EM NATURE Farming handbook:

 

 

 

                       

 

 

  Experiences in America

 

 

 

Written and Edited by:

John M. Phillips

The Living Earth Training Center, Inc.

P. O. Box 3033

Snowflake, AZ 85937

www.gardeningforpeace.com

 

                                                   

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Introduction:

Mokichi Okada, Nature Farming, Health and Civilization..............................................

Dr. Teruo Higa and the Discovery of EM.....................................................................

How EM was Discovered?..............................................................................

What is EM?...................................................................................................

 

Nature Farming and EM Philosophy.........................................................................................

 

Relationship of EM Nature Farming to Conventional Agriculture...............................................

Improving Yield and Quality, Reducing Costs, Increasing Profitability............................

Using EM and Nature Farming Techniques during Transition.........................................

 

EM Nature Farming in Relation to Organic Agriculture.............................................................

Classical Organic Agriculture.......................................................................................

Rudolf Steiner and Bio-dynamic Agriculture.................................................................

John Jeavons and Bio-Intensive Agriculture..................................................................

Bill Mollison and Permaculture.....................................................................................

Traditional Farming Systems of Indigenous Peoples......................................................

 

EM Products and Forms..........................................................................................................

EM Stock Solution: EM-1, a.k.a. (Kyusei EM)............................................................

EM Seed Stocks: (EM-2, EM-3, EM-4).....................................................................

EM Extended Forms: EM-Extended,

EM-Fermented Plant Extract (EM-FPE) and EM-5 ....................................................

EM Extracts: EM-X, EM-Z ........................................................................................

EM Fermented Materials: EM Bokashi, EM Compost, EM Ceramics ..........................

EM for Livestock/Aquaculture: EM Probiotic for Livestock,

EM Waste Treatment .................................................................................................

EM Ceramics, Filters & Other EM Devices and Products ...........................................

EM Grown/Processed Products: EM Cosmetics,

EM Gold Tea, EM Beverages, Foods and Fibers.........................................................

 

 

 

General Principles of Using EM for Agricultural Applications ...................................................

“Dialing-In” EM for Agricultural Applications........................................................

 

 

 

EM Application to Vegetable Crops and Home Gardens..........................................................

EM in the Home Garden: Simple methods to apply EM................................................

Market Gardening with EM and EM Bokashi Recycling System...................................

Commercial Vegetable Crop Production Using EM......................................................

 

EM Application to Field Crops................................................................................................

Cotton.

Small Grains................................................................................................................

Field Corn...................................................................................................................

Soybeans and Dry Beans.............................................................................................

Processing Tomatoes...................................................................................................

Potatoes......................................................................................................................

Forages and Pastures...................................................................................................

 

EM Application to Orchards and Vineyards.............................................................................

Citrus, Oranges, Lemons, Limes and Grapefruit............................................................

Dates, Figs, Coconuts..................................................................................................

Apples and Pears........................................................................................................

Apricots, Peaches and Nectarines................................................................................

Avocado.....................................................................................................................

Coffee.

Bananas and Tropical Fruits.........................................................................................

Table Grapes and Wine Grapes...................................................................................

 

EM Application to Greenhouse Crops......................................................................................

Tomatoes....................................................................................................................

Cucumbers..................................................................................................................

Lettuce

Other Vegetables and Melons......................................................................................

Herbs..

Flowers.......................................................................................................................

Ornamentals................................................................................................................

 

Glossary of Terms...................................................................................................................

 

Conversion Factors.................................................................................................................

 

References, Sources and Resources.........................................................................................

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Introduction:


Mokichi Okada, Nature Farming, Health and Civilization

Agriculture in the 21st Century promises to be very different from the practices of the last 50 years of the 20th Century.  New discoveries in the sciences of microbiology and ecology will impact and transform the methods of food production in ways that are little heard of today.  Yet this new agriculture will surprise many with its techniques because the most radical changes will take place in the arena of ideas, as much as in the farms, fields and livestock production facilities. The new concepts guiding the development of a sustainable agriculture able to readily provide the food for future human populations are presently spreading across the globe.  Already, in more than 80 different countries, pioneering farmers are adopting these new techniques and the concepts that go with them.  This new movement in agriculture is known to many as “Nature Farming,” and for many of its practitioners, the use of EM or “Effective Microorganisms” is the core technology for soil fertility management.

 

Nature Farming originates in Japan in the philosophy of Mokichi Okada (1882-1955) whose work on these ideas began in the early 1930's.  The philosophy of Nature Farming seeks to create agricultural ecosystems that are in harmony and balance with nature. Nature Farming uses the forces of nature to create unsurpassed productivity while preserving and improving the quality of the soil as the basis for production.  The model for Nature Farming is from nature itself, from the undisturbed ecosystems of the forests and prairies.  Okada noticed these natural ecosystems spontaneously accumulate fertility and keep disease outbreaks and other problems in check.  How is this possible?  The answer is through the creation of “living soil.”  According to Okada living soil has almost a mystical power to create harmony and balance in the plant life growing in it, in the animal and human life subsisting on the fruits of it, and in its ability to heal itself from all disturbances in the ecosystem surrounding it.

 

The movement spawned by Okada’s philosophy of Nature Farming continued after his passing, and began to spread to other countries by the early 1970's.  The early techniques of Nature Farming worked through imitating nature and using natural or organic methods for crop production.  Some of the practices of Nature Farming share much in common with the permaculture movement, and with other forms of organic agriculture.  A special emphasis is directed toward making “natural compost” to help create the living soil so fundamental to the practice of Nature Farming.  While some of the results of this Nature Farming technique are outstanding, still the many crop failures experienced could only be explained as the failure to actually create living soil in the farm ecosystem. An important factor in such failures is the difficulty in making good quality natural compost.

 

Making natural compost can be a “hit or miss” effort.  If the compost rots in the absence of oxygen, such as might happen if it becomes waterlogged due to excess rain or the addition of too much water, then putrefaction can result, and the compost will actually have a toxic effect on the soil.  The same result could happen with the use of animal manures from animals raised in confinement where the manure became putrefactive.  Again, this material can have a toxic effect on the soil due to excess ammonia and other compounds.  The techniques available to correct these deficiencies were laborious, and mostly consisted of mixing the offending materials with good quality, natural compost or soil and air to overwhelm the toxic effects. 

 

Another difficulty is adopting the Nature Farming techniques to the demands of production agriculture, particularly when expanding to large-scale operations, such as seen in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, among other countries. It is simply too expensive to make and apply natural compost in sufficient quantity for such large-scale operations. These limitations stifled the expansion of the Nature Farming movement until the early 1980's when Dr. Teruo Higa, a professor of horticulture at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan, shared his amazing discovery of “Effective Microorganisms” or EM with the proponents of Nature Farming.

 

Okada anticipated the discovery of EM when he referred to the mysterious power of living soil to heal itself and the environment.  The living component of soil is based on the microbial life of the soil.  The interaction of soil microbial life with plants creates soil fertility.  Dr. Higa discovered that certain components of the microbial life of the soil were “effective” in controlling the dynamics of soil life.  These “Effective Microorganisms” were able to influence the other microorganisms in the soil through their ability to create enzymes, sugars, vitamins, and other substances that served as food for other beneficial microorganisms. Another distinct ability of EM is the ability to ferment organic matter and the ability to exploit low oxygen environments as facultative anaerobes. When used in large enough numbers, these effective microorganisms could prevent putrefaction in low oxygen environments.  These characteristics of EM proved to be the key to correcting the short-comings of the nature farming method.

 

According to Mokichi Okada, Nature Farming and the production of wholesome food free of contamination from chemical toxins is the key to creating human health, and the creation of natural human health is the basis for creating a new civilization in balance and harmony with itself and with nature.  Okada predicted that this new civilization would come into flower by the middle of the 21st Century.  Human consciousness and the awareness that we must live in harmony in order to survive and thrive as we keep expanding in population are becoming driving forces in shaping policies and practices, especially with regards to food production.  The Nature Farming movement, combined with appropriate technologies, such as the use of Effective Microorganisms (EM), is in the process of becoming a global solution to the problem of feeding humanity while remaining in harmony with nature.  EM Nature Farming even holds the promise of being a key tool in the transition process of converting agriculture from present conventional practices to sustainable organic methods.  EM is proving to be a key tool in doing this, and in repairing many kinds of damage to the environment.


Dr. Higa and the Discovery of EM


How EM was Discovered?

 

Dr. Teruo Higa was born December 28, 1941, and grew up on a small farm in rural Okinawa.  As a youth, he studied ken po, the Japanese martial art of the sword. His love of farming and of nature and his ability to cut to the heart of matters has guided his life and his work. He graduated from the University of the Ryukyus with a degree in Agriculture and received his doctorate from Kyushu University. In 1970 he returned as a lecturer to the University of the Ryukyus, and became a full professor there in 1982.


Dr. Higa began his research that led to the discovery of EM in 1969.  Initially, he studied the ability of various bacteria to impart frost protection to tender fruits.  His success in this area led him to investigate vigorously the possible uses of beneficial microorganisms in agriculture.  He often describes his quest in his lectures as follows:

 

“At first, I was one of the chief proponents of chemical-based agriculture.  Having grown up on a farm, I experienced first hand the drudgery of relying on compost and manure for fertilizer.  Upon entering my studies in agriculture, I vowed to find methods to make such drudgery obsolete.  At first, I thought the answer was farming with chemicals, and I made great strides to recommend and promote the use of fertilizers and pesticides among the farmers I was advising.  After a time, however, my own health began to be affected by exposure to the toxic effects of these chemicals, and so, I began to seek alternatives, but still avoided the so-called “organic methods” because of the work involved making compost.  So, I sought the answer in working with beneficial microorganisms.

 

When I started this research, I gathered together samples of all the beneficial microorganisms that were available in the type-culture collections around the world.  Initially, there were about two thousand species I was working with.  As I cultured them out in test tubes and on selective media, I noticed that many of them were quite unpleasant to work with.  In fact, some of them made me sick from exposure to them.  So, I immediately discarded any candidates which produced noxious odors or other unpleasant effects.  This process of elimination reduced the number of cultures I was working with to about 200 species. 

 

At that point, I learned about the use of “structured water,” also known as π water (pi water).  According to the theory of structured water, nothing noxious or harmful can grow in such water; at the same time, it is said to be beneficial to positive life forms that are useful to humans.  So, I experimented with using such water in the culture media.  The result was amazing, for some species grew robustly, and others faltered and died out. This gave me approximately 80 species to work with, and by trial and error, and with a little serendipity thrown in, the basic formula for EM was discovered.”


What is EM?


The key to the discovery of EM is a certain harmonious grouping of three basic components: photosynthetic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, and yeasts.  Quantitatively, photosynthetic bacteria form a minor component of EM, but functionally, they form the key to the way EM works in the environment.  The lactic acid bacteria and yeasts form partnerships with the photosynthetic bacteria.  This alliance of these three groups enables other groups of beneficial microorganisms to be functional under conditions which they would otherwise not thrive, or even survive.  Actinomycetes, beneficial fungi, and free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria are the chief allies to the basic triumvirate of photosynthetic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. 

When added to the environment, these “Effective Microorganisms” act to enhance the activities of other beneficial microorganisms, either those already present in the environment, or those incidentally present in the EM cultures. These include cellulose-digesting bacteria, many kinds of aerobic bacteria, pseudomonades, Rhizobium sp., and beneficial fungi such as mycorrhizae and Tricoderma sp.,  and many others. EM as a microbial inoculant helps to increase the overall vigor and species diversity of the beneficial micro flora in the soil or whatever environment where EM is applied. 

 

At the same time, the activities of the EM produce substances and by-products that are very beneficial to the soil food web and the environment.  These beneficial substances include many enzymes, organic acids, vitamins, amino acids, chelated micro-nutrients and other growth factors that benefit soil-plant relationships.  The positive influence of these substances secreted by the beneficial microorganisms activated by the use of EM is at least as important as the activities of the microorganisms in EM itself in creating conditions for healthy crops.

 

Since the initial discovery of EM,  an evolution is taking place in understanding the nature and properties of EM as a new tool for creating a sustainable agriculture and environment.  First, EM was used simply as a general-purpose microbial inoculate for application to crops.  Soon, it was discovered that EM could also benefit livestock applications. As EM began to be widely used, observations suggested that EM has additional properties besides just the type and number of beneficial microorganisms in the EM cultures.  Observations of the effects of EM use on tools,  equipment and facilities demonstrate a strong antioxidant character for EM.  This antioxidant ability of EM led to new applications of EM and development of new forms of EM products.  Investigation of these new forms and applications of EM led to the study of the physics of EM.  The role of “nuclear magnetic resonance” or nmr as an important property of EM cultures and EM products, especially EM extracts and EM ceramics, is a current topic of EM research.

 

Scientific investigation into EM continues and is ever-expanding.  In some countries, the government agencies have become involved in teaching farmers and other groups about the benefits of using EM.  Use of EM has spread to millions of households and thousands of farms around the world.


