Don’t Waste Your Plant Stubble: Treasure It!

The best way manage post-harvest plant debris is an ongoing dilemma. None of the historical approaches (controlled burns, bailing, and tillage) allow the nutrients of the fodder to be returned to the soil for future use. Controlled burns wreak environmental havoc on air quality. Smoke from burning straw contributes to increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere which may affect greenhouse gas buildup. Repeated burns also leave soil vulnerable to erosion[1].  Conventional options that ‘trash’ field stubble can’t offer a supportive plan for healthy crops and sustainable soil stewardship.

What is the secret to turning field ‘waste’ into valuable soil inputs? Bio SI Technology’s (www.biositechnology.com) SD 25 Field Stubble Digester provides the soil with beneficial microbes to digest the plant debris (stubble) left behind after harvest, recycling the nutrients tied up in the leftover plant material for the next crop. This activity makes both nutrient and water use more efficient. Soil microbes are essential to restore carbon, improve water efficiency, and improve nutrient holding capacity of the soil.

Without a sustaining soil microbiome, organic matter can’t be broken down into useable nutrients and the soil becomes clogged with too much undigested organic matter.  This undigested organic matter can also tie  up valuable nutrients. SD 25 Field Stubble Digester restores the soil with naturally occurring microbes that convert and recycle nutrients tied up in stubble to make them available for the next crop.

“SD 25 works beyond the growing seasons to prepare fields for future planting by releasing the nutrients tied up in leftover debris,” says Bio S.I. Founder and CEO, Wayne Tucker.  “Plant debris can be a real problem for the next planting season for some growers. SD 25 helps farmers re-use nutrients they have already paid for plus the benefits of adding carbon (humus) to the soil which holds water and nutrients in their fields.”

The conversion of plant debris to humus aerates the soil, improves soil tilth, and improves water penetration. Creating healthy soils is essential to continuous production of healthy, nutritious food for future generations. SD 25 is an all-natural microbial formula that is certified for organic use.  Unlike other stubble digesters, SD 25 is free of preservatives, which makes it safe for use in any setting.

After harvest and before the ground freezes, growers should apply the initial application.  SD 25 can be used successfully in till and no-till regimens, although it is important to beat the first freeze because microbial activity and decomposition are significantly slowed by cold temperatures. Growers will notice debris is significantly decomposed within 60-75 days. Apply 20-25 oz. of SD 25 per acre with a minimum of 10 gallons of water per acre. Also add nitrogen to balance the C:N ratio for better breakdown.  SD 25 can be used to digest any leftover plant debris; whether that is from corn, wheat, beans, barley, cotton, rice, milo, beets, sugar cane, hops, grasses or any other crop.

[1] EOEarth.org, author, Jessica McCarty, 2014.