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NPP, what are all the benefits?

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by DeepGreenLawn, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    OK, I heard a list from time to time of what all this stuff can and will do. I have been using it for fungus but I know there are other uses as well. Maybe grubs? Just wanted a list of all the benefits of this stuff.
  2. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Deep, welcome back. :) I'll give a go off the top of my head.

    NPP is chitin which....

    There are bacteria that excrete an enzyme to digest it. Well, 'it' is the same thing found in the walls of fungi and the exoskeletons of grubs... So basically it promotes enough chitin eating bacteria that they can eat fungi and anything that is made of chitin, including your fingernails, or grub skeletons. :)

    It is a form of glucosamine which in the medical field helps to build cartilage and helps people with joint problems.

    Glucosamine is also a carbohydrate and therefore (like touched on earlier) a food energy source for certain bacteria. Thus it might be effective to help break down a thatch layer.

    The bacteria excreted enzyme can dissolve AM fungi (or any beneficial fungi for that mattter) as well so a re-inoculation might be needed after an NPP treatment.

    So far it appears no studies have been performed to check the residual activity of the enzyme, hence it is unclear how long after the treatment you are able to safely reintroduce beneficial fungi. (this may be too variable to ever determine)

    It causes aggregation (I suspect through the microbial activity it encourages?) and thus helps sandy soils to hold water and perhaps also helps clay soils to absorb/diffuse water more easily.

    It is a recycled waste stream and fits right in with sustainable practices. :clapping:
  3. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    sweet, That is basically what I was looking for...

    Now... what are the things to watch for?

    Such as, shelf life, mixed shelf life, equipment issues... etc. I THINK Bill said that if it is left mixed too long then the stuff will fall to the bottom of the tank and harden... also it must be agitated continously or else it will seperate and settle to the bottom of the tank therefore giving more product than anticipated...
  4. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 766

    I posted a questions to bill about the % of chitosan salts in his product but i guess he's on vacation or something, but anyway general hydroponics makes a product called CHI
    and it has 2% chitosan and cost around 55. per gallon

    the way i understand it, it works by making the plant think it is being attack by insects or disease and in turn the plant responds by strengthen it's cell walls, making the plant stronger more able to fight attack.

    i think there is evidences that chitosan might also help a plant produce more protease inhibitors
    helping the plant fight off fungi or bacterial attack as well

    I don't think it melts fungi and if it does have these characteristics, to think it only will select against pathogens organisms and and not beneficial ones too? is well... probably wishful thinking. where's the data on that one?

    and for soil apps what about selecting between beneficial insects and things like grubs and root feeding nematodes,..... if it had that power i think it would be the #1 product used world wide. data please!

    I do believe that the best to hope for from chitosan products is some strengthen of cell walls and the possibility of some plants producing more protease inhibitors to fend off attack.

    now my question is, lets say for turf grasses, if it does help build stronger cell structure and produce more protease inhibitors how long is one treatment effective for?
    do you need constant maintenance apps? how often? and at what rate?

    sometimes people selling products will promise the world and let other people keep misinforming others as to the benefit's of their product and that their product can do everything but where are the facts?

    aslo when i buy a product i like to see and know whats in it. whats to hide with some of these people? is it just about SELLING UNITS? to the uninformed, people who are new to organic's and don't know any better?
    WARNING to all newbie's to organic's, reserch reserch or it will cost you time and money!
  5. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    no kidding about the "it will cost you time and money."

    I was told by others here, not the ones selling but using the stuff, that it had a kill rate of about 7-10 days and then after that you should have an application of CT to rebuild the beneficials. One person described it as a "nuclear storm" wiping out everything.

    Right now my main purpose is for fungus, if it has other properties that would be icing on the cake.

    My fingers are crossed...
  6. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    DGL, are you not seeing the quick response others said you would get? Still waiting?


    The enzyme the microbes (and plants) excrete (chitonase) has the potential to kill all organisms utilizing chitin as a structural polymer. Nematodes, crustaceans, fungi, arthropods (adult beetles, not sure if larvae use chitin), others? So yes it can work, and isn't a false claim.

    Wikipedia for Chitin...

    "Chitin is one of many naturally occurring polymers. Its breakdown may be catalyzed by enzymes called chitinases, secreted by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi, and produced by some plants. Some of these microorganisms have receptors to simple sugars from the decomposition of chitin. If chitin is detected, they then produce enzymes to digest it by cleaving the glycosidic bonds in order to convert it to simple sugars and ammonia."

    They eat it...

    Also read about the digestive enzyme (chitonase) they use to eat it...

    If you really wanted good and consistent pest control you would have to manufacture chitonase by using a process similar to how the medical field produces insulin for diabetics. (they let bacteria grow and excrete enzymes, then harvest the insulin enzyme).

    No company has done this that I know of. I believe perhaps for two reasons... first, there isn't as much money in our industry compared to the medical field... and second, like you touched on... a direct chitonase treatment would kill any organism that uses chitin to survive. (bye bye both bad and GOOD organisms) The whole nuclear winter thing would happen.