Nature Farming and EM Philosophy


The philosophy of Nature Farming and EM technology focuses on observing and imitating nature.  If we closely and correctly observe nature, we can discover the mechanisms and relationships that enable nature to survive and thrive in this world.  Mokichi Okada spent years communing with nature in the mountains and forests of Japan.  He closely observed the relationships of plants and soil, and became convinced that living soil held mysterious powers of regeneration. The tendency of natural plant communities to create a harmonious balance of life that was very stable and resilient, capable of enduring over centuries and millennia, provoked Okada to imagine that this same harmony and balance could be created in the human activity of agriculture. Starting in 1933, and continuing until his death in 1955, Okada experimented with adapting the patterns and principles he observed in nature to the practice of farming.  Okada shared his insights with his students and others, and communicated by letter with other investigators of natural and organic agriculture, especially with J. I. Rodale in the United States.

 

From the very beginning of the Nature Farming movement, practical testing and demonstration went hand-in-hand with theoretical development. Okada recruited assistants to help him test and perfect nature farming practices.  The practical results of this testing helped confirm Okada’s observations from nature. 

 

Many of the practices of nature farming are completely at odds with the practices and viewpoint of conventional agriculture.  A prime example of this is the concept of crop rotation.  In conventional agriculture, crops must be rotated constantly to avoid build-up of pest insects and diseases.  If a conventional farmer follows a crop with the same crop on the same field, often the build-up of pests and diseases are so severe that the crop is an economic failure. Not so with nature farming.  Okada demonstrated that planting the same crop on the same field time after time using nature farming practices created a situation where the crop acted like the climax vegetation of a natural ecosystem.  The more the crop was planted on the same soil, the better it grew. It was as if the crop became a “specialized worker”, increasingly adept at transforming the raw materials of the soil, water, air and sun into the final product, itself.  So, Okada strongly recommended planting the same crop on the same soil time and again.

 

Another practice of nature farming recommended by Okada is seed saving and planting generation after generation of seed of crops grown using nature farming practices.  Within a couple of years, such cultivars exhibited superior quality of nutrition and taste.  Of course, this can only be easily done with open-pollinated varieties, not readily with hybrids and certainly not GMO seeds. But, isn’t this the way of nature after all?  Are not the genotypes of the seeds of the plants of the forests and prairies perfectly adapted to their local conditions of soil type and climate by the repeated generations growing there? Similarly, Okada recommended planting wind breaks of trees surrounding fields so that the fields resembled clearings in the forest.  Keeping the soil covered with a growing crop or thick layer of mulch was also highly recommended.  Detailed recommendations were given for rice growing, the most important crop in Japan, such as warming irrigation water in spring by passing it over shallow ditches.


Basic to the nature farming philosophy according to Okada was the principle of balancing the three primal energies of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon.  Each of these was associated with a basic element, namely, fire, soil, and water.  Each of these, in turn, was associated with an essential nutrient, oxygen, nitrogen, and hydrogen.  At first glance, such ideas may seem esoteric and irrelevant, but, in practice, they beautifully reflect the natural world and the cycles of nature. For the balance of these three energies of Sun, Earth and Moon is exactly what nature exhibits in the natural progression of the seasons.  To be successful, any farmer, but especially those following nature farming principles, must adhere closely to the cycles of the seasons controlled by the passage of the earth around the sun, the cycles of winter, spring, summer and fall.  Lunar cycles are known to be significant to plant growth due to the influence of the moon on water cycles. 

 

Okada’s teachings on nature farming were summarized by Dr. Teruo Higa as the Five Principles of Nature Farming.  The Five Principles, taken together, help to define true nature farming.  They are:

 

1. Nature farming is simple to understand and can be practiced by anyone.

2. Nature farming is beneficial to both the farmer and society and protects the environment.

3. Nature farming preserves and protects the soil, the basis of sustainable agriculture.

4. Nature farming preserves nature and the environment for future generations.

5. Nature farming is able to continuously increase production to meet the needs of an expanding human population without disrupting or destroying nature.

 

Mokichi Okada emphasized the role of “Living Soil” as the key principle in successful Nature Farming.  He spoke of the mysterious power of living soil to provide for the needs of all kinds of plant life.  Okada recognized that there was a power in living soil that could heal itself in response to disruptions such as fire, flood, even volcanic activity or earthquakes.  He also saw that this power could be assimilated by plants and transformed into “Life Force”, the true source of nutrition in food.  Nature farming was designed by Okada to maximize the life force in resulting crops.  According to Okada, such crops would experience little damage from insects and diseases, and provide the optimum nutrition to sustain animals and humans.

 

It was Dr. Teruo Higa’s great insight due to his work with Effective Microorganisms to recognize that the mysterious power of living soil was the result of the work of the mostly invisible soil life, the microorganisms, earthworms and other living components of the soil.  The interesting thing is that it turns out that the organisms in Effective Microorganisms (EM) are the key to creating living soil in a reliable and predictable manner.

 

 

Dr. Higa’s studies of EM and various farming systems lead him to create a system to classify soils according to their microbial activity and characteristics.  The system of Microbial Classification of Soil created by Dr. Higa demonstrates that there is a very close correlation with the type of farming system being used and the Microbial Classification of the Soil. This system of soil classification is one of the key concepts in Nature Farming with EM.


There are four soil types:

 

Ø                  Disease-Inducing Soil, characteristic of conventional farming systems using heavy tillage and chemical inputs. The disruptive effects of conventional farming are reflected in reduced species diversity and reduced numbers of beneficial microorganisms and a high number of putrefactive and pathogenic microorganisms. Epizoic disease outbreaks  are a constant worry, and commonly cause severe economic damage unless controlled by  toxic chemicals or other measures. Earthworms and other macro-fauna of the soil are also low in number and activity.

 

Ø                  Disease-Resistant Soil, characteristic of organic farming systems using reduced tillage and organic inputs. The restorative effects of using organic inputs and reducing tillage help restore species diversity and increase the numbers of beneficial microorganisms, especially aerobic types.  Putrefactive and pathogenic microorganisms, though still present, exist in harmony and balance with beneficial types and usually do not cause epizoic outbreaks of disease. Earthworms and other macro fauna increase in numbers and activity.

 

Ø                  Zymogenic or Nutrient-Sharing Soil, characteristic of the early stages of nature farming systems using reduced tillage, organic inputs plus EM. The use of EM in various ways and forms introduces the fermentation pathway of organic-matter recycling.  Fermentation creates zymogens or enzymes, and a host of other beneficial substances which serve as food and substrates for other beneficial microorganisms. Both population density and species diversity of beneficial microorganisms increase, including both aerobic types and beneficial anaerobic types (facultative anaerobic or fermentation types).  Earthworms and other soil micro-fauna increase even further in numbers, species diversity and activity.  The soil starts to become a living soil. 

 

Ø                  Nutrient-Synthesizing Soil, characteristic of a mature nature farming system, much like a climax forest or prairie, where the soil naturally provides its own fertility from residues and natural processes, such as nitrogen-fixation by free-living and legume-symbiotic microorganisms.   Pathogenic and putrefactive microorganisms perform beneficial functions and do not cause epizoic losses.  Both beneficial microorganisms and macro fauna reach stability with high numbers and maximum species diversity.  The soil becomes truly a living soil, and exists in a natural state of harmony and balance.  The mature nature farming system produces the maximum sustained yield indefinitely.

 

 

EM is the critical tool to transform conventional and even organic farming systems into truly sustainable nature farming systems.  Both conventional and organic farmers are surprised to see the results of using EM in their farms. The effectiveness of EM is one of the reasons why this nature farming method using EM is spreading rapidly in many countries throughout the world.

 

We have learned much from these humble microorganisms known as EM.  Among other things, we can learn to respect differences and work harmoniously with nature to create a truly abundant and sustainable food production system.  Dr. Higa has developed what is known as “EM Philosophy” to help spread the use of EM in agriculture and other applications to help save the earth.  EM Philosophy is modeled on EM itself.  Like EM, we can create a better world for all life through cooperation and sharing the best we have to offer. EM Philosophy requires that EM be low-cost, easy to use and understand, and highly effective in healing the soil and the environment. EM needs to be sustainable, to not cause pollution or harm to humans, animals or plants, or even to the invisible life of the soil.

 

Dr. Higa has chosen not to profit personally from the discovery of EM but rather to share EM freely with the world in order to save it.  Thus, EM is spread mainly through the work of volunteers and the efforts of several organizations that have sprung up to assist Dr. Higa in this work.  EM Research Organization (EMRO) in Okinawa, Japan serves as the international headquarters for this activity.  Since 1989, there have been a series of international conferences on EM and Kyusei (Earth-Saving) Nature Farming.  Conference proceedings and other publications, videos and other resources are available to help spread the information about this important movement.  A list is provided in this manual in the Sources and Resources section.

 

 

In some countries, the national government is leading the expansion effort of EM Nature Farming by providing financial support and other aid through the Ministry of Agriculture.  In other regions, private companies and individuals, or non-profit organizations are leading the way.  EM is always sold at very low cost and minimum profit, to make it affordable.  Profits above costs serve as income to self-fund the work of expansion.

 

So, this is how the EM movement mimics EM itself.  EM helps to create a better world just by using it.  As this EM nature farming expansion activity proceeds, the role and relationship of this movement is being appreciated by both conventional and organic farmers and leaders.  We now examine some of these relationships in order to understand better what EM is and how it works.

 


Relationship of EM Nature Farming to Conventional Agriculture


Conventional agriculture with its high-tech methods and sophisticated equipment and inputs is the dominant method of food production in the world.  Even in developing countries, the use of agricultural chemicals is widespread and dominant.  This approach to food production receives the lion’s-share of government support through agricultural programs, research, and training at the universities and so on.  Yet, many, even in government and at the universities, are becoming concerned about the question of how sustainable is this approach to food production.  Can it be productive over the long term?  Many are expressing doubts and concerns about this issue for a variety of reasons.  Topsoil loss is becoming catastrophic in many regions of the world where conventional practices are followed.  Chemical contamination of the environment and of the food itself is an issue of increasing public concern.  The high costs of farming and the low prices of commodities are driving farmers out of business in record numbers.  Soon, there may not be enough hands to do the work.  In the face of such concerns, how does the EM nature farming movement relate to conventional agriculture.

 

Improving Yield and Quality, Reducing Costs, Increasing Profitability


Even in the context of conventional agriculture using chemical inputs, EM is demonstrating an ability to improve yield and quality while reducing costs and improving profits.  Numerous experiments testing yields using chemical fertilizer with and without EM show that using EM can increase yields significantly above fertilizer alone. (Hussein, et al, 1999) This is an interesting result.  What is even more interesting is that many of these experiments also show that using EM with organic fertilizer, such as compost or green manure, results in yield that are equal to chemical fertilizer.  This removes one of the barriers to transition from chemical-based agriculture to organic farming on a mass scale, namely, that such a move usually results in yield loss, income reduction and loss of profit.  Research shows that over the long term, EM nature farming can out-yield conventional farming and produce crops of superior quality and nutrition while enhancing, not harming the environment. (Higa, 1995) 

 

Using EM and Nature Farming Techniques during Transition

Conventional farmers who are adopting EM nature farming methods find themselves going through a natural process of transition to alternative agriculture.  In order to benefit economically from the use of EM, it is recommended that the farmer use enough EM to obtain the full benefit.  Typically, 20 to 30 gallons of EM extended per acre is recommended for the first three to five year period.  To afford to use this much EM, it is necessary to reduce the amount spent on chemical fertilizer and pesticide.  The usual recommendation is to reduce chemical fertilizer input by 50% and pesticide use by a similar rate.  In that case, the cost of EM is more than compensated by the reduced cost of chemicals.  Generally, the yield will remain about the same or go up slightly, while quality will increase significantly.  This increases net income for the farmer.  In the second year, the same rate of EM is applied, but fertilizer and pesticide is reduced by another 50%.  In the third year, the chemicals can be eliminated entirely.


It is helpful during the transition process to modify the farming system to adopt other nature farming techniques as well as to use EM.  Cover crops and green manures can help grow fertility right on the farm.  Full use of crop residues using EM to help break them down and release nutrients is a wise practice. Reducing tillage also helps EM to become established and for the soil life to proliferate.

 

Insects and diseases are common worries for the conventional farmer, and weed control is a major expense.  In their view, these things are all pests that ruin a crop and destroy their profit.  In the natural scheme of things, these organisms are a part of nature and they all perform useful functions.  Life could not exist in balance without them.

 

During the transition process, the farmer has to learn a new way of thinking.  The farmer has to find the way to use the things in nature to bring the farm into harmony and balance.  This is not really all that difficult, for this is the design of nature.  The farmer needs to learn how to use nature to advantage.  Nature farming makes a science of studying the ways nature creates harmony and balance.  Then, the challenge is to work out a practice or a system that will mimic what nature does and make it applicable to the nature farming system.  A typical example of this is the development of on-farm insectaries, also known as “pest break strips” for use in controlling insects in vegetable crops.  Such a system was developed for the Nature Farm Conversion Project which was a study funded by the California Energy Commission on the energy and cost savings that resulting from transforming a farm that had been farmed with conventional methods for many decades into a nature farm.  This was an abrupt transition, what is called a “cold turkey” conversion from conventional farming to organic nature farming virtually overnight.

