Cereals: The Arable Event

Improving Soil Fertility with a Low Carbon Footprint

30-Mar-2017 by: Peter Townley Agro-Vital UK Ltd

Restoring soil health and structure is high on the agenda of many arable farmers. Soil organic matter has declined dramatically in many soils in recent years  and rebuilding the soil’s “battery”  is key to promoting  better soil biology and structure and improved efficiency of inputs.

One beneficial source of organic matter for farmers is compost  but recent work has shown that during the composting process around 60% of the valuable organic matter is lost  as CO2.  An alternative to traditional “hot” composting is an anaerobic fermentation  developed by EM Agriton in The Netherlands and   known as Bokashi composting. Bokashi fermentation utilises the beneficial  EM micro-organisms in Actiferm, a ready to use microbial activator.

This simple six week process retains 97% of the organic matter so producing more humous for the soil microbes to feed on. Bokashi fermentation   takes place at ambient temperatures whilst traditional composting raises the temperature to  60C,  resulting in 27 times less  CO2 been produced per tonne of Bokashi product  than for the traditional compost. 

Bokashi  fermentation is a simple one step process and  doesn’t need any extra processing, so saving on cost, labour and fuel, unlike traditional composting which needs  frequent turning. It  reduces the carbon foot print  of composting and produces more humous  for  better yields. 

Bokashi is rich in organic matter and beneficial micro-organisms and is being increasingly used in The Netherlands to improve soil fertility.

Agro-Vital UK is a company that focuses on the integrated cultivation of agricultural and horticultural crops. For trial results and futher information on Bokashi composting  please go to www.effectivemicro-organisms.co.uk  or contact Peter Townley on 01823 240499 

or email info@effectivemicro-organisms.co.uk  

Agro-Vital UK

Ebear Farm




EX16  7HN


Agro-Vital UK Ltd



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