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					Beneficial Organisms

November 2012 – Accra, Ghana

        Andre Eitner
                         It’s all Natural
• No compost without microbes
• Humification in soil is a natural but very slow
  process – 10 cm in 2000 years
• Compost speeds this up
• It’s beneficial to increase microbes in compost
• All microbes required on your farm are available
  on your farm – concentration might be useful
• If u want to speed up the process you need to
  increase the number of microbes
                 Management Challenge
• Oxydation of Carbon’s            O2           N(20)
  and Nitrogen’s 
  Evaporation =
  LOSS of $$$
• Microbes in Mulch
  compete with Roots for
  available N              N            N   N       N
                               N   N
       Fungi = Micro
        and macro               Actinomycetes =
         aggregate      Who’s Who?
                              disease suppression

• Bacteria and Fungi,            Desired Visua
• Bacteria – fresh, green     Fungi = Micro
  Material rich in Nitrogen    and macro
• Fungi – woody, strawy
  materials with higher
  C:N ratio
• Actynomycetes – humus
                   Microbes in Composting
• Starter developed by Ehrenfried Pfeiffer (aerob)
  – Controlled Microbial Composting (CMC) Methodology
  – Further developed by Lübke (Austria)
  – Ellaine Ingham (USA)
• Mix of Batceria, Fungi and Actynomycetes
• EMs (Effective Microorganisms) – waste water
  (often lacto-acid bacteria) - anaerob
• Humification – vs. Fermentation
• Ready made mixes – UK, Austria, Germany, Japan
  etc. – some more useful than others
• Our Approach:
  – Before buying something from abroad – use/improve
    local microbes (workers)
  – Create conditions that enhance local microbes
• Importing Microbes can cause trouble:
  – Customs / Environmental Agencies
  – You need to know what they are in order to assess
    potential side-effects
                        Where to Find
• Feel free to buy / use what you like – our
  approach is: Stay local
                     Why add Microbes
• In order to make compost process more
  stable, homogenous and quicker
• Different inputs need different composting
  – Fresh, green materials compost quicker than
    woody materials
  – A homogenous population of microbes can speed
    up the composting process and give better results
• Big Question: How to increase?
• Let’s look at the composting process
                      Compost Process
• Two phases:
  – Breakdown (of biomass)
  – Build Up (of humus)
• Different groups of microbes involved
  – Break-down – thermophiles (like heat)
  – Build up – mesophiles (moderate temp.) and the
    actynomycetes (humus build-up)
                       Compost Starter
• To kick-start compost process you need highly
  active compost starter
• Compost Starter 101:
  – Collect each 30kg of partly decomposed material
    from the types of biomass you will use as a major
    input for your compost
  – Collect each 1m3 per biomass category: brown/dry
    straw or woody; green/fresh leafy; manures.
  – If you have: apply 100kg of old compost mixed
    with clay or add up to 50kg wormy compost
                      Compost Starter
– Please note, generally for composting but
  particularly for compost starter production, please
  use as many as possible different materials per
  biomass category
– Build a compost pile (also called windrow) on a 1
  by 2 meter ground area putting at least three
  layers of dry/brown, manure and green/fresh in
  this sequence, starting with dry/brown in the
– Apply between each layer a mix of a part of the
  30kg of semi-decomposed materials
                       Compost Starter
– If you have access to, apply 20 g of Soil & More
  static compost starter diluted in 10 liters of water;
  Compost starter can be produced without Soil &
  More compost starter but the Soil & More
  compost starter will increase the biodiversity in
  the windrow and will speed up the breakdown
– Apply about ¼ m3 of water continuously
  throughout the windrow setup
– Compact the windrow at the end, forcing it into a
  triangular shape at 1 meter height
                               Compost Starter
– Cover the windrow with a 5cm thick layer of straw or with a semi-
  permeable fleece type textile. Don’t use plastic to cover the
– Apply during the first 3 weeks ¼ m3 of water per week
– The compost starter is finished after 10-12 weeks:
    • kept in a shaded or covered place and should be used only after
      being activated. If time planning allows, try to setup as many as
      possible regular compost windrows when the compost starter
      making process is in the 2nd or 3rd week and then use the highly
      active half-finished compost starter as a starter for the regular
      compost making.
– After the 10-12 weeks of compost starter making, the compost
  starter is in a storable, thus stable and less reactive form than if
  you take it already after 2-3 weeks. It is not of inferior quality but in
  a more stable form and needs to be activated prior to application.
Compost Tea/Starter

             Thank You

29/11/2012   18

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