 

Pest break strips consist of strips planted to a mixture of alfalfa and clover which are placed at 330 foot intervals to separate crops of organic nature farm vegetables.  In the pest break strips, many sucking and chewing (herbivorous) type insects are attracted due to the high protein content of the plant mixture there relative to the low protein content of the vegetables.  The pests prefer the high protein plants.  The farmer manages this system to advantage by mowing the pest break strip, but the trick is to mow only half of each strip at a time.  These leaves a tall crop of alfalfa/clover mixture for the pests that survive the mowing to move to, and the predators and parasites move there too and build up high concentrations of their numbers relative to the pests.  As this process continues, the predators and parasites quickly build up very high numbers and migrate out to the vegetables in search of food, and end up doing an excellent job of controlling the herbivorous type insects in the vegetables.  This is how a nature farm system can use the forces of nature to create harmony and balance on the farm just as nature does in a forest and prairie.

 

 

Weeds can be controlled by cultivation and using mulches of straw.  There are cover crops that can be planted and turned under that release natural chemicals that destroy or inhibit weeds.  Diseases don’t proliferate in healthy soil/plant communities.  We can also take advantage of the natural resistance of some plants to diseases by using natural selective breeding techniques. 

 

 

 

EM Nature Farming in Relation to Organic Agriculture

 

We usually think of organic agriculture as the goal when we talk about the process of transition and conversion from conventional agriculture.  However, nature farming using EM technology, is able to create a truly regenerative organic agriculture as envisioned by Robert Rodale.   Most forms of organic agriculture do not achieve this regenerative state or are able to do so only after several years of costly transition.  This helps to explain the short-comings of organic agriculture which have provoked so much criticism and resistance on the part of farmers, researchers and policy makers.

 

The criticisms leveled at organic agriculture as a solution to the world food problem of feeding an ever-expanding population of human beings are based on the perception, right or wrong, that organic agriculture simply is not up to the task of feeding the world.  Without the use of chemicals and the other tools and techniques of conventional agriculture, it is said, many people would starve. Scientists and farmers point out, for example, that crop yield and quality often go down dramatically when conventional farmers try to convert to organic agriculture.  Organic farmers and researchers counter that crop yields and quality stabilize at near conventional agriculture levels after a period of four or five years.  But that’s too late for most farmers who are only a crop or two away from bankruptcy to begin with.  Meanwhile, the world food problem grows more precarious every year.  While the debate goes on, soil quality, the factor on which all food production depends, is declining dramatically around the world in all of the critical production areas.  A world food crisis is inevitable unless we end the debate and move quickly towards sustainable practices that regenerate the means of production, especially with respect to restoring soil quality.

 

Nature farming with EM technology has demonstrated the ability to solve the short-comings of organic agriculture while providing the necessary tools and strategies for conventional farmers to safely and economically transition to sustainable practices.  Research has shown that EM and nature farming practices is able to provide abundant food supplies equal to or better than the yield by conventional agriculture.  If this point is taken seriously, then conventional farmers, researchers and policy makers have a new direction to follow in adjusting the world food production system to become environmentally-friendly and sustainable. 

 

Organic Agriculture in America


So, if nature farming with EM technology can answer the concern of growing enough food to feed the world, what might be the relationship of this system of sustainable agriculture to organic agriculture?  In the United States, the organic farming movement began with the efforts of J. I. Rodale and his son Robert, and advanced through the publication of Organic Gardening Magazine and the work of the Rodale Press to publish books and other sources of information.  The Rodale method, based on compost, mulching and natural biological control of pests, 
 gave birth to the system of organic farming that spread throughout America.  J. I. Rodale exchanged correspondence with Mokichi Okada in Japan, so, from the earliest days there has been a cross-fertilization process between organic agriculture and nature farming.

 

The methods developed by J. I. Rodale focused on the use of compost, much as did Mokichi Okada.  Both Rodale and Okada looked to nature for example and inspiration for ideas on how to approach creating sustainable and environmentally-sound gardening and farming practices.  Both also saw the connection between human health and the soil/plant relationship.  To create healthy humans it is necessary to create a healthy soil to create a healthy plant that will truly nourish people.  Both saw the invisible life of the soil as the key to this process.  Both spent their lives seeking the answers to how to create this “living soil”, the key to healthy life.  Both left a legacy of writings and ideas that has deeply influenced both organic farming and nature farming as significant movements in alternative agriculture.

 

Robert Rodale championed the concept of “regenerative organic agriculture”.  Bob Rodale saw that organic agriculture had the potential to transform the wastes of our human culture into the inputs of a sustainable farming system that could feed the world.  Bob Rodale also created the Rodale Institute and recruited reputable scientists to give organic farming serious consideration and study.  He organized the first experiments testing the use of organic farming techniques in the transition from conventional agriculture. He often spoke at conferences and symposia on the topic of organic agriculture, and his writing and speeches helped inspire a whole generation of Americans and people around the world to work to make organic farming a universal practice.

 

Through the work of J. I. and Robert Rodale, and the efforts of many others who were inspired by their work, the organic agriculture movement in the United States was born, grew and prospered.  In 1990, the US Congress recognized the vitality of this movement by enacting the Organic Foods Production Act as part of the 1990 Farm Bill, and charged the USDA with creating a uniform code of standards and a label for the production and marketing of organic foods. Organic food is the fastest growing segment of the food industry in the United States and has become a multi-billion dollar a year business.

 

Compared to organic agriculture, Nature Farming in the United States is still in its infancy.  EM was introduced to the United States in 1990 as part of the Nature Farm Conversion Project.  In 1992, EM was approved by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) as suitable for use in organic agriculture.  In 1993, the Third International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming was held in Santa Barbara, California.  This event helped introduce Nature Farming and EM technology to many key people in the alternative and sustainable agriculture research community in the United States.  Also in 1993, EM Technologies, Inc. was incorporated as a non-profit organization and began spreading interest in Nature Farming and EM technology.  A number of model farm and research projects in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Central America have ensued and Nature Farming with EM is increasing throughout the Americas.

 

Since the beginning there has been a connection and a link between nature farming in Japan and the organic farming movement in America.  Today, nature farming is recognized in Japan as one of the most important methods of providing food that is certified organic.  Nature farming with EM is poised in the United States to become much more popular as an organic production system under the National Organic Program.

 

Rudolf Steiner and Bio-dynamic Agriculture


In 1924, Rudolf Steiner presented a series of lectures on Agriculture to some farmers and out of these lectures the Bio-dynamic-Agriculture movement was born. Like nature farming, bio-dynamic agriculture looks to living soil as the key to healthy plant life resulting in healthy humans and animals that live on that food.  Also like nature farming, bio-dynamic agriculture seeks to balance celestial energies in the process of farming by closely following the cycles of the sun, moon, planets and constellations.

 

Bio-dynamic agriculture also uses certain preparations made from cow manure, minerals and herbs as homeopathic sprays to enhance certain energies in the soil and in plants and in the atmosphere surrounding the farm. The bio-dynamic method is as widespread in Europe and Australia as organic farming is in America and as popular as nature farming is in Japan and Asia. In 1995, the Fourth International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming was held in Paris, France and a number of important figures in the bio-dynamic movement attended and gave presentations.  IFOAM meetings have also served as a venue for the exchange of ideas between the proponents of Nature Farming and the biodynamic movement.

 

In the United States, the bio-dynamic movement chose to opt out of the National Organic Program, and thus, there is only limited interaction with it.  Yet most people in the organic farming movement in the United States recognize the bio-dynamic method as a form of organic agriculture.  Limited research has shown interesting interactions between EM and bio-dynamic sprays, and bio-dynamic farms who have tried EM have seen improved results in their fields. The Lubke family of Austria are renowned for teaching a method of composting using a form of bio-dynamic spray have come to recommend using EM on manures and other materials to treat or prevent putrefaction.

 

John Jeavons and Bio-Intensive Agriculture


John Jeavons was a student of Alan Chadwick who introduced the French Intensive Method to the United States.  This method uses a system of double-digging beds and close planting techniques to produce amazing amounts of food in small spaces. See: Ecology Action for more information.  The author of the present work used a modified form of this method to garden under desert conditions for many years. Although the method is very productive, the use of EM was shown to improve productivity and drought tolerance.  In a discussion with John Jeavons, the idea was proposed to substitute use of EM for double-digging entirely.  These experiments are yet to be performed.

 

Bill Mollison and Permaculture


One of the most popular movements in organic agriculture in the United States currently is permaculture, which has a world-wide following.  The term “Permaculture” was invented by Bill Mollison, the founder of the movement, to signify “permanent agriculture”.  Bill Mollison modeled permaculture on the dynamics of forest ecosystems which he had studied for many years.  In permaculture, crop plants are used to recreate the same kind of multi-storied canopy as a forest but with far more food production for humans than a natural forest.  In many ways, permaculture resembles and incorporates similar principles as Nature Farming.  Both rely on close observation of nature to guide the farmer in designing the farm as a system.  Some practitioners of permaculture are using EM and Nature Farming practices in their permaculture designs.  This is only natural, as permaculture principles seek always to find ways to adapt plants, soil, local culture and other factors to create site-specific solutions to the problem of creating an abundant food supply.  Most likely this process of adaptation and cross-fertilization of ideas and methods will continue and increase in the future.


Traditional Farming Systems of Indigenous Peoples


In the Americas, the traditional farming systems of the indigenous peoples were the original nature farming practices used to supply food.  While much of this way of life has been disrupted over the centuries since the opening of the Americas to colonization, there is also a resurgence of interest in the traditional methods of agriculture.  The Traditional Native American Farming Association (TNAFA) has sponsored a series of workshops to introduce Nature Farming with EM to traditional peoples in the Southwest.  Many tribes have substantial land and water rights and a concern to develop these resources in a sustainable manner to benefit present and future generations.

 

Some demonstration projects occurred on the Gila River Indian Reservation, and others are planned for other tribes.  The Nature Farming method using EM technology is very similar to traditional practices.  The respect for nature and the earth and the sense of kinship with all life that is part of the Native American way is inherently receptive to the concepts and techniques of Nature Farming. 

 

 

EM Products and Forms


There are many forms of EM which find use in agriculture.  For more information on EM products and applications visit the following web sites for details:
www.emamerica.com;  www.emro.co.jp.  To order EM in the lower 48 states region of the U. S., contact EM America at www.emamerica.com

 

EM-1

 

EM-1 Agricultural is available in 5 gallon and 55 gallon sizes and is the basic stock solution of EM for agricultural applications.  EM-1 Agricultural is also used to make derived EM products, including EM Activated, EM-Fermented Plant Extract and EM 5.  EM Bokashi and EM compost are also made using EM-1 Agricultural. This product was developed by Dr. Higa to simplify the use of EM in agriculture, especially in the United States. In a sense EM-1 is the “Mother of all things” in terms of EM technology. In the U.S., the most common use of EM-1 is to make “activated EM”, which multiplies the amount of EM up to 22 times the original amount of EM-1.  The use of EM activated greatly reduces the cost of applying large amounts of EM for agricultural applications, which makes the use of EM very cost-effective.  Directions for making EM activated are available from EM America.  See: Directions for making EM Activated.

 

Secondary EM Products: EM Activated, EM-Fermented Plant Extract (EM-FPE), EM Bokashi and EM-5


Perhaps the most interesting aspect of EM technology for agricultural applications is the many extended forms of EM that can be created by the farmer-user if so desired.  These extended forms of EM reduce the cost of applying ample doses of EM over the large-sized farms so typical of commercial agriculture in the United States.  Each of these secondary forms of EM has unique properties which can be exploited to diversify the application of EM to crops and soils.  Such diversity has been proven beneficial in restoring the health of the soil/crop ecosystem.

 

Activated EM is made by culturing EM-1 in a closed container on a simple substrate of sugar (molasses) and purified water. In practice, plastic containers, drums or tanks are used which can be reasonably closed and made air-tight.  Glass is never used, as pressure develops due to the fermentation process and glass might explode.  The formula used is generally either a 1:1:10 ratio of EM, molasses and purified water, or a 1:1:20 ratio.  In some applications, higher ratios will be used, such as 1:1:50 or 1:1:100. 

 

The principal difference between the different ratios is the storage life of the Activated EM. Higher dilution rates result in more product to use but at the sacrifice of storage life.  The pH of the Activated EM determines whether the extension/activation is successful and complete.  Ideal pH is 3.5.

