application combined with straw incorporation on the chemical and microbiological soil parameters and plant sanitary status of winter wheat. The soil analyses included the determination of total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) content; mineral nitrogen (MN), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and magnesium (Mg) content, and the pH value. The number of soil bacteria (B), actinobacteria (A), fungi (F), and the total number of microorganisms (TNM) were also analyzed. The application of Effective Microorganisms resulted in an increase in TOC and TN concentration. The influence of biostimulator Asahi was diversified. The beneficial effect of straw on TOC, TN, and K content and microbial growth was also observed. Despite a number of limitations, the potential benefits of application of eco-friendly preparations provide ample reasons to continue experiments with their use.
... They must carry hormones, nutrients, and minerals to the plant's root system to fulfil their purpose. In addition, they hold soil particles together inside the soil structure, so preserving both nutrients and moisture (Yamada and Xu, 2001). ...
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Soils have the most diversified microbial communities of any environment on the planet. Bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa are all found in abundance in soil. Maintaining a healthy environment for crops requires a strong link between plants and soil microorganisms that are essential for good crop development. Soil bacteria are key regulators of the nutrient cycle. Mineralization, legume nitrogen fixation, and ammonia conversion to plant-available nitrate would all be impossible without bacteria. Effective microorganisms have the ability to boost crop growth and yield. When used in conjunction with organic amendments, these bacteria performs better than to the sole application. It also contributes to soil health and provides a variety of ecological services. They also help in the cleaning of the environment, landfill disinfection, and the development and implementation of sustainable, closed-cycle organic waste treatment processes across the globe. The whole study remarks a conclusion that the application or presence of effective microbes to soil not only enhance the nutritional capacity, fertility and productivity of soils but also helps to remediate soil problems cost effectively
... They must carry hormones, nutrients, and minerals to the plant's root system to fulfil their purpose. In addition, they hold soil particles together inside the soil structure, so preserving both nutrients and moisture (Yamada and Xu, 2001). ...
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Full-text available
Soils have the most diversified microbial communities of any environment on the planet. Bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa are all found in abundance in soil. Maintaining a healthy environment for crops requires a strong link between plants and soil microorganisms that are essential for good crop development. Soil bacteria are key regulators of the nutrient cycle. Mineralization, legume nitrogen fixation, and ammonia conversion to plant-available nitrate would all be impossible without bacteria. Effective microorganisms have the ability to boost crop growth and yield. When used in conjunction with organic amendments, these bacteria performs better than to the sole application. It also contributes to soil health and provides a variety of ecological services. They also help in the cleaning of the environment, landfill disinfection, and the development and implementation of sustainable, closed-cycle organic waste treatment processes across the globe. The whole study remarks a conclusion that the application or presence of effective microbes to soil not only enhance the nutritional capacity, fertility and productivity of soils but also helps to remediate soil problems cost effectively.
... The shoot and root dry weight of some soybean cultivars were significantly improved by bokashi made from banana stems [30]. Like other organic amendments, bokashi fertilizers have been reported to improve both the physicochemical and microbiological properties of soils [31][32][33][34]. Horse manure along with other livestock manures was used successfully to grow tomatoes thereby reducing the use of chemical fertilizer while stabilizing and maintaining higher yields [35]. ...
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Lack of good potting media to produce good planting materials for rubber plantations is one of the problems affecting natural rubber (NR) growers and this demands viable solutions. This work describes the effects of potting media made with horse waste-based bokashi compost on the growth and biomass accumulation of rubber seedlings. The research involved four potting media (M1 = 1:0 soil:bokashi, M2 = 1:1 soil:bokashi, M3 = 2:1 soil:bokashi, and M4 = 1:2 soil:bokashi), as well as PB 350 and RRIM 2002 seedlings. Growth parameters assessed were plant height and girth size per plant. Shoot and root dry weights were computed to evaluate the biomass accumulation using indices such as the relative growth rate (RGR), net assimilation rate (NAR), leaf area ratio (LAR), specific leaf area (SLA), root–shoot ratio (RSR) and leaf weight ratio (LWR). Significant growth in terms of plant height was achieved in M4 with the tallest plants (114.1 cm) compared to 93.1 cm in M1 (corresponding to 74.4 and 42.0% height increment, respectively). Plant height increased by 66.3% in RRIM 2002 as compared to 54.6% in PB350. Also, M4 provided a significant shoot dry weight of 139.0 g/plant, leaf area of 4233.2 cm2/plant compared to 58.1 g/plant and 1832.3 cm2/plant, respectively, in the control-M1. Interaction results indicated that RRIM 2002 clone provided the highest RGR (0.011 g/g/day) in M4. This work also demonstrated that adding bokashi to the soil significantly improved most of the chemical properties (but did not significantly change the physical properties) with RRIM 2002 clone responding better to bokashi potting media compared to PB 350 clone.
... They facilitate uptake of nutrients, thus influencing plant growth and development. They can increase crop yields and improve crop quality as well as accelerate the breakdown of organic matter from crop residues [2] and accelerate the decomposition of organic waste and pesticide residues and the composting process [3,4]. ...