    I agree it is EXTREMELY import to do your research in the organic world. But I would not critique a manufacture for an item not working...

    Chitin for example...

    it is simply food for certain organisms. When they detect it they excrete stuff to digest it. In circumstances where the right organisms are present, a balance of other necessary nutrients are there, light is at the appropriate level, pH is within a certain range, there is ample water, and there is enough air... THEN your organisms will thrive, have enough numbers, and excrete enough chitonase to give you good control.

    But if even one of these 6 variables is off, your microbes wont thrive, wont produce chitonase, and you will have poor control.

    Treegal had good conditions and saw great results.. even too great... nuclear winter great... other people might not have good conditions and get lousy results.. I would not nock the manufacture if it doesn't work from time to time...

    Now get a company to manufacture chitonase and you have a real consistent cure... but very dangerous too... might be "organic" but would be more dangerous than synthetic pesticides IMO... get a drop on your fingernail when mixing... bye bye fingernail... use it and wipe out entire fungi populations to combat one disease and leave nothing there to eat the thatch, etc... And maybe you need to manufacture different chitonase enzymes to digest different forms of chitin, more money needed to research that.

    We can only imagine the environmental effects unless someone fronts millions of dollars to research how to manufacture it, then millions more to research the environmental impact... but IMO there's not enough money to risk it. Not enough potential ROI to try.

    Hence we are left to chitin and crossed fingers for good circumstances for good control...
    OR, we study and study and find out what microbes eat it, what pH they prefer, what moisture %, what oxygen level, what light circumstances, etc.. and see if we can produce the right envonroment every time... Maybe make a chitonase brew like a CT (where we have control of the environament), and treat the lawn with that? It could happen...

    EPA links...
  7. DeepGreenLawn

    DeepGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,372

    I believe I am getting a response as it doesn't seem to be getting worse, at the same time... I don't really know what to look for... I know I need to put it on my own lawn though... The fungus is not spreading anymore though...
  8. growingdeeprootsorganicly

    growingdeeprootsorganicly LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 766

    jd, thanks for the refresher, ive read and researched most of that before.thanks anyway.I also had talks on line with bill on this very subject and the product from general hydro, and low and behold he came right out with a equivalent to, go figure.

    maybe i didn't explain my self clear enough, i do that sometimes.
    i never said it is a false claim that chitosan salts have some value to plant protection.
    the point i was making that there seems to be some talk that these products melt fungus and kill only pathogens and destructive insects and not the"good bugs" my point is where's the testing to make these claims?
  9. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Posts: 2,636

    Sorry I read into your post too deep about the false claim deal... I also kind of used it as a chance to explain more about the chitin, so thanks. :)

    I do agree, where are the test results to back that up? (it does make sense scientifically, but let's see controlled results?)
  10. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    Apologies folks a much needed 10 day get away
    Here are 3 articles on chitosan as a funicide
    Growing, to be specific it depends on the PH of the mixture being applied as to its actions, Chitosan is a proven antimicrobial, which includes fungi

    Antimicrobial Actions of Degraded and Native Chitosan against Spoilage Organisms in Laboratory Media and Foods
    Most reports on the antimicrobial effects of hydrolyzed chitosan have focused on plant-pathogenic fungi and a few bacteria that have medical significance. The effectiveness of chitosan hydrolysates against food-associated microorganisms in vitro or in foods has not been reported previously.

    Chitosan as a Component of Pea-Fusarium solani Interactions" 2
    Our observations suggest that the chitosan produced by the fungus in the host-parasite interaction both enters the plant cells and accumulates within the fungal cell. The action of chitosan in initiating hytoalexin production, protecting pea tissue from F. solani f. sp. pisi, and/or directly terminating fungal growth indicates it may have a central role in disease resistance.

    Due to its fungistatic or fungicidal potential, chitosan, a high molecular-weight polymer that is non-toxic and biodegradable, has become an alternative to conventional fungicides. In addition, chitosan is reported to elicit defense mechanisms in plant tissues. In this study, we explored the in vitro fungicidal effect of chitosan on some of the most important grapevine wood fungi, such as Botryosphaeria sp. (dieback and cane blight), Phomopsis sp. (Phomopsis cane and leaf spot), Eutypa lata (eutypa dieback), Neonectria liriodendri (black foot disease), Phaeomoniella chlamydospora (Petri disease and esca) and Fomitiporia sp. (esca). Inhibition of mycelial growth was evaluated at five concentrations 50, 25, 5, 2.5 and 0.5 mg a.i. l-1 of chitosan. Chitosan was effective in reducing mycelial growth of all the fungi. The lowest EC50 values were obtained with Pa. chlamydospora, Fomitiporia sp. and Botryosphaeria sp., and the highest with Neon. liriodendri. All these were inferior to the maximum recommended field rate (8.33 mg a.i. l-1) with exception of the value obtained with Neon. liriodendri. Greenhouse experiments were carried out to evaluate the efficacy of foliar sprays of chitosan on potted grapevine plants

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