 

Quality control is critical to successful activation of EM.  This means that the vessel used must be thoroughly cleaned and free of any contamination that will introduce putrefaction into the process.  For large-scale production for commercial farms, cone-bottomed tanks are recommended, as they are easy to clean and maintain.  Purified water is created by two simple techniques.  First, EM-ceramics are used to treat the water by inserting them in the water.  There are two forms of EM-ceramics commonly used for such purpose, a powder form and an extruded form that resembles marbles or pieces of pipe.  The powder is used at a rate of 1 teaspoon per 50 gallons of water to be treated.  The extruded form is used at the rate of 1 pound per 1000 gallons.

EM-ceramics will induce the nuclear magnetic resonance of EM into the water, making it especially compatible with the growth of EM during the extension process.  EM-X can also be added at 1:10,000 ratio to the first batch in a new container.  The other method of purifying the water is to heat it to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.  In practice, the water is first treated with EM ceramics for at least 1 day, then it is heated to 140 degrees F.  The molasses is added to the heated water, which sterilizes the molasses.  The molasses/purified water is allowed to circulate or mix, then allowed to cool down to about 95 degrees F before the EM is added.  When these techniques are used, excellent quality activated EM is usually ready in 3 to 5 days, depending on the temperature.  In cold climates, the practice has been adapted to include insulating the tank or heating the room where the activation process is conducted.  Temperature controls the rate of the fermentation process.  Again, pH is monitored at least daily to check the process.  Also, gas pressure is released by opening the container or using a pressure-release valve set at 2 psi.

 

Failures or poor results (not reaching pH 3.5) usually can be traced to quality control factors that include: a) molasses quality or contamination; b) water quality or c) tank/area cleanliness.  Molasses should be free of contaminants and additives. Vendors often dismiss this concern, so one must be vigilant in determining that the molasses does not contain additives such as urea or preservatives to control mold.  Molasses that is suitable usually is about 75% pure molasses mixed with water to allow it to pour.  In most areas of the U. S., high quality molasses is available for a decent price.  Molasses is the preferred form of sugar to use to make activated EM, as it contains important minerals as well as sugars.  Other sugars used include rice syrup, sorghum syrup, corn syrup and raw brown sugar. Sugar beet molasses is not recommended due to contaminants.

 

Water quality can be a factor when the source of the water contains contaminants or is of poor quality.  City water with high doses of chlorine and fluoride should be aerated for 1 day, treated with EM-ceramics, and possibly filtered to remove as much of these contaminants as possible.  Poor quality water, especially water that comes from a foul-smelling source, such as a pond or ditch is not suitable for use in activating EM.  Use good quality well water or other such sources, or treat the water by aeration and filtration to make it suitable.

 

Containers can become contaminated in various ways.  Don’t use a container that was used to hold fish oil or similar products that have a bad smell.  Avoid such containers either to make EM extended in them, or to transport or store water, molasses or finished extended EM.  The contamination will ruin the quality of whatever comes in contact with it.

 

While it may seem that making high quality activated EM is quite a lot of work, the rewards are great, for activated EM is the most cost-effective way to use EM in farming.  Generally, it works out that the cost of activated EM is $1 to $3 per gallon.  This means that application rates of 10 to 30 gallons per acre are economically feasible for most crops and situations.  At such high rates of application of EM, results are achieved very quickly, and economic returns can be achieved in the first season of use. When high rates of EM are used, the farmer can reduce other inputs, such as chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and still get a high yield and good quality. Details on how to do this are presented in later sections of this manual.

 

EM fermented plant extract or EM-F. P. E. is a fermentation of plant material using a mixture of EM and molasses.  Either EM-1 or activated EM can be used to make EM-F. P. E. The plant material is chosen based on three criteria: a) nutrient content/availability; b) anti-oxidant content/availability; c) non-toxic nature.  The extract is created by fermenting plant material in a closed container using a 1:1:100 ratio of EM, molasses and water.  Chopped plant material is simply added to the container and soaked in the solution of EM, molasses and water, and allowed to ferment for 7 to 10 days or so.  A pH of 3.5 is ideal for the finished solution, but as long as a sweet, pickling smell is present, the material is useable.  For additional instructions on making and using EM fermented plant extracts see directions from EM America.

 

EM fermented plant extract can be used in similar fashion to compost tea.  EM fermented plant extract can combine local plant materials and transform weeds into nutrients to feed crops, for example.  Anti-oxidant rich plant materials can be added, such as garlic, nettle, and chili pepper to enrich the extract.  Always avoid toxic plant materials in making EM-F. P. E. to be on the safe side, as it is not certain that the fermentation will break down all the toxic compounds before use. EM-F. P. E. can be used in similar ways to activated EM, and, in practice, is often used alternately with activated EM and EM-5. Application rates are usually 1:500 to 1:1000.

 

EM-5 is a 1:1:1:1:6 ratio of EM-1, molasses, alcohol, vinegar and water.  It is created in similar fashion to activated EM, and is ready to use once it reaches a pH of 3.5.  Application rates are in the range of 1:500 to 1:1000. Garlic and chili juice is often added to EM-5 to enhance its anti-oxidant qualities and help repel insect pests.  For additional information on making and using EM-5 see directions from EM America.

 

EM-X

EM-X is a highly refined form of EM that is used for its anti-oxidant qualities. EM-X is an extract of a fermentation of rice bran, tropical fruits and seaweeds using EM.  This extract is used as a refreshing tonic drink for human consumption.  Farming is one of the most stressful occupations in the world.  The relaxing effects and anti-oxidant qualities of EM-X are useful to farmers to enhance their well-being and ability to function in such a stressful environment.

 

Some farmers share EM-X with their plants, pets and livestock, and report beneficial results.  The anti-oxidant qualities of EM-X can help plants, pets and livestock withstand stress too.  Because it is a concentrate, very low doses are effective.  Typically, 1:10,000 is the proper ratio of EM-X to water for most applications. In Japan, EM-X is often added to EM spray programs at the above dilution.  This appears to increase fruitfulness in such crops as greenhouse cucumbers and tomatoes.

 

EM Fermented Materials: EM Bokashi, EM Compost, EM Ceramics

EM fermented products or materials include EM Bokashi, EM Compost and EM Ceramics.  

 

EM Bokashi is a fermented compost product.  EM Bokashi (Bokashi is a Japanese word that means: “fermented material”) is usually made from various waste products such as rice hulls, rice bran, straw, manure, shellfish wastes, sawdust and the like.  The materials are usually combined and mixed together and soaked in a solution of EM and molasses.  Any form of EM liquid can be used for this purpose (except EM-X ), but usually EM-1 or activated EM is used.  Formulas for the mixture of EM and molasses vary somewhat, but either 1:1:100 or 1:1:500 is commonly used.  It is said that 1:1:100 ratio of EM, molasses and water makes “sure-fire” EM Bokashi. 

 

The mixture of EM liquid and the solid materials is such as to create a saturated mix that is about 40% moisture.  A handful of the mix will ball up, but crumbles easily when poked with a finger.  If the ball of mix exudes free liquid and remains a solid ball when poked, add more dry material to the mix to absorb the excess moisture. The key to making EM Bokashi is to ferment the mix in a closed container that excludes air.  Avoid glass because of possible gas build-up. Plastic bags, tarps, and sealable containers, even covered trenches in the earth, can be used to make EM Bokashi. Once sealed in the closed container, it usually takes 7 to 10 days, sometimes more, to make a good EM Bokashi.  When finished, the EM Bokashi will have a fermented smell, often vaguely smelling like a fine wine or similar odor.  Different materials will smell different, but the odor of good quality EM Bokashi is distinctive.  It smells good!  A spoiled batch will have a bad odor.  Don’t use spoiled Bokashi, but recycle it using 1:1:100 EM and molasses and put it in a trench in the soil to process for one month. See: Directions for EM Bokashi at EM America.

 

EM Bokashi is used in many ways.  EM Bokashi can be used as a specialty organic fertilizer to side-dress growing crops.  It can be used to make bookish balls. It can be used as a pre-plant fertilizer.  It can be used to make a compost tea.  Other uses include serving as to inoculate kitchen waste to make “kitchen-waste Bokashi”.  Actually, there is a very large recycling movement in Japan and Korea involving millions of households using this system to recycle kitchen waste into fertilizer for organic farms.

 

In the United States, EM Bokashi to make kitchen waste Bokashi has focused on institutional applications, such as to recycle lunchroom wastes from schools, nursing homes, and other institutions.  Market gardeners have also established relationships with restaurants to deliver organic produce for sale and pick up their kitchen waste to recycle into Bokashi. Gardening magazines and catalogs are now offering information and selling kits for home gardeners to learn how to make EM Bokashi and use it in their gardens. For information, see EM Bokashi Network at www.emtechnologynetwork.org.

 

EM Compost is compost made using EM to inoculate the materials to be composted.  Experience in America demonstrates that a “static pile” method with minimum turning once the pile is thoroughly inoculated with EM works best.  Windrow compost systems that are turned frequently produce inferior compost because the excess air introduced into the pile interferes with the fermentation action of EM. EM extended is recommended as the most cost-effective form of EM used to make compost.  One quart per ton of material, or 1:10,000 dilution in the water used to wet the pile is the recommended rate. Studies using EM-1, EM-5 and EM Bokashi to inoculate compost show the ability of different forms of EM to control the temperature and the outcome of the composting process. EM-1 and EM-5 make a hot compost, and are good to sterilize materials. EM-Bokashi makes cool compost, full of Actinomycetes, and is useful in making compost that will have good disease-suppressive qualities. Results of using EM in composting demonstrates odor control, reduction of flies and vermin, faster, more complete processing, and higher yields of a finer quality product.  EM compost can be used in any of the familiar ways of normal compost, but, in general, results will be superior using EM compost, particularly in farming system using other EM products, such as EM activated solution.  EM compost is another way to introduce EM into the soil to both stimulate the beneficial microorganisms already in the soil as well as to provide nutrients to the plant. Compost properly made using EM will be free of weed seeds, nematodes and other problems. See: EM Compost.

 

EM Ceramics is made by fermenting clay using EM and then firing it to make ceramic materials.  This technology was pioneered by Dr. Higa.  The resulting material has unique properties due to the nuclear magnetic resonance (nmr) of EM, which becomes fixed in the clay by this process. EM Ceramics are primarily used to purify water, and many kinds of filters and devices are made using this material.  EM ceramic powders are available which can be applied as a dust to plants and the soil.  As such, EM ceramic powder acts in similar ways to paramagnetic rock powders which are coming into prominent use in eco-farming in the United States.  EM ceramics are imported from Japan by EM America and are available in several forms.

EM Terra  Powder and EM Super C are two forms used in agriculture and available from EM America.

 

EM for Livestock/Aquaculture: EM Waste Treatment


EM can be used with tremendous benefit in livestock applications, and even in aquaculture or fish-farming.  EM can also be used to treat wastes and to wash down facilities.  The fermentation power of EM can help stop putrefaction in livestock facilities. Details of the use of EM in livestock applications are provided by EM America (see:
EM Livestock Applications)

 

EM Ceramics, Filters & Other EM Devices and Products


An annual event in Okinawa, Japan is the EM Festival which is held in November each year. The latest developments in EM technology are featured at the conference which accompanies this festival, and often 10,000 people will attend these sessions.  An EM Trade Show is also held outside the conference hall, and hundreds of EM products are on display. This is a good opportunity to learn more about EM technology and its various applications in farming, industry, health care and daily use in the home. EM Ceramics, filters and other EM devices and products are well-developed in Japan.  EM technology has over 20 years of practical application in Japan, and this cutting-edge technology is just now expanding to the United States. For information and announcements about the annual EM festival in Okinawa, visit
www.emro.co.jp

 

EM Grown/Processed Products: EM Cosmetics, EM Gold Tea, EM Beverages, Foods and Fibers

EM is used to grow and process many kinds of products, so many, in fact, that there are specialty stores in Japan which display and sell these products to the general public.  Food grown with EM has wonderful flavor and incredible storage life.  The taste has to be experienced to be believed. Herbal skin care products and cosmetics are made using botanical ingredients grown with EM, and sometimes EM-X is added to improve storage life and to add anti-oxidant qualities to the products. EM Gold Tea is green tea that is organically grown using EM that is enhanced by adding flecks of real gold to the final product. Other EM beverage products are available, such as juices and teas. It is truly wonderful to experience the many applications of EM and to realize what an impact EM technology can have on improving the quality of life for humans while saving the environment for future generations to enjoy. For more information on how to use EM-1, visit here.

 

 

 

General Principles of Using EM for Agricultural Applications


To dial-in the appropriate amount and form of EM for agricultural applications, one must understand the crop and farming system, and apply EM in the right form, timing, rate and frequency of application to achieve success.

