DO MBST PRODUCTS WORK?
MBST® products are designed to manage microbial populations
and diversity. Among the prominent types cultivated are fungi and
bacteria, each of which perform important functions. The fungi degrade
volatile organics and create a growing hyphae extending from plant
roots, which continually increases the area from which the plant
microbes can extract essential nutrients, the hyphae loosens soils
and increases water holding capacity. The bacteria metabolize and
mobilize materials. MBS® products contain extremely high numbers
of colony forming units (cfu) of beneficial microorganisms per ml.
OF THE COMPOST TECHNOLOGY
The compost technology used at MBST facilities is aerated static
pile composting. In static pile composting the windrowed mulch remains
static, never being "turned". To maintain an aerobic condition
(odor free) the windrow is ventilated mechanically. Static pile
windrows are covered to reduce the likelihood of leaching and to
maintain consistent moisture throughout the windrow, during the
physical characteristic of the windrowed mulch is such that the
air introduced will "perk" through the pile and not just
chimney its way out. To insure the porosity and adjust the moisture
content of the mulch wood chips or biochar chunks and water are
added to the feedstocks before windrowing.
AEROBIC means in the presence of oxygen. Maintaining
an aerobic condition in composting precludes the development of
methane and other noxious gases.
ANAEROBIC is without the presence of oxygen. Anaerobic
decomposition generates gases such as methane, ammonia, hydrogen
sulfide, propanone and other odorous compounds.
AUTOTHERMAL PERFORMANCE describes the ability of
composting material to generate heat without an external heat source
BIOCHAR (agri-char) is a fine-grained charcoal
like material produced through pyrolysis. Biochar is a very stable
form of carbon and can thus be used to sequester CO2.
CARBON TO NITROGEN RATIO (C:N) Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus
(P) and Potassium (K) are the primary nutrients for the microorganisms
involved in composting. Because they are also the primary nutrients
for plants, their concentration in the compost product influences
the value of the compost. Generally, supplying carbon and nitrogen
in the proper ratio ensures the presence of required concentrations
of other nutrient elements. Initial C:N between 15:1 and 30:1 will
consistently bring about good composting results.
COMPOSTING is a process through which biological
decomposition of solid waste is carried out under controlled aerobic
conditions and which stabilizes the organic fraction into a material
which can easily and safely be stored, handled and used in an environmentally
FEEDSTOCK is a generic term used to describe the
various ingredients used to make compost. High carbon feedstocks
called carbonaceous (leaves, paper, sawdust etc.) is typically brown,
dry and largely odor free. High nitrogen feedstock (vegetables,
fruit, manure and sludge) are high in moisture content and generates
odor if allowed to go anaerobic.
LEACHATE is excess moisture in the composting material
which seeps out of the windrow.
MOISTURE CONTENT (MC) Moisture is necessary to
support the metabolic processes of the microbes and to permit transport
of the nutrients. Experience has shown that the composting process
will be aided if the MC is at least 40% and below 65%.
MULCH is mixed but not yet composted feedstock.
PATHOGEN TREATMENT (PT) Temperatures achieved during
this step of the composting process destroy disease causing bacteria,
weed seeds and insect larvae. During this phase of the composting
process temperature and duration requirements from the EPA "Process
to Further Reduce Pathogens" will be recorded.
POROSITY AGENT (PA) is a term used to describe
an ingredient in composting mulch which provides air space enabling
us to maintain an aerobic condition.
STATIC PILE refers to a compost windrow management
technique in which air is mechanically delivered to the windrow
and the windrow is not "turned".
VECTOR ATTRACTION REDUCTION (VAR) Temperatures
achieved during this step of the composting process render the mulch
unattractive to vectors (i.e. flies, mosquitoes, birds, rodents),
and thus reduces the potential for spreading disease by those vectors.
WINDROW is a long pile of composting material.
products are chemical free, good for the environment and safe
for use around children and pets.
reason for the importance of MBST®
In 1989, the National Research Council of the National Academy of
Sciences issued a highly significant report on "Alternative
Agriculture" which was defined as a system of food and fiber
production that applies management skills and information to reduce
costs, improve efficiency, and maintain production levels through
such practices as crop rotations, proper integration of crops and
livestock, nitrogen fixing legumes, integrated pest management,
conservation tillage, and recycling of on-farm wastes as soil conditioners,
and biofertilizers. The report encouraged the collective adoption
of these practices by U.S. farmers as the best alternative to the
and intensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides which have
often impaired the quality of our soil, water, and food.
in 1993 the National Academy of Sciences left no doubt as to these
earlier concerns when the National Research Council released a report
on "Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children" which
concluded that people in this age group could be at considerable
health risk from consumption of foods containing pesticide residues.
We can only assume that the same risks exist for all humans and
pets, from residues left over from the application of any chemicals
used in your garden and landscape. Why else are the chemical companies
required to be licensed and post warning signs on treated lawns?
recently as October, 2005 the Grand Rapids Press published an article
written by Fran Henry of the Newhouse News Service stating that
there is a growing body of scientific evidence linking exposure
to these chemicals to asthma, child leukemia, birth defects, brain
cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, behavioral
and learning disorders, and delayed motor development.
of these reports have raised considerable speculation about the
future of our chemical-based agricultural and landscaping systems.
A growing consensus of consumers, environmentalists, legislators,
turf managers, landscapers and many farmers is that our current
practices will have to change considerably to achieve a significant
reduction in chemical usage in these industries. The ultimate goal
of any sustainable system is to develop programs that are productive,
profitable, energy conserving, environmentally sound, conserving
of natural resources, and that ensure
food safety and crop quality.
transition from chemical-based systems to more sustainable methods
will depend largely on what is done to improve and maintain the
quality of soil. Soil quality is the key to any sustainable system.
Experience has shown that the transition from conventional management
programs to natural or organic systems can be managed so as to minimize
certain shock risks. Once through the transition period, most industry
professionals find their new programs to be stable, productive,
manageable and profitable.
programs and products provide a viable alternative to chemical based
nutrient delivery and disease control. By adjusting the biological
makeup of growth media MBST® products create an environment
in the root zone where nutrients are metabolized and stored, then
delivered as needed. Creating the biomass developed through the
use of MBST® products reduces nutrient loss through runoff and
enhances drought resistance.
the newest discoveries in sustainable agriculture et al is biochar.
This high carbon material will sequester carbon dioxide, provide
stable nutrients for crop growth and increase water retention. MBST
Biochar is part of a bioremediation slurry used to reduce leachable
heavy metals and other soil contaminants. LMI is the only industrial
producer of biochar in Michigan.