Study... NPK vs Compost vs Microbes

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by JDUtah, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    I found this study to be rather interesting.

    It compares crop yield with various fertilizing practices. Just NPK in soil, microbe applications, compost in soil, and compost in soil plus microbe applications.

    Although the study doesn't have enough information to prove the same nutrient amounts were used for each practice (NPK vs compost more particularly) its results are interesting.

    -Microbes alone had less yield than NPK
    -Compost alone had less yield than NPK
    -Compost + microbes had in INCREASE in yield compared to NPK

    The conclusion suggests some reasons for it but fails to mention one suspicion I have, the microbes help to unlock Organic N in the compost thus the compost and microbes were most effective at making nutrients available to plants.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,162

    Gee, that's the first time I have ever heard anything like this.

  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Make perfect sense to me and one of the reasons that folks that use the practice have such great results with turf and landscape. Some of the NOFA folks have not used fertilizers or herbicides in their practices for 15 to 20 years and have a great client base, I am going to visit some of them next week

    Mike Neduea over at plantscapes in CT has always used these practices and employs many folks, he has been around for over 20 years I believe. He also does local ferments by adding soil from areas that do very well and are rich in microbes and adds them to his brews

    he does one for rhododendrons that has excellent results, he digs under rhody's found in the wild, brews 'em up and soil injects them in the landscape
  4. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636


    Did you see I replied to your question in the pesticide forum? :hammerhead: :)



    Interesting. Now if the theory that spraying the microbes releases compost (organic) nutrients faster holds true, perhaps a better compost base on my lawns would help the 123 get better results for me...

    Right now SOM for the test lawn is .7%...
  5. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    you are probably right, 2% minimum and we would like to see 5 to 7%, no food for the goodguys except what was in the accelerator
  6. wallzwallz

    wallzwallz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    Bill's right Mike rocks,great guy to talk to.

    David, that's some crap soil huh? You need to use high OM granular before tea, composted manure base, Alfalfa, or something.
  7. JDUtah

    JDUtah LawnSite Silver Member
    from UT
    Messages: 2,636

    Yes, very poor. The highest SOM I've seen is 1.7% but I will admit I haven't been too concentrated on SOM till late. I sent you a PM (reply to yours) that explains my basic plans.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    some plants i treat nice others i treat like well i dont do anything to them and u can see a diff between the 2
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

  10. treegal1

    treegal1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,911

    I have a study out of Cuba done by a Swiss firm that says other wise, and in short order it goes like this, us and Canada use 12 non renewable calories per 1 calorie food out put, and in Havana Cuba they are getting 12 calories of food out put for every 1 calorie of energy that they use. in a similar test the rodale institute has had some great real increase results with not till organic farming, I especially like there roller crimp-er that just takes down the cover crop. there is also Salvador farms in Mexico that grows organic lettuce with a hydroponic method that I an un familiar with, but the yield results when I was scanning were stunning to say the least. I will give you this in your point that some yields of some crops that are not suited for production, corn for instance is going to suffer some fall in crop production from a same farm, till and cover perspective, but if you take all the factors into play there will be a net gain over all, IMO

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