 

To begin with, an understanding of the microbial classification of soil as developed by Dr. Higa is  the main starting point to dial-in the proper amount and form of EM to be used (Higa and Parr, 1995).  Dr. Higa indicates that the microbial classification of the soil is closely correlated to the farming system used on that soil.  Thus, a conventional farming system creates a disease-inducing soil and an organic farming system creates a disease-resistant soil. When one starts to use the nature farming system with EM one begins to see truly sustainable agriculture. In the early stages (first 1-3 years of EM applications), a zymogenic or nutrient-sharing soil will develop. In a mature nature farming system (3-10 years of EM applications), a nutrient synthesizing soil will develop where the soil is capable of producing enough nutrients to sustain crops without additional inputs, including EM. The goal is to create a composite soil that is a combination of disease-suppressive, zymogenic (rich in enzymes and nutrient-sharing) and nutrient-synthesizing to create a regenerative farming system using best management practices that are environmentally sound and sustainable.

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So, the fundamental question in starting to dial-in the amount of EM is to ask how this farm is managed.  What crops are grown and what farming system and practices are used?

 

EM is most useful as a tool in the transition process where the farmer aims to move beyond the limits of the existing system.  Conventional farmers find they can use EM to help reduce other inputs, especially chemical fertilizer and pesticides. Usually, farmers can reduce the amount of chemicals used by 25% to 50% per year, and reduce chemicals to zero in three to four years.  With EM, they can do this successfully without reducing yield or quality.  A monitoring program to track fertility levels in the soil and plant, as well as to implement IPM for pest control is  necessary to perform this transition successfully. Hand-held nitrate and phosphorus meters can help track nutrient levels in leaves.  A refractometer is a hand tool to check cell-sap brix in leaves and sugar levels in fruits. When brix levels in the leaves are above a certain value, which varies from crop to crop, the plant is more resistant to insects and diseases.  By carefully monitoring plant health and improvements in soil quality, the farmer in transition can chart a course to success.  When expensive chemical inputs are reduced while maintaining yields and crop quality, farm net income will increase.  This increase in income helps to fuel the transition process.

 

During the transition period from conventional to organic, it is recommended also to use complimentary organic inputs and practices.   Cover crops, green manure crops, proper handling of crop residues, compost, compost tea, kelp, fish-products, garlic and neem, are some of the organic inputs that are compatible and complimentary to EM.  There are also many forms of EM with many different properties which can be used effectively to help the transition process.

 

Even organic farmers will find many benefits from adding EM in its many different forms into their farming system.  EM is unique among organic inputs in that it exploits the fermentation pathway of decomposition. EM prevents putrefaction from developing when organic matter decomposes in the absence of oxygen. The products of fermentation are beneficial to plant and soil life, while the products of putrefaction are toxic. Oxygen can become depleted in soils and compost piles, in ponds and livestock wastes and other situations.  EM can prevent the foul odors associated with putrefaction and ensure that the environment is protected from release of toxic substances.  Pathogenic organisms thrive in a putrefactive environment.  EM can solve many problems, even for the organic farmer. Nature farming systems resemble many existing organic farming systems, especially permaculture systems.  What is unique is the way EM helps to control putrefaction in the environment.  EM also reduces the labor involved in organic farming in many ways.

 

So, to start dialing-in the EM application program, one begins by asking what the existing farm input system is. If it is conventional with lots of chemicals, one may have a long way to go to create a mature nature farming system where the crop becomes like the climax vegetation of a forest or a prairie, and the yield or harvest corresponds with the maximum sustainable yield.  This does not mean that EM cannot benefit conventional farming systems. In fact, research shows that EM does benefit conventional farming systems by helping to increase yields and improve soil quality. However, it does mean that the benefits will be limited, especially if the farmer continues to apply biocides.  In such cases, foliar application of EM, or EM applied pre-plant or at the crop seeding stage may produce the best results.

 

The dialing-in equation is:

 

Crop

Farming System

Timing/Crop Cycle

Form of EM

Rate

Frequency of Application

 


Basically, the equation works this way: look at the crop and farming system being used to grow it and determine the operator's goals and intentions; then examine where one is at relative to the seasonal timing and stage of the crop cycle; examine also what equipment and methods to apply inputs are available. Then, determine which form of EM will be the most effective and economical to use, and the combination of those factors will suggest the best rate and frequency of application to produce the results.  In addition, it is important to keep in mind that EM is a biological tool.  As such, EM works best in the context of a holistic approach to managing the farm production system.  The status of the health of the farm can be determined quantitatively, by proper soil sampling and analysis, and the use of quantitative measurements of soil health and microbial bio‑diversity can assist the farm manager in setting performance milestones that help chart progress and results.

 

Before EM applications begin, it is very helpful to establish what the baseline conditions of the farm are to begin with.  Since the soil is the basis for production, a focus on soil quality is the starting point for establishing the baseline conditions.  It is very helpful if the farmer has been taking soil samples over a period of time and having them analyzed by a reputable laboratory. 

Since we are working with biological materials, it is helpful to start with a baseline analysis of the biological health of the soil.  A good baseline analysis is provided by BBC Laboratories and is known as the six functional groups and diversity index.  It is recommended to take soil samples before the start of EM applications and re-sample periodically to see how EM stimulates the abundance and diversity of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.  A pathogen screen may also be useful, especially if there are known issues, such as soil-borne diseases or nematodes.

 

The USDA has promoted the use of a “Soil Quality Index” to quantify the productivity of soils (Smith, Papendick and Halvorson, 1996; Papendick, Parr and Hornick, 1998; Smith and Halvorson, 1998).  The Rodale Institute favors a regenerative agriculture approach to the issue of soil quality from the point of view of the resulting health of the plant. Most eco-farming crop advisors in the U.S. use an integrated approach based on the work of Dr. William Albrecht and Dr. Carey Reams (see: Acres USA).  The idea is to use a soil analysis as a general indicator, but to rely more on the resulting nutritional status of the crop as an indicator of soil health and balance.

 

The crop being grown will help define which form of EM is economically beneficial.  High-value horticultural crops, such as vegetables, fruit or berries, can benefit from the more-expensive forms of EM, such as EM-1 and EM-5 or higher doses of EM activated. Field crops, pasture and forage crops, and fiber crops such as cotton, have limited value per acre, and corresponding lower input budgets.  For low-value crops, inexpensive forms of EM, such as EM activated, or deployment of an EM reactor may be appropriate, or very limited application of a  more costly form of EM, such as a foliar application of EM-1 or EM-5 may be appropriate.

 

The timing of EM application to coincide with key stages of the crop growing cycle is very important as this determines where the farmer will see the most results and benefits of EM.  The ideal is to start with the application of EM to the preceding crop residues or to a preceding cover crop or green manure crop before the residues are chopped and incorporated.  At each stage of the crop cycle, there are different benefits that can be expected.  EM applied to organic residues will help make the nutrients in them more readily available to the following crop.   EM applied pre-plant will help germinate weed seeds which can be cultivated so the crop will emerge with less weed competition.  EM applied at planting will stimulate germination and provide competitive exclusion to soil-borne diseases that otherwise will cause seed rots and damping off. EM applied during the early stages of crop growth at cultivation time helps convert the nutrients in the weeds to available nutrients for the crops, and helps digest the weeds so they don’t re-grow. EM applied prior to critical filling stages will give the crop a boost when it needs it most.  And so on.  Knowledge of the growth cycle of a crop is very important.  So is knowledge of pest cycles and other problems the farmer may encounter.  EM is much attuned to nature and the phenomena of nature.  The key idea is to try to use EM at every critical stage of the crop cycle.  


There are many forms of EM that can be used in agriculture, and many creative ways of applying EM.  The best approach is to use whatever system is already in place for applying inputs.  If the farmer irrigates, that’s great, because EM-Activated can readily be added to the irrigation water.  This is the most cost-effective method of applying large amounts of EM.  A typical regime would be to aim to use 20 to 30 gallons of EM-Activated per acre.  A pre-plant application of 10 to 15 gallons per acre would be followed by a 5 gallon per acre application at stand establishment. A final application of 5 gallons per acre would be applied at the critical stage of crop development before harvest, at the point where the harvested portion of the crop was being formed.

 

Even in a dryland farming system, there are opportunities to apply EM and allied materials.  In such cases, EM can be applied during seeding as a spray, and it is useful to add EM to any tank mix of starter fertilizer applied at planting time.  EM can be side-dressed as EM ceramics, and top dressed as EM Bokashi.  EM can be sprayed by ground equipment or by airplane.  EM can be fogged.  There are almost countless ways to apply EM in agriculture.  Look at what other materials are being applied and how and when they are being applied.  Then look for ways to add EM and reduce the amount of other inputs.  This is the key idea.  Don’t just add EM.  Use EM to save on other inputs.  In this way, we see the principle that “EM doesn’t cost, it saves!” 

 

For example, the farmer should add EM but also reduce fertilizer input by 25 to 50% the first year.  Do this on a test plot.  The farmer will see that yields remain the same and quality goes up. The next year, reduce fertilizer 50% again, to 1/4 the original amount, and the farmer should cut pesticides by 50 to 75%.  Again, the farmer will see yields remain high, and quality improving.  The third year, the farmer should be able to eliminate all fertilizer and pesticides, but to use organic inputs instead, such as EM compost, EM Bokashi, and such things as fish emulsion, garlic, humates and kelp.  All of a sudden, the farmer sees that he can farm organically and still maintain high yields, and his quality has gone way up.  So, do the math all the way through this process and look at the reduction in costs and the improvement in income to the farmer.  This is why the EM Nature Farming movement is the most exciting thing happening in agriculture today, because for the first time in decades, farmers can reduce their costs and start making money.  This is why EM and Nature Farming are the basis for creating a truly sustainable organic agriculture that can transform the world in the 21st Century.

 

Rates and sample frequencies of application for the various forms of EM used in agricultural applications are shown in Table 1 below.  However, the general guideline of Dr. Higa on this matter should always be remembered: “If you’re using EM and it isn’t working, you’re not using enough of it.  Use EM until it works!”  It is generally recommended to use EM at every opportunity and in every form possible as much as is economically feasible.  Higher rates and frequencies may be necessary at the outset, especially during any transition away from using chemical inputs.  Over time, the farmer learns what products to use when.  Details for various crop types and case studies are provided in the following section of this manual.  However, the farmer will likely develop insights as to the most effective program to use based on experimentation and experience.  Remember to monitor progress periodically by sampling and testing.  Keep good records of results, and record yield and quality for each crop.

        Table 1: Form, Rate and Frequency of EM Application for Agricultural  Applications. 

 

 

Form of EM

 

Rate

 

Frequency of Application

 

EM-1

 

1:500 or 1:1000 in sprays. 1: 10,000 in hydroponics and irrigation

 

Every 14 to 21 days

 

EM-5

 

1:500 or 1:1000 spray

 

Alternate with EM-A or EM-1 and apply every 14 to 21 days

 

EM-Activated (EM-A)

 

10 to 15 gal. per acre pre-plant; 5 to 10 gal. per acre per application

 

Pre-plant, apply half of the amount for the season; divide the remaining amount in two and apply half at stand establishment and half at crop formation

 

Bokashi

 

0.5 lb To 2.0 lb Per 100 ft2

 

Apply half pre-plant and half at crop formation; can also be used at up to 5% of potting mixes.

 

EM Fermented Plant Extract (EM-FPE)

 

As per EM-A

 

As per EM-A

 

EM + Other Organic Inputs

 

Application rates will depend on recommended rates for the other inputs, but the amount of EM per application can be in the range of 1 to 5 gallons EM-A or EM-FPE

 

1 to 10 x’s or more

 

EM Compost

 

2.0 lb To 5.0 lb Per 100 ft2

 

Apply half pre-plant and half at crop formation; can be used up to 25% of potting mixes

 

EM Bokashi or Compost Tea

 

1:500 to 1:1000 as spray diluted in water

 

As a foliar spray nutrient boost every 14 to 21 days; can be combined with other EM sprays (EM-1, EM-5, EM-A, EM-FPE)

 

EM Super-Fermenter

 

As per EM-A in irrigation

 

As per EM-A

 

EM Ceramics

 

As per Bokashi

 

As per Bokashi

 

 

        Table 2. Overview of Factors Involved in Determining EM Applications for Agriculture

 

 

 

Crop

 

Farming System

 

Timing/Crop Cycle

 

Vegetables

 

Conventional

 

Pre-Plant

 

Tree Fruit

 

Organic

 

Planting

 

Vines - Grapes, Berries

 

Transitional

 

Irrigation or Cultivation or Fertilizing

 

Cane Fruit

 

Early Nature Farming

 

Early Growth Phase

 

Strawberries

 

Mature Nature Farming

 

Pre-Flowering

 

Field Crops – Grains

 

Converting Dormant Ground

 

Fruit/Seed Filling

 

Forages

 

Wild Crafting

 

Pre-maturity

 

Pasture

 

Forest Intercropping

 

Pre-harvest

 

Oil Seed

 

Tree Farming

 

Post-harvest

 

Fiber – Cotton

 

Permaculture

 

Residue Incorporation

 

 

EM Application to Vegetable Crops and Home Gardens


Vegetable crops were the first crops to be grown using EM in the United States.  In 1990, EM was first used at the Naturfarm in Lompoc, California on 75 crop-acres of certified organic vegetables as part of the Nature Farm Conversion Project.  In 1991, EM was introduced for use in home vegetable gardening.  Vegetables are very responsive to EM, and the use of EM improves their flavor, nutrition and storage life. Insect and disease problems are reduced due to better plant health and resistance.  Soil tilth and fertility are enhanced and organic matter increases using EM on vegetables.

