Fertilizers (Organic Fertilizer & Chemical Fertilizer)
Organic fertilizer is a fertilizer that can be produced by processing organic matters such as livestock manure, plants and leftovers (food waste) through fermentation/composting process.
Organic fertilizers are food for microorganisms that live in soils and it helps to increase the numbers and kinds of microorganisms. By using organic fertilizer constantly, the diversity of microorganisms increases which helps to keep the soil and crops healthy. Therefore, using organic fertilizers makes continuous cropping possible and decreases the occurrence of pests. The crops become stronger, and healthier.
On the other hand, chemical fertilizers are artificial fertilizers made from minerals, inorganic matters which can rapidly be absorbed by plants. They are rich in NPK -- the most important nutrients for plants, and the ratio can be adjusted according to the situation. For plants, chemical fertilizer is similar to vitamin supplements or IV drips to humans, as they work fast and makes you stronger.
However, using too much of chemical fertilizers can damage the balance of the soil as a result of lack of feed for the microorganisms, which can end up making a favorable environment for disease-causing pathogens.
A balanced use of organic fertilizer supplies nutrients to the plants and it provides a well-balanced environment to the soil -- high water-holding ability, nutrient-holding ability and these combined together, it increases the number of microorganisms. The healthier the soil is, the less disease for the crops and plants there will be.
How Do We Process?
To start the composting process successfully, it is important that we first prepare a good environment for aerobic bacteria such as bacillus that exist inside the manure naturally.
The key point is the Moisture Adjustment -- because composting process is caused by aerobic bacteria that decompose organic matters. That is why it's important to secure space for air inside the raw materials by adjusting the moisture content.
If the moisture of the fresh manure is high, it must be mixed with sub-materials (dried materials) such as saw dust or rise husk to lower the moisture content and to make some space for air. Aerobic composting occurs by supplying enough air in to the manure, and by supplying oxygen to the microorganisms -- only then the temperature will rise.
Heat generated by the microorganisms during the process grows the temperature of the manure to 60℃ and more. This is enough heat to kill pathogens, grass seeds and at the same time this high-temp helps to decompose protein.
The bacteria that are active before the composting process starts are mainly gut bacteria such as E. coli and they differ from the microorganisms that work during the composting process. Therefore, mixing fresh manure with the final products or even manure that is under the composting process helps to accelerate the decomposition for efficient composting.
What does Composting Process mean?
Composting process (in terms of producing organic fertilizer/Compost) points to a process of any kind of biodegradable matters being decomposed by microorganisms.
Applying fresh manure directly to crops or plants can cause an outbreak of flies and bad odor issue. On top of that, the biodegradable matters in the fresh manure will be decomposed inside the soil and eventually, it releases heat and gas that can affect the plants in a negative way. Also, there is a risk of food poisoning in case the fresh manure is used for vegetables that are eaten raw because disease-causing pathogens such as E. coli or Salmonella can exist in fresh manure.
During the composting process, the temperature inside the manure goes up to 60℃ or more and usually lasts over 20 days. It is known that pathogens including Salmonella, E.coli and Staphylococcus can be killed if exposed to a heat above 60℃ for about an hour or more. Also, the germination rate of grass seeds become 0% by being exposed in such heat for 2 days. Therefore, the final products are safe to be used for any kind of crops or plants.