Digest-it® for improved soil fertility and crop production

Digest-it® treated slurry for improved soil fertility

Digest-it® gets slurry stores/lagoons working again by creating and maintaining a balanced microbial environment. The Digest-it® fermented microbial culture provides a rich food source for microbes as well as dormant aerobic bacteria. After 4-6 weeks treatment a number of physical and chemical changes can be detected, including:

  • Increased bubbling as the aerobic bugs get working
  • Reduced surface crusting as solids are progressively digested
  • Appearance of clumps of solids on the surface, which subsequently dissolve. This is a sign that solids are being released from the bottom of the slurry store, as digestion proceeds
  • Less smell, as anaerobic bugs are displaced by aerobic bacteria and ammonia is converted into bacterial protein
  • Conversion of solids containing “locked-up” nutrients into aerobic liquid nutrients containing higher levels of plant available fertilizer nutrients

Applied as part of an integrated program, Digest-it® treated slurry provides an immediate and continued supply of plant available nutrients directly to plants, as well as stimulating microbial activity in the soil. By aerobically digesting slurry in the slurry store, the biological oxygen demand (BOD) of Digest-it® treated slurry is reduced. Consequently the reduction of soil oxygen associated with the application of untreated slurry is minimized. This helps to support life in the soil, improves plant root growth and is an aid to improving soil fertility. The end result is improved crop, grassland and livestock. Don’t just fertilize your crops and pastures this year – charge them with the Digest-it® fertility program!

Digest-it® Dairy % Nitrogen Dose Response Curve

Digest-it graph

Digest-it® is an aerobic microbial product which changes the biology of slurry away from being dominated by anaerobic bacteria to one that is predominantly aerobic in nature. This process can be described as “liquid composting,” a consequence of which is the capture of ammonia, which would otherwise be lost through volatilisation, and its conversion to bacterial protein. In this way the Nitrogen content of slurry can increase which is important both for improving the fertiliser value of slurry and to justifying the cost of Digest-it®.

Digest-it® dairy trials have been conducted over the past 2-3 years, to the extent that a % Nitrogen dose response curve over time can be presented.

Three different sets of trials have contributed to the Nitrogen dose response curve. These include:

Kingshay comparative trial undertaken in 2010, where against a control untreated slurry, Digest-it® increased % Nitrogen content by 13% over 6 weeks.

A second Kingshay comparative trial was conducted in 2011 which again reported a statistically significant % Nitrogen increase against control. In this trial, Digest-it® increased % Nitrogen by 17% over 8 weeks.

UK Dairy trials were conducted on 15 farms over the winter of 2009/10 which on average was 22 weeks in extent. At the end of this extended winter period Digest-it® had increased % Nitrogen on average by 33% compared to the initial slurry N content at the beginning of the winter period.

In summary, these 3 different sets of trials have shown a progressive increase in the Nitrogen content of slurry over time resulting from Digest-it® treatment. Over the course of a winter period, Digest-it® treated slurry will enable 1/3 reduction in the application of bagged Nitrogen fertiliser. At typical slurry application rates of 67m³/ha (6000 gallons/acre) over a spring-summer period, Digest-it® treated slurry will provide an additional 26kg available Nitrogen/ha (21 units N/acre), which is worth £25/ha at current N fertiliser prices.

Digest-it Slurry Treatment
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