The Notions of EM (Effective Microorganism)

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The most important goal of organic farming is to produce abundant and healthy crops without the use of any chemicals and without causing adverse effect to our environment. One means of achieving this goal is thru the use of EM (Effective Microorganism) who discovered by Professor Teruo Higa in University of Ryukus, Okinawa Japan. He has been exploring and discovering alternative methods for more sustainable agriculture.

Effective microorganism mainly consist of photosynthesizing bacteria, lactic acid, bacteria, yeast, actinomycetes and fermenting fungi. This microorganisms can coexist in liquid culture because they are physiologically compatible with one another. Professor Higa developed three such mixed cultures of beneficial microorganisms that he found to be particularly effective. A mixed solution culture of photosynthetic bacteria, ray fungi, yeasts, and fungi, consisting of 10 genera and 80 different species he called EM 2. A mixed culture of photosynthetic bacteria is called EM 3. A mixed culture of Lactobacillus, and other microorganisms producing lactic acid, is called EM 4.

These are beneficial microorganisms with an amazing ability to revive, restore and preserve.Current research indicates that EM cultures can suppress soil-borne pathogens, accelerate the decomposition of organic wastes, increase the availability of mineral nutrients and useful organic compounds to plants, enhance the activities of beneficial micro-organisms, e.g., mycorrhizae, nitrogen fixing bacteria, and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. EM helps to increase beneficial soil micro-organisms and suppression of harmful ones.

The use of EM solution in soil remediation is the most effective and economical way. Initially, a farmer would have to use EM mixed in irrigation water, spray EM as a foliar application, and add EM to bokashi to enhance the soil several times throughout the cropping season. As the organic matter composition in the soil reaches equilibrium, one may only have to add EM bokashi-treated organic matter to the soil along with post-harvest residues soon after harvest. Once the soil begins to “breathe” again, the farmer will see a great improvement in plant growth and the quality of produce, with significant savings on inputs.

It may take a year to see good results from the initial application.The sustained use of EM and compost will give a long-term economic benefit to the farmer by regaining the health of the soil.


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