Ferti-Comp is a unique product derived from a proprietary composting process developed by our partners at Harvest Quest. Mature, stabilized ‘Class AA’ compost is produced using a bacterial catalyst, which enhances the natural biological process of composting. The end result is a product that has been shown to have vastly increased numbers of beneficial bacteria when compared to those produced using traditional composting methods.
Ferti-Comp adds high-quality organic matter to soils and its use can result in reductions in the use of fertilizer, irrigation water, pesticides, and fumigants.
Ferti-Comp is not a pesticide. However, it contains naturally- occurring micro-organisms which may help to suppress soil-borne populations of some plant diseases. These beneficial microorganisms do not typically eliminate the disease organism, but reduce their population, thereby minimizing or eliminating their negative impact.
Ferti-Comp has many attributes and is very versatile, providing the unique ability to improve the properties of soils physically, chemically, and biologically. However, the real benefit of using the product is long-term and is linked to the products organic matter content. Organic matter content in soil is essential for soil structure, water holding capacity, microbial activity and overall soil health.
Many experiments have shown that compost improves the aggregate strength of soils. This means that the soil is more resistant to compaction. The addition of compost improves friability, porosity, and water permeability meaning roots can penetrate more easily and find nutrients and water.
Coarse-textured sandy soils possess a low cation exchange capacity (CEC) and adding compost greatly improves the CEC of these soils. Cations are positively charged ions such as calcium (Ca2+), potassium (K+), magnesium (Mg2+) and iron (Fe2+). The organic matter in Ferti-Comp is comprised of negatively charged particles, which attract and hold, through electrostatic forces, the positively changed ions. This enables the soil to better absorb and retain nutrients in the root zone while reducing nutrient losses through leaching.
Ferti-Comp contains a broad array of macro and micronutrients, which are held within the stable organic matter and therefore become available in a slow-release form as the organic matter decays. When compared to commercial fertilizers, on a pound-by-pound basis, Ferti-Comp has far less nutrients and is not characterized as a fertilizer. However, Ferti-Comp is typically applied at much higher rates and can have a significant cumulative effect on nutrient availability. As a result of improved CEC and the steady supply of slow-release nutrients from the product, existing fertilizer program inputs can typically be significantly reduced.
Ferti-Comp is teeming with diverse populations of microorganisms. One gram of the product contains millions of aerobic bacteria and actinomycetes, miles of fungi and hundreds of thousands of protozoa. These groups of living organism will return a diversity of life to the soil and serve a critical function metabolizing nutrients.
Many years of research on the application of composts has demonstrated a variety of disease suppressive effects. The results indicate that suppressive effects can result from a combination of physiochemical and biological characteristics however; the main reason for disease suppression reported in the literature is biological activity arising through the action of compost inhabiting microorganisms.
There are four main mechanisms, which affect biological disease suppression:
Antagonism – beneficial microbes have the ability to produce antibiotics which can kill pathogenic organisms and inhibit egg hatch of plant-parasitic nematodes
Direct Competition – pathogenic organisms are poor competitors when compared to beneficial microbes, which rapidly populate the soil and overwhelm disease causing organisms by consuming nutrients, energy, oxygen and competing for space
Competition for root colonization – some beneficial microbes have the ability to colonize the surface of plant roots; protecting them from pathogenic organisms.
Induction of systemic acquired resistance (SAR) – a mechanism whereby disease-repressive genes in the plants are activated enabling the plant to better fend off the disease causing organism
Composts can provide natural biological control of diseases of roots as well as of plant foliage. Several disease suppressive mechanisms may operate at the same time against different pathogens in compost-amended soils. Specific beneficial microorganisms can induce all four mechanisms.
Harvest Quest Technology
Southeast Soils utilizes the highest quality components at a lower cost to the grower. Harvest Quest technology provides the microbial treatment that breaks down compost at a faster pace while suppressing odors and enhancing the end product with high beneficial microbial communities.