Preserve natural soil energy through fermentation

Bokashi is originally a Japanese invention, from Professor Teruo Higa who developed the principle of oxygen-free fermentation. The Dutch company Agriton has made a soil improver for the arable sector. After very good results in other agricultural sectors, the product is slowly but surely conquering the arable farming sector on the basis of fermented organic material. Sales advisor Joost Mulder of Agriton: “In the Netherlands, arable farming is at the top in terms of performance, so the idea to ferment organic material on a large scale has really been devised in the Netherlands and is now also being used by various growers.”

The Bokashi product is the result of an ancient technique: fermentation. By adding effective micro-organisms (EM) and anaerobic (without oxygen) processing the remains, you make your own organic remains a valuable soil improver. To achieve optimal results, sea shell lime and clay minerals are added. After a period of at least eight weeks, the material is fermented. “There is a lot of life in the soil, we have to feed this, by means of fermentation we retain the natural energy in the organic material as feed for that soil”, says the Agriton advisor.

Regional alignment

Agriton is still ‘sowing a lot’ to spread the idea behind the method, but that takes a lot of time, Mulder also realizes: “We bring the idea around and are now known nationally: in every province there are Bokashi heaps, but There are also many (regional) issues. Everyone who connects with us sees the possibilities. On the one hand because it can be applied very specifically to the region in which you undertake, so it means less dragging with organic material and at the same time it also promotes nutritional value. Whatever is there can also be used to the maximum in the soil, where new organic matter is then built up again. ”

Increasing interest

For a long time, the use of compost – and thus also the Bokashi variety of Agriton – has been out of the picture due to the availability of artificial fertilizer. Mulder now observes, as more and more restrictions from environmental requirements and legislation emerge, that the number of growers who show interest in this fermentation application increases hand by hand. “Everyone recognizes that the soil needs more than NPK and then you need something to be able to improve the soil conditions again. We have been calling it for 25 years and in this sense we feel a kind of pioneer, because only in the last ten years do people want to hear our story and we are no longer calling in the desert. Of course, we can not do it alone. Now that the farmer, water boards and society are beginning to realize the importance, steps are being taken. ”

“Suitable for all arable crops and soil types”

Bokashi can in principle be applied to all arable crops, although there are of course some differences. “A wheat crop is naturally a somewhat calmer crop towards the soil than a potato. In principle, every soil has an interest in organic matter, regardless of the soil type. It is sometimes said that clay soil retains more organic matter than, for example, sandy soils. Clay soil has more binding capacity than, for example, sandy soils. But from the CEC analyzes – buffer capacity – from Eurofins we see that the binding capacity is also decreasing on clay soils. ”

Test farm Ebelsheerd

Mulder continues: “We also receive applications from all over the Netherlands and the first results show that Bokashi can expand the clay-humus complex on all surfaces. Trials at test farm Ebelsheerd in Nieuw-Beerta also show that soil life is enhanced by this product. That also motivates us to expand more national research. Everything needs time and we work step by step towards maximum reach, so that we can all take bigger steps. “

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