Usage of effective microorganisms, the so-called EM technology of farming, turns soils of any type into a good crop land, with capable of yielding many times more than traditional methods of farming, without the use of pesticides and artificial fertilizers.
Effective microorganisms or EM are mixed cultures of beneficial microorganisms with a predominance of lactic acid bacteria and yeast fungi. This is a stable self-regulating community of aerobic and anaerobic species, in which one species’ products of vital activity become food for others.
When applied to the soil, EM adapt to the new environment, multiply and begin to intensively process the organic matter into humus, saturating the soil with all the necessary nutrients and cleaning it of contaminants, remnants of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
EM cultures do not contain genetically modified microorganisms. EM are made up of mixed germ cultures that are found in the natural environment throughout the world. Authors of the preparation managed to combine a large group of microorganisms into one bioculture, which coexists in the regime of active interchange of nutrition sources. The following groups of microscopic inhabitants of the soil are classified as effective microorganisms:
- Lactic acid bacteria suppress and inhibit the growth and multiplication of pathogenic microflora without causing harm to beneficial bacteria; accelerate the decomposition of organic matter.
- Yeasts synthesize substances that are useful for plant growth from amino acids and sugars produced by other bacteria and plant roots. Biologically active substances such as hormones and enzymes produced by yeasts stimulate the growth of roots. In addition, as a result of the yeast fermentation processes occur natural loosening of the soil and improvement of its structure.
- Nitrogen-fixing bacteria transfer atmospheric nitrogen and fix it in the form of nitrogen compounds, thus creating nitrogen reserves in the soil. In addition, they synthesize various vitamins and biostimulators of growth.
- Photosynthetic bacteria synthesize useful substances, such as amino acids, nucleic acids, biologically active substances and sugars, which promote the development and growth of plants.
- Fungi form a branched mycelium, which intertwines the mass of organic remains in the soil. Fungi decompose organic matter in the soil, producing ethyl alcohol, esters and antibiotic substances. They eliminate odors and prevent contamination of the soil by harmful insects and their larvae.
- Actinomycetes are branching bacteria belonging to the phylum Actinobacteria. The role of actinomycetes in the soil-forming process is that they decompose the organic matter of the soil well, especially such hardly soluble compounds as cellulose, lignins, paraffins and wax. Actinomycetes synthesize antibiotic substances that inhibit growth and development of pathogenic bacteria and fungi.
The interaction of the plant-microorganism system occurs in several stages. At the beginning, the bacteria modify the hardly soluble soil compounds and the plant begins to receive additional nutrition. Then the physiological activity of the plant begins to grow – its roots absorb the food more intensively. This is due to plant hormone, indoleacetic acid, which is secreted by bacteria. In addition, soil bacteria inhibit the growth of phytopathogenic microorganisms, which also contributes to growth and development of plants. As a result, the plant receives so much nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients that the effect of soil microorganisms is comparable to that of mineral fertilizers.
The positive influence of EM technology on soil parameters such as moisture permeability, air aeration of the soil, temperature regime and its mechanical composition is well studied. An increase in the amount of air in the soil is achieved by increasing its porosity and leads to better moisture permeability. And the porosity of the soil depends on its mechanical composition, on the root system of cultivated crops and on presence of earthworms. The preparation “Baikal EM-1-U” has a favorable effect on all these indicators, which are closely interrelated.