Seaweed Science

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Gerry Miller, Oct 23, 2007.


    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    yummy stuff
  2. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 504

    First off, what do you mean you expect that kind of response from me? You mean the truth? I don't know what you are referring to?

    What are you referring to here: This is one the most fundamental principles of the soil food web, not some wild claim made by a manufacturer.

    AACT is NOT fertilizer. It's just like I and Tad have stated, it aerobic soil organisms, that some food is used to accelerate the growth of the organisms in the brewing process, but cannot be considered a fertilizer. The amount of food used is too small to be considered as such. In fact, compost isn't much of a fertilizer either. The stuff that goes in to compost is typically very low in protein (microbe food) because, typically, the humans or animals have already eaten the protein out of the carcass you discarded into the pile. Protein is important to the soil because it feeds the microbes. Protein carries the nitrogen molecules around in the soil. Microbes are made up of mostly protein. When they die, the protein is eaten by other microbes which carry it elsewhere. Eventually some of the microbes excrete Nature's own brand of plant food. Bringing the nitrogen-carrying protein to the soil is what provides the [delayed] fertilization effect. So the ground up grains and other ingredients that go into animal protein feeds are also what go into organic fertilizers. But by using protein meals you purchase from the grain store, you pay about 1/16 the price for the manufactured organic fertilizers. The cost for the protein meals is cheaper than buying compost or other organic material. Most home owners can't produce enough compost for their needs. I have a dozen or so mature trees on my property and I can never make enough compost for my needs. So simply, purchasing protein meals provides much more food for the soil biology than compost can, and provides organic matter to the soil as well. Two birds with one stone. I use 20 lbs per 1000 sq ft of protein meals when I apply them. This used in conjunction with AACT provides the soil organisms and the food they need to survive and be happy. Well, of course, we don't know the emotional requirements of soil organisms, just a bit of humor. Now depending on what protein meal you use, the cost will vary. I get 50 lbs of soybean meal for $10 and that will cover 2500 sq ft. Prices will vary from state to state, but that's a pretty cheap price. It gets even cheaper if you buy in larger quanities. I don't see this making the whole process expensive like you have stated. As far as the inorganic matter that the soil microbes use, they convert these inorganic materials to food for plants.

    Now if you can produce enough compost on site, you still need to have it tested, at least once a year, to see what your are producing. Still, that keeps the cost down even with a lab test. Or better yet, learn how to perform the test yourself. Can't beat that price, even at $100 per hour!

    I don't think anyone suggested that you use a shovel to spread compost, although I have used rakes and a compost spreader. You keep referring to applying compost to acres. Are you dealing with farms or properties that are sitting on acreage? Just what size properties are you dealing with? Homes? Farms? Commercial property?

    As far as disease control and correction, we have covered this in previous posts. I have seen data that supports that AACT is effect in this area. There are many sources available that provide the data on line. Here is one place you can find tons of info:

    You can always contact Soil Foodweb and ask the their data and they will be happy to provide the details for you. Keep in mind that Soil FoodWeb does not sell brewers or AACT or compost. They provide state of the art lab testing and educational services. If you go to their web site, you'll see the services they provide. So there is no 'wild claim' by the manufacturer here. But I think it's fair to say, no matter what information I or Tad or anyone else provides, you're not going to change your mind. And that's fine, you are entitled to your opinion, as I am. People can decide for themselves.
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Gerry, this is ridiculous. You claim to understand the soil food web, soil biology, etc., yet you don't understand the most basic functions of that food web or the biology contained within it. Why am I needing to explain to you or Tad these basic principles?

    Fine, you can't say I didn't attempt to give you a chance to save face.

    If you won't believe me, perhaps you will believe Dr. Ingham.

    Compost Tea: Promises & Practicalities

    2. Compost tea contains soluble nutrients that perform two key functions:

    • They feed the organisms already within the tea, so they grow faster, are
    healthier, and can perform their diseasesuppressive functions faster.

    • They feed the plant, making it healthier and able to make more food to feed the “good guys” that suppress disease-causing organisms.

    I ask you (or at this point BEG you) to PLEASE try to understand:

    1) The fundamentals of microbial & fungal metabolism

    2) The elemental makeup of living organisms as it relates to soil fertility

    2) The concept of bioaccumulation and how it applies to soil fertility

    3) How C:N relates to organic matter and other potential food sources

    Here's a good place to start.
  4. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 504

    See, this is how the whole exchange started before. You can't go very long before you start attacking. You again think you know what you are talking about when you don't. I know Dr. Ingham personally. She will tell you ACCT is NOT a fertilizer. You again, take statements completely out of context to try and prove some off the wall statement you think is correct! So please, don't try and tell me to understand anything about soil biology when you don't even know that AACT is not a fertilizer! It is not I that needs to save face! Good Grief! Sorry to say, this is just another waste of my time dealing with your nonsense. No wonder why people don't post here. They are all afraid that so called experts like you jumped down their throats with absurd posts. Well, you can't bully me with this nonsense. And in the future, don't quote Dr. Ingham when you don't understand what she has posted on her web site. Now lets see how many of the drive by posters think I started this attack!!!
  5. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 504

    This is a posting from another list provided by KIS Inc. forum:

    Re: soil chemistry facts Message List

    Reply | Forward Message #9587 of 19559 < Prev | Next >

    Teaching the Soil Biollgy and Soil Chemistry course with Dr. Lancaster here at Southern Cross University, and we are showing some very interesting relationships between soil chem and soil biol.