 

EM in the Home Garden: Simple methods to apply EM

Using EM in vegetable gardening is very easy to do.  One quart or 1 gallon of Kyusei EM or EM-1 will usually last the average garden a full season.  To apply EM, we recommend using a “Dial-a-Sprayer” by Ortho Garden Products which are sold in most garden outlets.  The Dial-a-Sprayer attaches to the end of a garden hose.  It consists of a container which hold about one quart of liquid, and a cap which has a dial which can be set to various dilutions, starting at 1 teaspoon of product per gallon of water passing through the hose.  The dial-a-sprayer will facilitate applying EM in the proper dilution.  One teaspoon per gallon is equal to approximately a 1:1000 dilution; two teaspoons per gallon is equal to approximately 1:500; three teaspoons (one tablespoon) is equal to approximately 1:250, and so on.  A strong solution of EM can be applied to the soil before planting to help loosen the soil and to germinate weed seeds.  Then the soil can be worked up easily.  It is not necessary to double-dig or deep till when EM is used.  The biological action of EM plus the activities of earthworms will loosen the soil for roots to penetrate easily.  EM in the garden can save a lot of hard work and back-ache when used this way.  To fertilize with EM, EM compost (or any good quality compost) is applied in a layer that is one to three inches deep.  EM Bokashi is then applied at a rate of one pint to one quart per 100 square feet.  The vegetable bed is then covered with straw mulch, and EM solution at 1:1000 is applied as a spray.  Transplants can be planted by pulling back the straw and digging a small hole to set in the transplant.  The straw is then put back around the transplant and the plant is watered in to settle the soil around the roots.  For direct seeding, the straw can be pulled back with a rake and left aside while seeds are sown in a line with a seeder or by hand.  After the seeds germinate, the straw can be put back in place.  The straw mulch is very helpful in protecting the soil and protecting the EM and other beneficial soil organisms from the drying effects of the sun and wind.  It helps to make a home for EM in the soil.

 

As the vegetables grow, EM can be applied in all the various ways and forms described previously.  The more EM and the more different forms of EM that are used, the better the results.  EM-1 can be applied as a spray at 1:500 to 1:1000 dilutions.  If drip irrigation is used, there are inexpensive fertilizer injectors that can be used to apply EM through drip irrigation.  EM will not plug up the lines - in fact, it will help keep them from plugging.  EM-5 and EM Fermented Plant Extract can be applied at the same rate of 1:500 to 1:1000 as a spray on plants. 

 

Use good practices such as avoiding spraying plants in the heat of the day.  Spray in the morning or early evening.  EM can also be applied as solid forms as EM Bokashi and EM compost sprinkled around the base of the plants and watered in.  EM can be applied as a compost or Bokashi tea by steeping a mesh bag full of EM compost or Bokashi in a tub of water.  Strain the liquid and apply as a spray at 1:500 or 1:1000, or simply dilute and apply in a watering can around the base of the plants.  EM ceramics can also be applied with positive effects.  Use a dust applicator such as the popular “Dustin Mizer” which is sold through garden catalogs.  The EM ceramics can be applied either pre-plant to the soil, or when plants are about half-way to maturity.  This works especially well with tomatoes and other fruiting vegetables.

 

EM can also be used after harvesting to wash vegetables. EMX can be used as a dilute spray (1:10,000) on vegetables and they will last much longer in storage.  Crop residues and kitchen wastes can be treated with EM.  Chop the residues with a mower or by hand before spraying with EM.  Then incorporate the residues lightly into the top soil.  Cover with a straw mulch and spray some more EM solution on top.  In about two weeks the soil will have turned the residues into EM soil Bokashi, and the soil can be replanted.  This method can also be used in dry areas and in cold climates to prepare the soil for the next season.  Simply let the soil sit with the straw mulch cover until the rainy season starts or over winter until the next spring in cold climates.  This saves much labor during the critical planting time when the soil is often too wet to work.

 

Market Gardening with EM and EM Bokashi Recycling System


Market gardeners in the United States have many positive experiences using EM in growing vegetables, flowers and herbs for the restaurant trade and for food-buying clubs known as CSA’s or Community Supported Agriculture.  In Texas, a number of market gardeners made an alliance with restaurant owners and chefs to deliver high quality organic vegetables grown using EM and nature farming methods.  The market gardeners received a nice premium price for their organic vegetables. They also were able to get the restaurants to use EM Bokashi on their kitchen wastes and to let the market gardeners take away the wastes for processing into finished EM Bokashi to use as fertilizer.  This truly is a win-win strategy.

 

Many of these market gardeners were already using good organic production practices before they were introduced to EM and nature farming.  EM Bokashi played a key role in attracting these gardeners to try EM technology on their crops.  EM improved their composting practices and EM Bokashi was used as a side-dress fertilizer.  EM sprays of EM-1, EM-5 and EM Fermented Plant Extract proved to be valuable tools to add to their growing methods.

 

In one project in Colorado, a community garden served the needs of a spiritual retreat center.  They had used organic methods for forty years, so they were very surprised when adding EM to their practices to see such a dramatic improvement.  Their results were presented in two papers at the Third International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming (Lynch, 1996a and 1996b).

 

 

Commercial Vegetable Crop Production Using EM

 

The Nature Farm Conversion Project demonstrated the successful application of nature farming methods including the use of EM to help heal a soil that was depleted by over 30 years of conventional practices.  The property consisted of 183 acres of which 75 acres were devoted to vegetable crops.  A rigorous research plan studied the transition process and documented results with respect to soil fertility and tilth, pest management, and economic performance.  Baseline data was taken during start-up, and a talented Project Team was assembled to advise and monitor the results (Phillips, 1996).

 

Among the lessons learned was the successful use of EM and nature farming practices to help improve soil quality.  Soil organic matter was very low as measured at the baseline sampling in 1988 (1.2 to 1.8 percent O.M.).  After five years, percent organic matter increased to 2.0 to 3.2 percent.  In addition to EM, crop residues, compost and cover crops were used to improve soil quality and fertility. Tillage practices also were a factor in improving soil quality and tilth.  A permanent bed system was employed using a controlled-traffic layout for the entire farm.  In each field, permanent growing beds were established using tractors to lay out the beds which were 80 inches wide from center to center.  All equipment was set up to work with this bed width, so tillage, bed preparation, planting, cultivating and harvesting could all be done without driving equipment over the beds.  This arrangement reduces soil compaction and reduces the need to deep till to break up compaction. 

 

Selecting the proper equipment to work this permanent bed system proved critical to success.  A conventional rototiller, for example, created a compaction layer in clay soils as the bolo tines turned through the bottom of their stroke in the soil.  At first, chisel plows were used to break up this compaction layer so roots could penetrate.  Later, a rotary spade was used instead of the rototiller for primary tillage.   The spading action eliminated the compaction layer.  A bed-shaper tiller with vertical blades created a finely tilled seed bed.  This tillage system loosened the soil and did a good job of incorporating crop residues, compost and cover crops, but without turning over the soil.

 

 

It was discovered that the most efficient and cost-effective method to improve soil quality quickly was to grow a legume-based cover crop using EM as well as Rhizobium sp. to inoculate the cover crop.  The Rhizobium bacteria are well-known for their ability to colonize the roots of legumes to form a symbiotic relationship with the plant where the bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen and the plant provides sugars.  EM works in similar fashion, to colonize the rhizosphere or the zone surrounding the plant roots.  As roots penetrate the soil, EM follows them.  This results in EM inoculating even deep layers of soil.  EM forms beneficial associations with other friendly bacteria and fungi in the soil, including mycorrhizae fungi.  Together, these organisms for a kind of auxiliary root system that helps supply the plant with water, nutrients and other benefits.  Usually, a farmer will seek to minimize the expense of growing a green manure cover crop and not apply inputs.  However, we learned that using EM on cover crops produced many positive effects and was well worth the added expense. 

 

Cover crops were used in other ways at the Naturfarm.  One technique was to use the ability of certain plants to release weed-suppressive substances when they are chopped and incorporated into the soil in a fresh, green stage of growth.  For summer (warm season) conditions, the combination of Sudan grass and cowpeas proved best for this purpose.  First the Sudan grass was planted with a grain drill and allowed to grow about two weeks.  Then, cowpeas were planted with a bean drill, four rows per bed on 15 inch centers.  At about 6o days, or just as the cowpeas were ready to start flowering, the cover crop was mowed with a flail mower.  Immediately after mowing, the residue was lightly incorporated into the soil with a shallow pass of the rotary spade.  This resulted in the residues releasing their weed-suppressive substances directly into the top six inches of soil.  We found we could follow such a treatment with a closely-spaced crop such as spinach or carrots and not have much problem with weeds.  The results were impressive, and the fields were more clean and free of weeds than neighboring conventional farms using powerful herbicides.

 

Weeds were also controlled by cultivation and hand hoeing, in addition to using the weed-suppressive cover crops.  Special techniques were developed such as pre-plant irrigation with EM.  Weed seeds were encouraged to germinate after beds were shaped and before planting by irrigating and applying 1-5 gallons per acre of EM extended.  For large seeded crops such as beans and corn, seeds were planted about 3 inches deep soon after the pre-plant irrigation.  In five to seven days, the weeds were tilled under by running a spike-harrow set to a shallow depth of one to two inches.  In a few more days, the corn and beans would emerge in the tilled soil and quickly outgrow any weeds that germinated later.  For small-seeded crops, such as lettuce and broccoli, the weeds were encouraged to germinate and then the spike-tooth harrow was used to till the weeds under before planting.  Once the crop was up, a series of tractor cultivation began of one to three cultivation using knives and sweeps mounted to a belly bar.  Weeding and thinning within the row was done using a stirrup hoe.  Over time, the weed seed bank that built up over years was depleted by these techniques, and the cost and labor spent declined.

 

Another surprising result was how efficiently insect pests could be managed without pesticides of any kind, even organic sprays.  The system used at the Naturfarm relied on pest break strips of alfalfa/clover mixes to act as trap crops to lure the pest species away from the vegetables.  By mowing these strips in an alternating pattern of cutting half of each strip at a time, the strips became on-farm insectaries which produced a tremendous surplus of beneficial insect predators and parasites.  The cost of this insect control system was 83% less than a conventional system using pesticides, and for many crops it was more effective (Phillips, 1997).

 

Economic success and profit is dependent on market factors and business management as much as it is on successful growing.  If a crop doesn’t find a good market in vegetable crop production, it is not a success. Quality control of produce after harvest is very important.  The crops at the Naturfarm demonstrated superior quality in appearance, color, taste, nutrition and shelf life.  Proper handling contributed to this quality factor.  Crops were field packed and removed for hydro-cooling or cold storage as quickly after cutting as possible.  Crops were picked and marketed the same day whenever possible.  The attention paid to quality paid off when it came time to market the vegetables.  Naturfarm vegetables averaged nearly $12.00 per box while conventional crops were selling for half that amount or less.

 

The lessons learned at the Naturfarm were applied to many other farms after that project ended.  In Georgia, a study of the use of EM and cover crops on organic vegetables was funded by the USDA-SARE program.  Yields were significantly increased using EM, and beneficial soil microbial populations also increased. 

 

EM enhances intensive vegetable production practices, such as relay inter-cropping using transplants.  In this system, as one crop matures and is harvested, a second crop is transplanted directly in the same bed without any tillage or ground preparation.  Two or three or more crops can follow in succession this way.  For example, over-wintering cabbage is cut in the spring and leaf lettuce plants are set out as transplants.  In 45 to 60 days, the lettuce is ready to harvest.  Transplants of watermelon are set out as the lettuce is harvested.  In 90-120 days the melons are harvested. The residues are chopped and tilled in and EM is applied at up 10 to 20 gallons of EM extended per acre.  This turns the residues into EM Bokashi right in the soil.  In a few weeks, the cycle is ready to start again.

 

EM is able to help vegetable crops grow better in soils with high salinity.  Results in El Centro, California show EM can help a cantaloupe crop grow mature quickly under high salinity conditions.  Salad greens and asparagus crops also show a response to EM.  Commercial vegetable crop production is one of the most promising areas for EM nature farming.

 

 

EM Application to Field Crops

 

 

Cotton

 

Cotton can be grown using the EM nature farming method with very good results.  Soil life is often adversely impacted in conventional cotton due to heavy tillage and the use of chemicals for fertilizer, pest control and defoliation before harvesting.  Various soil-borne diseases affect cotton and reduce quality and yield.  Transition to organic production is an attractive option because of price premiums for organic cotton.  However, reduced yield and poor quality are issues in organic cotton production.

