EFFECTIVE MICROORGANISIMS (EM)

Dr. Teruo Higa, a Japanese professor of agriculture, developed EM – short for “Effective Micro-organisms” – in the nineteen-seventies and published his results in 1982. In 1989 EM was made public on an international level, and is now being used in more than 120 countries but is still relatively unknown in East Malaysia.

EM is a liquid culture of aerobic and anaerobic micro-organisms mainly sourced from human food processing and from nature. It consists of lactobacilli, yeast, photosynthetic bacteria, ray fungi and filamentous fungi. It does not contain any genetically modified organisms, is safe and easy to handle, and harmless to human health even if accidentally ingested.

The sample of EM stock solution we have been testing out at The Kebun is the dormant version of EM. This stock solution is “activated” prior to use with the following materials and steps. One liter of EM stock solution and 1 liter of molasses and mixed with 20 liters of clean water free from chlorine. The container should be of food-grade plastic and must be clean, not contaminated with chemicals (remember, tap water has chlorine) plus have an airtight lid. As little air as possible should be left in the container (between the liquid and the lid). As gas pressure will develop, the lid will have to be opened everyday for a second to release it.

For the period of activation, in tropical regions such as here in Sarawak, East Malaysia, the container has to be placed in shade at ambient temperatures (20-40 degrees Celsius) without exposure to strong temperature fluctuations. Depending on actual ambient temperatures, this extended EM will be ready after 3 to 5 days. You can verify this by a pH of or lower than 3.5 and a pleasant sweet-sour smell.

From one liter of EM stock solution and one kg (or liter) of molasses, we produce 22 liters of activated EM (EMa) solution ready for use. As the ideal microbial composition of EMa will deteriorate over time, it should be used up within one month. We would advise you to prepare only the volume of EMa which you can use within one month. EM should be extended only once.

In our Goat farm practices (also in general animal husbandry), the benefits from EM, improved digestion and general health and increased productivity, can be observed quickly as demonstrated and proven at The Kebun.

The following practices are adopted:

  • EM used as a feed additive
  • EM sprayed on fodder
  • EM mixed into drinking water
  • EM sprayed in the Goat sheds
  • EM sprayed onto Goat dung
  • EM sprayed onto paddocks
  • EM spread on the bedding
  • EM used in septic tanks collecting animal wastes
  • EM used to aid our compost and organic fertiliser

The rate of addition of EM into feed is 1-5%. For adult Goats we add 5-10 ml per day, for kids 1-2 ml per day (with milk if bottle fed when weaned early). EM diluted 1:100 with water is also sprayed onto feed/forage, just prior to feeding.

We also use EM in drinking water in dilutions from 1:1,000 to 1:5,000, the higher dilutions for very young animals and for animals not accustomed to EM. We must stress that we apply it on fresh water only.

For spraying of EM in the shed, on floors and walls, we used diluted EM 1:100 with water and see no side effects even when splashed on Goat bodies. We use about 1 liter per 10 square meters once a week. We reduced the use of EM (after our second dose) when we noticed the odours were not noticeable anymore thus having some control over the general cleanliness.

EM can be added to septic tanks at a dilution of 1:1,000 but in our case with shed washing water and animal excreta are already inoculated with EM, this was not be necessary anymore.

EM is just wonderful.

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