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The aim of this study was to determine the influence of effective microorganisms (EM) present in biological formulations improving soil quality on degradation of two herbicides, diflufenican and flurochloridone. Three commercially available formulations containing EM were used: a formulation containing Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, Streptococcus, Bacillus, and Rhodopseudomonas bacteria and the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae; a formulation containing Streptomyces, Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Rhodococcus, Cellulomonas, Arthrobacter, Paenibacillusa, and Pseudonocardia bacteria; and a formulation containing eight strains of Bacillus bacteria, B. megaterium, B. amyloliquefaciens, B. pumilus, B. licheniformis, B. coagulans, B. laterosporus, B. mucilaginosus, and B. polymyxa. It was demonstrated that those formulations influenced degradation of herbicides. All studied formulations containing EM reduced the diflufenican degradation level, from 35.5% to 38%, due to an increased acidity of the soil environment and increased durability of that substance at lower pH levels. In the case of flurochloridone, all studied EM formulations increased degradation of that active substance by 19.3% to 31.2% at the most. For control samples, equations describing kinetics of diflufenican and flurochloridone elimination were plotted, and a time of the half-life of these substances in laboratory conditions was calculated, amounting to 25.7 for diflufenican and 22.4 for flurochloridone.
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The present study was carried out to compare S. indica, and more specifically its encapsulated spores, with effective microorganisms (EM: a commercial biofertilizer) on the growth and yield of maize plants under drought stress. A completely randomized factorial design was done with five levels of inoculums (non-inoculated, encapsulated spore and mycelium of S. indica, EM fertilizer as well as combined Si mycelium/EM) and two levels of drought stress [Filed capacity (F.C.) and 50% F.C.]. The results showed that drought stress significantly decreases biomass, photosynthetic pigments, nutrient concentration, and yield concomitantly with increasing antioxidant activities, malondialdehyde, carbohydrates, and proline content. The results also revealed that plants treated with S. indica inoculums and EM fertilizer show enhancement in plant biomass and yield compared to untreated plants. An increase in photosynthetic pigments, carbohydrate, protein, proline, potassium, phosphorous, and antioxidant enzymes was also recorded with S. indica inoculums and EM fertilizer-treated plants over untreated plants under drought stress. Additionally, endophyte inoculums and EM fertilizer decreased malondialdehyde content. Interestingly, encapsulated spores had the same positive and comparable effect to mycelium and EM. Overall, different inoculums of S. indica and EM fertilizer, alone or in combination, can modulate the effect of drought stress and decrease its adverse effects by enhancing plant physiological responses. Hence, the findings demonstrate that the application of inoculums of S. indica including encapsulated spores is beneficial in coping with drought stress.
Chapter
Bacteria, singular bacterium or any of a group of microscopic single-celled creatures are found in vast quantities in almost every habitat on Earth. Bacteria are the most common of all species and they may be found anywhere from deep marine vents to deep beneath the Earth’s surface to human digestive tracts (Adam and Perner in Front Microbiol 9(Nov) (2018)) (Chukwuma et al. in Int J Environ Res Public Health 18(11) (2021)). (Woese et al. in Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 87:4576–4579, 1990) declared that there is approximately 5 × 1030 bacteria on Earth, forming a biomass that exceeds that of all animals and plants (Woese et al. in Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 87:4576–4579, 1990).
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The aim of this review was to demonstrate beneficial microorganisms in different areas of animal production, including large animals, poultry and fish. Microflora or beneficial microorganisms are well defined by several authors as "effective dietary supplement" which have beneficial effect on host's health. Comparative studies were carried out on several species of animals administered " Beneficial Microorganisms (BM)" active beneficial microorganism-had revealed a bundle of merits and advantages for the host as compared with the flora normally exist in the gastro-intestinal tract. The benefits include food supplementation as well as the protection of the lost against pathologic agent. Moreover, BM act as a biological factor in modulation microbiome of the digestive system as well as the adjustment of the reaction with the environment and to create a useful development of immunity response. The use of effective organisms is a useful strategy that has a clear impact on improvement of growth and increase feed conversion efficiency and body weight ratio and health parameters in animals. ‫ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ
Thailand collaborative research on evaluation of EM and EM products, their feasibility testing and effects of their uses on agriculture and environment
  • N Noparatraraporn
Noparatraraporn, N. (1996). Thailand collaborative research on evaluation of EM and EM products, their feasibility testing and effects of their uses on agriculture and environment. Open Symposium: Present Situations and Prospects of Microorganisms as Agricultural Materials. August 23, 1996, Tokyo.
Applications of effective microorganisms in nature farming. IX. Soil fertility and plant nutrient uptake of sweet corn as affected by applications of organic fertilizer with effective microorganisms added
  • S Kato
  • K Yamada
  • M Fujita
  • H L Xu
  • K Katase
  • H Umemura
Kato, S., K. Yamada, M. Fujita, H.L. Xu, K. Katase and H. Umemura. (1997). Applications of effective microorganisms in nature farming. IX. Soil fertility and plant nutrient uptake of sweet corn as affected by applications of organic fertilizer with effective microorganisms added. Annual Meeting of Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, April 24, 1997, Sizuoka, Proceedings 43:164.
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