 

 

Starting in 1998, EM began to be used on a 1,000 acre farm in Arizona with good results.  Soil compaction and water penetration problems were solved almost instantly from the first application.  Experiments established that EM alone could release enough nutrients in cotton soil to grow a high-quality, high-yield crop.  The amount of EM found to be effective was in the range of 20 to 30 gallons per acre of EM extended, with the bulk of the EM put on pre-plant.  Two to five gallons of EM extended per irrigation was found useful in promoting plant growth and the healthy plants seemed resistant to whitefly and other pests.  EM was also applied by airplane in combination with garlic and fish oil. EM-5 and apple cider vinegar was tested as a pre-harvest aid to de-nature the leaves and promote leaf drop so they would not stain the cotton.

 

At planting time, applying EM in the seed row with garlic and fish oil helps protect the seed and promote germination and rapid early growth.  Following emergence and stand establishment, EM can be applied through the irrigation water.  Both furrow-irrigated and center-pivot sprinkler irrigated cotton show a response to 2 to 5 gallons/acre of EM extended.  In dryland farmed cotton, EM can be applied at cultivation time as a side-dress, either sprayed near the base of the plants or knifed-in.

 

EM can be combined with many other products in a spray tank with causing mixing problems.  However, EM should never be mixed with fungicides or other pesticides.  Products like Garlic Barrier, Neem and Bt are not affected by EM.  If insects are a problem, combine EM extended with about 10% garlic and apply as a spray at 1:500 dilution.  EM 5 and EM-FPE made with garlic and chili can also make plants less susceptible to insect damage.  Do not use these sprays when the cotton is in flower or boll set may be affected by reduced pollination by bees. At harvest time, a solution of 1:100 EM-5 and 1 quart per acre of organic apple cider vinegar will help the leaves to loose their green color and promote leaf drop. This will facilitate harvesting.

 

Results using EM in transition of cotton show that yields can be maintained and quality improves during the transition period of three years before becoming certified organic.  This generally means that income can be maintained while undergoing the transition to organic status.  Once organic certification is achieved, it is usually possible to contract the entire crop for an attractive premium.  The improvement in income for organic cotton means that the farmer makes a better living and can afford to use inputs, such as green manure cover crops, to further improve the land.  EM nature farming has a promising future in cotton.

 

Small Grains


Barley, wheat, spelt and other small grains have been grown successfully using the EM nature farming method.  For such crops, EM alone can be the only input required.  Yields are enhanced when organic matter such as crop residues, compost or green manure can be used.  EM extended is applied at the rate of 10 to 20 gallons per acre pre-plant.  Apply an EM spray at 1:500 of EM extended in the seed row at planting time.  If irrigated, small grains will benefit from the application of one to two gallons of EM extended per acre per irrigation.  For dryland farming, the pre-plant application of 10 to 20 gallons is sufficient for the growing season.  Following harvest, the crop residues will benefit from an application of EM extended to help release nutrients to the following crop.  Two to five gallons per acre would be adequate, but up to 10 gallons per acre could be applied for better results.  Yields of small grains grown with this EM nature farming method equal or exceed the yields of conventional agriculture.


Field Corn


Field corn has been grown both under irrigation (drip) and under dryland conditions using EM nature farming methods.  In the case of growing field corn on drip irrigation, a pre-plant application of 5 gallons per acre of EM extended is used.  At planting time, a spray of EM extended at 1:500 helps get the crop up quickly.  During the growing season, EM extended can be applied at two to five gallons per acre every two to three weeks.  An application of EM extended at tasseling time and again at grain filling would be good timing.

 

Under dryland conditions, EM is applied pre-plant.  On large acreage, a liquid-nitrogen injector that has been thoroughly cleaned out can be used.  Since spring planting time is often a very busy season, applying EM in the Fall after crop residues have been chopped is recommended.  Twenty gallons per acre of EM extended is the recommended rate.  EM can also be applied at planting time at 1:500 dilution of EM extended.

 

Because of economics, additional EM inputs for field corn are not recommended.  For fertility, a rotation with a legume, such as alfalfa hay or dry beans, or soybeans will provide nitrogen for a following corn crop. For certified organic crops, use of a green manure cover crop can be economically justified.  In southern regions of the United States, a combination of common vetch, Austrian peas and bell beans can be grown over the winter and turned under in early spring.  A field corn crop following this green manure cover crop will attain high yields equal to the conventional farms in the area.

 

Soybeans and Dry Beans


Soybeans have been grown in Georgia and Arizona using EM nature farming methods with promising results.  In Arizona, soybeans received EM extended at ten gallons per acre pre-plant. Seeding was done with a 1:500 spray of EM extended.  Two to five gallons per acre of EM extended were applied with each irrigation. Yields were comparable to conventional.

 

In Georgia, EM-1 was applied at two doses, 1:1000 and 1:2000 compared to an un-treated control. Applications were made every 14 to 21 days.  The EM plots had the highest yields, and also recorded the highest microbial activity of beneficial microorganisms. EM significantly affected leaf-area-index and net photosynthesis (see graphs). Further research is planned applying EM extended at much higher rates, and using an over-wintering green manure cover crop to increase fertility.

 

Processing Tomatoes


In the Central Valley of California and other regions huge acreage is planted to tomatoes for processing into tomato sauce and catsup.  In Mexico, also, this is an important crop.  In efficacy trials conducted at the Monterey Institute of Technology in Mexico, EM boosted yields of processing tomatoes by over forty percent compared to untreated controls.

EM extended is applied at ten to twenty gallons per acre pre-plant.  At seeding, EM extended can be applied at 1:500 dilution.  Garlic at four ounces per acre and fish oil at 16 ounces per acre can be added to this mix to help protect the emerging tomato plants and give them an early boost.  In irrigated land, EM extended can be applied at two to five gallons per acre for each irrigation.  This is especially important at flowering.  Yield will equal or exceed conventional farming, especially if soil fertility is enhance by growing a preceding green manure cover crop of legumes. EM compost at 4 to 6 tons per acre and/or EM Bokashi at 300 to 600 pounds per acre can substitute for the green manure cover crop, if necessary.

 

Potatoes


Potatoes respond very favorably to EM nature farming methods.  Yield and quality are very high when EM is applied appropriately to potatoes.  EM compost at four to six tons per acre and/or EM Bokashi at 300 to 600 pounds per acre can be applied pre-plant.  Ten to twenty gallons of EM extended per acre can also be applied pre-plant.  In dryland farming, this is all that is necessary.  To boost yields, another 300 to 600 pounds of EM Bokashi can be applied when the beds are hilled up.  In irrigated production, additional EM extended can be applied at two to five gallons per acre at each irrigation.  EM-5 plus garlic and chili extract can help the plants resist pests.

 

Forages and Pastures


Alfalfa yields can be increased using EM extended.  In irrigated production, EM extended can be applied at two to five gallons per acre per irrigation with good results in terms of yield and protein content.  In dryland alfalfa, EM can be applied at a rate of one to five gallons per acre as a spray following each cutting.  Yields can be doubled using EM on alfalfa.

 

In dryland pasture and range, EM sprays combined with fish and kelp helps increase yield, palatability and drought resistance.  One to five gallons of EM extended per acre combined with 0.5 to 1.0 gallons of fish oil, plus four to eight ounces of kelp per acre is a good mix to apply once in the Spring and again in the Fall.  Pastures treated with EM recover from grazing more quickly and the livestock experiences less problems with parasites on EM treated pastures.  Livestock wastes break down into organic fertilizer more quickly with EM applications, especially on irrigated pastures where EM extended can be injected at two to five gallons per acre.

 

EM Application to Orchards and Vineyards


Orchards and vineyards have responded well to EM treatments.  Many problems are solved when EM is applied to these crops.  Since they are perennial in nature, the long-term effects of repeated EM applications become manifest in these crops.  In general, results show that yield and quality are enhanced in tree fruits and grapes when EM nature farming methods are used. 

 

 

Citrus, Oranges, Lemons, Limes and Grapefruit


Citrus trees are evergreen crops that can receive EM applications nearly year-round.  EM extended is the main form of EM used on these crops.  EM-5 can be useful also, especially when combined with garlic.  Because citrus leaves are leathery and tough, higher concentrations of EM can be applied when necessary.  A 1:100 dilution can be used to help old trees that are in decline to regain their health, vigor and productivity.

 

Most citrus is irrigated, so EM can be easily applied through the irrigation water.  A rate of two to five gallons per acre of EM extended can be used with each irrigation.  EM compost can be applied before flowering at 4 to 6 tons per acre broadcast under the drip line of the trees.  EM Bokashi can also be used at 300 to 600 pounds per acre once or twice per season, before flowering and during the late stage of fruit growth.

 

EM sprays can help citrus trees maintain a high state of health and enhance productivity.  A basic program during the winter dormant season is to spray EM extended once per month at a dilution of 1:500 on the trees and on the soil around the base of the trees as far out as the drip line.  This program can alternate at two week intervals with a spray of EM-5 with garlic on the foliage and trunk of the trees.  This practice will keep the trees very healthy and help break up pest cycles that might otherwise affect productivity. Citrus fruits can be washed in EM at 1:10,000 dilution at harvest.  This treatment will make the fruit bright and shinny, and enhance storage life.


Dates, Figs, Coconuts


Tropical fruits, such as dates, figs and coconuts can benefit from EM.  Irrigation with EM extended at two to five gallons per acre can help soften the soil so the roots can easily penetrate and so irrigation water can infiltrate.  The softened soil also breathes easily, and the trees are not stressed for oxygen to the roots.  EM compost and Bokashi can be added to enhance yield and quality.  EM sprays can be used as for citrus described above.

 

Apples and Pears


In apples and pears, EM sprays have been used to reduce fire blight and scab by breaking up the life-cycle of these pests.  This is done during the dormant season.  EM extended is sprayed on the soil to help compost diseased fruit that has fallen to the ground.  A heavy spray of EM extended also helps to increase the population and activity of beneficial microorganisms in the soil under the trees, which competes with the disease organisms for food and space to grow.  This weakens the mycelium of the disease organisms which are trying to grow at this time.  EM-5 is sprayed on the bare trunk and branches of the trees during the dormant season to help clean out any infected material that may be there.  At bud break, EM-5 is applied at 1:500 dilution up to stage two or three of bud break.  This treatment program dramatically reduced the incidence of fire blight and scab in apples and pears in the Hood River Region of Oregon.

 

To increase yield, EM compost and EM Bokashi are recommended as inputs to apples and pears.  Four to six tons of compost and 300 to 600 pounds of Bokashi can be applied under the drip line of the trees.  If the orchard is irrigated, two to five gallons of EM extended can be applied at monthly intervals.  These treatments will give a good yield and increase the sweetness of the fruit.

 

Apricots, Peaches and Nectarines


Apricots, peaches and nectarines can receive the same treatments as described for apples and pears with similar results.  Peach trees in Arizona that were dying of root rot recovered and became productive again when EM extended was used in the irrigation water at two to five gallons per acre per irrigation.

 

Avocado


EM-5 can help provide a measure of frost protection to avocados and other fruit crops when flowering occurs during late freezes.  Up to 5 degree centigrade margin of protection can be realized when trees are sprayed early in the day before a night of freezing temperatures. The program described for apples and pears can also be applied to avocados with good results.

 


Coffee


A coffee grower in Panama sought advice on how to use EM in coffee.  Coffee bean residue was transformed into good compost using EM extended applied at one quart per ton.  Trees were sprayed with EM extended, alternating with EM-5.  EM compost was applied under the drip line of the trees at two to five tons per acre.  This program solves a lot of problems and the crop of coffee beans was abundant and flavorful. 

 

EM was also used in the processing of the coffee beans.  First, EM extended at 1:10,000 dilution was used to soak the skins off the beans.  Next, the same dilution was used to soak and ferment the gel off the coffee berries.  Finally, EM extended was used to treat the wastewater from washing the berries.  All the waste products were recycled into the EM compost.  The results were very satisfactory.

 

Bananas and Tropical Fruits


Bananas, pineapples, mango and papaya produce beautifully when grown in an EM nature farming system.  The treatments described above for apples and pears and for coffee can be applied to these crops with good results.

 

 

Table Grapes and Wine Grapes


Organic table grapes treated with EM extended combined with garlic oil and fish oil helped vines recover from severe nematode and fungal disease infections.  Vine health improved dramatically, and nematodes were reduced over 80%.  Yields and fruit quality improved.  The EM, garlic, fish combination was applied through the irrigation system by injection once per week over an 8 week period from bud break to the grand growth phase.  Rates were 5 gallons of EM extended, one pint of garlic and one gallon of fish per acre per application.  The three products were mixed together with water in a tank prior to injection.