    Did you know that NO AGRICULTURAL SOIL lacks the NUTRIENTS needed to grow plants?

    Maybe one or two rare exceptions to that rule when we get into non-ag soils, but any soil used for agriculture does not lack the nutrients needed for plant growth.

    So, why do we add fertilizers?

    Because the AVAILABLE nutrients may be limited.

    In the ag world, we do things to make the nutrients in a soil NOT-AVAILABLE to the plants. How stupid is this?

    Why would we behave this way? Either no one understands what is really going on in soil, or we are being lead astray by people who want to sell you things that you don't really need.

    How do you move nutrients from the not-available pool to the available pool in soil?

    The answer - SOIL BIOLOGY

    Soil organisms, in the right places, active at the right time. All that is needed is to learn how to make sure the organisms are there and active. Simple, inexpensive, and everyone can learn how to do this, at very little cost.

    Soil biology - in your compost, compost tea, and easily monitored in a qualitative fashion by anyone with a decent small microscope. Need quantitative numbers? The lab can help you with that.

    But no one needs to add inorganic fertilizer to their soil, unless they lack the biology that should be there. When you look at total nutrients present in any soil, there's more than adequate levels in any ag soil.

    We calculated how many years' worth of phosphate was actually present in wheat filed soil in Australian, soils where growers have been told they needed to add thousands of dollars of PO4 because there was no phophate present. There was 15,000 years worth of phosphate present in that soil (something like $48,000 worth of "fertilizer"), if that phosphate could be made available to the plants.

    Makes you wonder about the soil chemists telling you that there's "no phosphate" present.

    Well, ok, no AVAILABLE phosphate. But that's really a WORLD different from no phosphate at all, don't you agree? It is a lack of MICROORGANISMS to solubilize that phosphate that is the problem, not a lack of phosphate.

    When do we get off the toxic chemical bandwagon?
    And back on the bandwagon that supports life?

    Elaine Ingham
    Soil Foodweb Institute, Lismore, Australia
    Graduate Research, Southern Cross University
    Soil Foodweb Inc., Corvallis, OR, USA
    and other places.......

    Sorry, I don't have the link.
  6. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 504

    Here is another post from Dr. Ingham. Perhaps this will help you understand how it all works!

    "Re: [compost_tea] Re: What a beautiful Sunday AM

    One of the most important parts of compost tea is that it provides the ORGANISMS that DO nutrient cycling.

    They make the nutrients available to the plant in the right place and time and forms that the plant requires.

    If excess is cycled, i.e., more than the plant needs, then the organisms take up the nutrients again, so they are not leached and not lost from the soil.

    Unlike toxic chemical systems, where the biology to do nutrient retention has been lost.

    Compost tea also provides foods to get the biology pumped back into productive form.

    As a "fertilizer" compost tea is lacking, since there should be no inorganic forms of N in a good compost, or tea.

    But there is a great deal of nitrogen in compost or compost tea, just not in the forms that fertilizer companies have convinced soils people that the N has to be in to be taken up by plants.

    Makes you laugh, or want to cry. Not sure which sometimes.

    Compost contains some 250 micrograms of soluble N per gram of compost. All of the soluble N will be moved into your compost tea.

    Compost contains additional exchangeable N, immobilized on the surfaces of OM, sand, silt and clay, and on soil organism surfaces. This can be moved into the tea as well, and may account for an equal amount of N as is in the soluble pool.

    Based on how much compost you use per gallon of tea, you can then figure the soluble and exchangeable N that may be in your tea. Certainly, in three to four applications of compost tea a year, you are getting a significant amount of N.

    And this N should not leach, or be lost via anaerobic processes. More than enough to supply the crop's requirements, added into the soil through soil drenches and foliar applications.

    Is compost tea a fertilizer? The answer is NO, IF YOU ONLY COUNT INORGANIC N. The answer is YES, if you count all the other forms of N that can be made available to plant through nutrient cycling processes."

    Dr. Elaine Ingham

    Again, I don't have a link for these statements.
  7. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

    The link is to the Yahoo group on compost tea. Go to and search for compost_tea

    You can then do a further search for Dr. Ingham's posts by going to advanced seach and looking for those authored by soilfoodweb with the keyword being fertilizer.

  8. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294

  9. Gerry Miller

    Gerry Miller LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 504

    Thanks Tad!
  10. tadhussey

    tadhussey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 294


    First off....wonderful link. I really like the site on microbiology, thanks for pointing it out.

    Secondly, can you provide any more specific links to the information or knowledge you feel I'm lacking. That site is HUGE, and much of it is in the microbiology textbook I already own. Granted, it wasn't my major in college, and I haven't read the whole thing yet, but I'm working my way through it. Most of it does not relate to the 3 topics/points you posted above.

    I'm not sure how your "basic" points even relate to the original question.

    My understanding is that the nutrients the plant needs are ALREADY in the soil. The AACT makes the nutrients plant available and increases nutrient cycling. This does NOT fit my definition of a fertilizer. I guess it really all depends on your definition. Yes, there are some soluble nutrients that will be extracted from the compost, but that's really not the point of making AACT. If that's all you want, then you could use compost leachate, not AACT. If you define fertilizer as anything that promotes plant growth, then I guess AACT could qualify.

    I couldn't get the ACRES link to said the file was damaged and couldn't be repaired. Could you repost it please?

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