 

Recommendations for table grapes include up to five tons per acre of EM compost applied prior to bud break.  EM Bokashi can also be applied at up to 600 pounds per acre.  For a maintenance program, two gallons of EM extended can be applied each week during the growing season.  EM sprays can be helpful during the growing season if insects are a problem.  EM-5 combined with garlic and EM fermented plant extract containing garlic and chili can be useful to ward off leaf hopper and whiteflies.  Since EM applied to the soil enhance uptake of zinc, and since high zinc and molybdenum levels may help control the bacterium that causes Pierce’s disease, EM in combination with an organic chelated source of these micro-nutrients may be useful in those areas of California affected by this disease.  Tests need to determine rates and methods of application and compatible materials, but the need is great since the disease is devastating to the grape industry.  Foliar sprays of EM extended combined with garlic oil and fish oil plus chelated minerals, such as kelp or other sources, may be helpful both in increasing zinc and molybdenum levels in the grapes and in repelling sharpshooter, the insect vector of Pierce’s disease.

Many growers use winter cover crops as a fertility input for both table grapes and wine grapes.  EM can be applied to the cover crop at seeding at 1:500 EM extended, and applied during the growth of the cover crop if it is irrigated at two to five gallons per acre of EM extended. It is especially useful to apply EM extended at five to ten gallons per acre when the cover crop is chopped and moved to the growing berm to help release nutrients to the grape vines. For maintenance in vineyards two gallons per acre of EM extended can be applied at weekly intervals throughout the growing period to maximize yield, quality and vine health.

 

EM Application to Greenhouse Crops


Because of the high value of horticultural crops grown in greenhouses, it is worthwhile to make extensive use of EM in their production.  EM compost, EM Bokashi and various EM sprays are all used with great benefit in producing greenhouse crops.  Some examples are:

 

Tomatoes


Tomato seedlings benefit from the addition of EM compost at up to one third of the potting mix by volume.  Five or ten percent EM Bokashi can also be added to the mix, or EM Bokashi tea can be sprayed on the growing seedlings to give them a nutrient boost.

 

If grown in soil, EM compost and EM Bokashi should be applied at 5 tons per acre and 600 pounds per acre respectively.  Experiments are underway with an organic hydroponics approach to growing tomatoes in greenhouses, using kelp, fish and other soluble forms of organic fertilizer.  Soil culture is recommended, however, as more in keeping with nature.

 

EM sprays at 1:500 help keep the crop healthy.  Alternate between EM extended, EM-5 and EM-FPE on a weekly basis throughout the life of the crop.  Side-dressing with EM compost and EM Bokashi periodically will boost yields and increase brix.  EM sprays can be combined with garlic oil and fish oil, kelp and humates in a mix to help feed and protect the plants.

 

When crops are taken down, the spent vines can be composted with EM extended at one quart per ton per application.  Soil should receive ten to twenty gallons of EM extended between crops.  Another technique is to apply a heavy application of EM Bokashi to the beds and cover them for two weeks with a tarp.  Uncover and till in the EM Bokashi.  This practice will make the entire soil ferment and prepare it for the next crop.

 

Cucumbers

Greenhouse cucumbers are heavy feeders and require high amounts of nitrogen to make a good crop.  EM Bokashi can help supply the necessary nutrients as it can contain a relatively high analysis of N-P-K.  A Bokashi made from 100% wheat bran will analyze as 2-2-1 to 3-2-2.  Starting with seedlings which should be grown in at least 4-inch pots, use EM Bokashi at up to ten percent of the potting mix, with up to one-third EM compost also in the mix, if possible.  Once seedlings have started growing, a spray of EM extended, garlic, fish, kelp and humates will boost growth.  The soil should be heavily fertilized with up to ten tons per acre of EM compost with the addition of up to 1000 pounds per acre of EM Bokashi.  In growing the cucumber crop, periodic sprays of EM extended, EM-5 and EM-FPE should be used.  EM greatly boosts productivity in greenhouse cucumbers which are very responsive.  Increased fruiting per node is a sign that the EM program is being applied correctly.

 

Lettuce


High-quality greenhouse lettuce can be grown using EM.  Apply two to four tons of EM compost per acre and 300 pounds of EM Bokashi.  A spray of EM compost tea or EM Bokashi tea can give the seedlings or crop a boost.  The growing crop will benefit from alternating sprays of EM extended, EM-5 and EM-FPE.  Two to three weeks before harvest, a combination spray of nutrients and EM extended will benefit the crop quality and yield.  The combination of EM extended, garlic, fish, kelp and humates can be used, or EM compost tea or EM Bokashi tea can substitute.

 

 

Other Vegetables and Melons


Melons and bitter melons should receive EM as per cucumbers.  Eggplants and peppers should be treated as per tomatoes.  Greens should be treated as per lettuce.  This corresponds to crops with high, medium and low nutrient requirements.  Strawberries can be very productive when EM is applied.  Prepare the growing bed by applying a heavy application (one to three inches) of EM Bokashi and cover with a tarp for two weeks.  After removing the cover, allow the bed to air out for ten to 14 days before setting out plants.  Apply alternating sprays of EM extended, EM-5, EM-FPE, EM compost tea and EM Bokashi tea at weekly intervals.  If irrigated, apply EM extended at two gallons per acre with each irrigation. Yields are increased by applying nutrients plus EM on a weekly basis once flowering and fruiting begins.

 

Herbs


Gourmet fresh herbs such as basil, tarragon, oregano and sage can be grown in raised beds with as little as six inches of soil under greenhouse conditions.  Most of these crops have nutrient and growing requirements similar to lettuce. 

 

Flowers


Roses, carnations and other flowers respond to EM very well.  Nutrient requirements and EM applications are similar to tomatoes. 

 

Ornamentals


Most ornamentals and tropical plants have low nutrient requirements.  Be careful not to over-treat with EM.  Use a weak dilution of 1:5000 or 1:10,000 on a monthly basis.  EM Bokashi can be added to the potting mix at up to 5%.  EM compost can be added at up to 25% of the potting mix.  Orchids benefit from using EM and exhibit brilliant colors.

 

 

Glossary of Terms:

 

 

Term:

 

Description:

 

EM

 

Effective Microorganisms: a consortia of beneficial microorganisms comprising 5 main groups, including photosynthetic bacteria, lactic acid bacteria, beneficial yeasts, beneficial fungi, and Actinomycetes.

 

EM Technology

 

The various techniques and forms of EM and EM applications, and the many uses of EM in agriculture, environmental remediation, health, industry and so on.

 

EM Bokashi

 

EM fermented compost, a compost product made by fermenting organic matter using EM solution and molasses.

 

EM Fermented Plant Extract

 

An aqueous extract of plant material using EM solution and molasses; used as a fertilizer and inoculant.

 

EM 5

 

A fermentation of molasses, alcohol, vinegar in water using EM stock solution, often with garlic and hot pepper added; used as a inoculant to promote growth of naturally occurring entomophagus microorganisms on plant surfaces, and as a repellant to insects.

 

EM Extended (Activated)

 

A fermentation of molasses in water using EM stock solution; used as a low-cost form of EM inoculant, especially for field crops and other large-scale applications where cost otherwise would be prohibitive.

 

EM Compost

 

Compost made using EM as a starter culture, or compost inoculated with EM after maturity.

 

EM Ceramics

 

Ceramics made using clay fermented with various forms of EM as an inoculant.

 

EM X

 

A fermented plant extract of rice bran and seaweeds. Used as an anti-oxidant rich food for human consumption.


Dilution Tables and Conversion Factors:

Table of Dilutions for Standard EM Applications (U. S. and Metric)

Amount of EM to add to water:

 

 

U. S.       EM

 

1: 1,000 Water

 

1: 10,000 Water

 

3/4 t

 

1 gal.

 

10 gal.

 

1Tbsp.

 

4 gal.

 

40 gal.

 

1 oz.

 

8 gal.

 

80 gal.

 

1 pint

 

125 gal.

 

1,250 gal.

 

1 quart

 

250 gal.

 

2,500 gal.

 

1 gallon

 

1,000 gal.

 

10,000 gal.

 

326 gallons

 

1 acre-foot

 

10 acre-feet

 

Metric EM     

 

1: 1,000 Water

 

1: 10, 000 Water

 

1 cc.

 

1 liter

 

10 liters

 

10 cc.

 

10 liters

 

100 liters

 

100 cc.

 

100 liters

 

1,000 liters

 

1 liter

 

1,000 liters

 

10,000 liters

 

10 liters

 

10,000 liters

 

100,000 liters

 

 

 

 

Metric/U. S. Equivalencies:

 

Area:

 

1 square kilometer = 100 hectares

1 hectare = 10,000 square meters = 2.47 acres = 107,639 square feet

1 square meter = 10.76 square feet

2.59 square kilometers = 1 square mile = 640 acres

0.404 hectares = 1 acre = 43,560 square feet

0.0929 square meters = 1 square foot

 

 

Volume:

 

1 square meter = 1,000 liters = 26.42 gallons = 35.31 cubic feet

1 liter = 1,000 ml = 1,000 cubic centimeters = 0.264 gallons = 34 fl. Oz.

28.31 liters = 1 cubic foot = 7.48 gallons

3.785 liters = 1 gallon = 0.1337 cubic feet = 8 pints = 4 quarts = 128 fl. Oz.

1.23 x 106 liters = 1 acre-foot = 12 acre-inches = 3.26 x 105 gallons

1.03 x 105 liters = 1 acre-inch = 2.72 x 104 gallons

 

Distance:

 

1 kilometer = 1,000 meters = 0.621 miles

1 meter = 100 cm = 1,000 mm = 3.28 feet

1 cm =10 mm = 0.394 inches

1.609 kilometers = 1 mile

0.3048 m = 1 foot

2.54 cm = 25.4 mm = 1 inch

 

Weight:

 

1 Metric Ton    = 1,000 kg = 1.03 ton

1 kg = 1,000 gm = 2.205 pounds

0.906 MT = 2000 pounds = 1 ton

0.453 kg = 1 pound = 16 ounces

28.4 gm = 1 ounce

 

Temperature:

 

Centigrade degrees = (Fahrenheit degrees minus 32) x 5/9

 


Conversion Factors:

 

 

Converting From:

 

Multiply By:

 

To Determine:

 

fluid ounces

 

29.57

 

milliliters

 

cups

 

0.24

 

liters

 

pints

 

0.47

 

liters

 

quarts

 

0.95

 

liters

 

gallons

 

3.79

 

liters

 

acres

 

0.4047

 

hectares

 

square feet

 

0.0929

 

square meters

 

cubic feet

 

0.283

 

cubic meters

 

cubic yards

 

0.7646

 

cubic meters

 

yards

 

0.91

 

meters

 

ounces

 

28.35

 

grams

 

pounds

 

0.45

 

kilograms

 

short tons (2,000 lbs.)

 

0.907

 

metric tons (1,000 kg)

 

 

 

 

References, Sources and Resources

 

References:

 

 

 

Okada, M. 1998. Health and New Civilization, revised edition. Johrei Fellowship. Torrance, California. 76 pp.  Available from www.johreifellowship.org  Follow links to local Johrei Centers and contact them for a copy. 

Conference Proceedings available from:  EM America

 

Higa, T. and J. F. Parr 1994. Beneficial and Effective Microorganisms. Nature Farming Research and Development Foundation.  Bellingham, WA.  
 

Haberern, J. 1996. Development of a Soil Health Index. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming.  Edited by: J. F. Parr, S. B. Hornick and M. E. Simpson. USDA, Washington, D. C. pp. 42-46.  
 

Smith, J. L. and R. I. Papendick and J. J. Halvorson. 1996. Development of a Soil Quality Index. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming. Edited by: J. F. Parr, S. B. Hornick and M. E. Simpson. USDA, Washington, D. C. pp. 80-87. 

 

Phillips, J. M. 1996. Transition to Kyusei Nature Farming at the Naturfarm in Lompoc, California. Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming. Edited by: J. F. Parr, S. B. Hornick and M. E. Simpson. USDA, Washington, D. C.  pp. 110-119. 

 

 

Phillips, J. M. 1998. Pest Break Strips for Biological Control of Insect Pests in Nature Farming: A New Perspective for Integrated Pest Management. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming. Edited by: J. F. Parr and S. B. Hornick.  USDA, Washington, D. C. pp. 152-164. 
 

Lubke, U. 1998. Microbial Inoculants for Controlled Composting of Organic Materials. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Kyusei Nature Farming. Edited by: J. F. Parr and S. B. Hornick.  USDA, Washington, D. C. pp. 95-98. 

 

Sources:

 

 

EM Supplies:  EM America, Inc.,  www.emamerica.com  Serves continental U. S.

                        EM Hawaii  www.emhawaii.com  Serves Hawaii

EM USA, Inc.  www.emusa.com  EM Production facilities, arranges EM distribution to Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean Islands

 

EM Publications, searchable on-line data base, EM videos and other resources: www. emamerica.com and www.emro.co.jp

 

Recommended Laboratory Services

 

Microbiology:

 

BBC Laboratories 

Tempe, AZ

www.bbclabs.com

 

Types of Analyses Offered: Six Functional Groups; mycorrhizae; Pathogen Screens; Compost Analysis; Custom Analysis as per client’s needs.  Highly recommended.

 



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