Combooster Aktivointiliuos stimulates the microbes in the soil to work quickly, drastically increasing the utilisation rate of nitrogen and other nutrients – by up to 100% in good conditions! More efficient nutrient utilisation enables more efficient fertiliser use, because the quantity of mineral fertilisers can be reduced to achieve cost savings and bind more carbon in the soil.
A new kind of fertilisation method saves costs and soil carbon stocks
Combooster Aktivointiliuos works by accelerating microbial activity in soil in a controlled way. The average nitrogen utilisation rate in Finnish cultivation is around 50-70 per cent (Luke). This means that around half or just over half of the quantity of nitrogen used is utilised as nutrients for the plants, while the rest of the nitrogen in the solution ends up in the soil and waterways. The excess nitrogen is left in the soil to break down the humus after harvesting.
Around half of the carbon stocks accumulated in the soil are estimated to have disappeared from fields. According to the latest measurements, fields lose an estimated 200 kilograms of carbon per hectare each year during harvesting, soil respiration and precipitation.
What is the new fertilisation method?
- Combooster Aktivointiliuos helps to increase the nitrogen utilisation rate by 100% in good conditions, as microbes are given the right kind of nutrients instead of excess soluble nitrogen
- The amount of nitrogen in the solution can be reduced by up to 30%, which achieves cost savings.
- Organic fertilisers using Combooster Aktivointiliuos can provide significantly more nutrients for utilisation by plants, as the accelerated microbial activity breaks down organic nitrogen into a form that can be used by the plants
- When you use Combooster Aktivointiliuos, no excess nitrogen is left in the soil and the decomposition of carbon in the soil can be slowed. In addition, the increased use of organic fertilisers means more carbon remains in the soil
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Carbon binding capacity is a key indicator of soil quality. It indicates e.g. fields’ capacity to bind the nutrients required by plants and to efficiently grow food. It also describes how well key nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorous remain in the field and do not pollute waterways or the atmosphere.
Learn more about the new fertilisation method!
How does nitrogen fertilisation break down carbon in the soil?
Nitrogen fertilisation can promote the decomposition of carbon in soil via several mechanisms. Here are some ways in which nitrogen fertilisation can affect the decomposition of carbon in soil:
1. Increased microbial activity: Nitrogen fertilisation increases microbial activity in soil. Microbes are responsible for breaking down organic matter, including carbon compounds in the soil. If nitrogen fertilisation is increased, the nutrient availability for microbes may improve, which promotes their growth and activity. This increases the decomposition of carbon in the soil.
2. Increased decomposition rate of organic matter: Microbes may break down organic matter more quickly as a result of nitrogen fertilisation. Nitrogen is an important source of nutrients for microbes and increasing it in the soil can stimulate the microbial metabolism. This leads to faster decomposition of the organic matter, which releases carbon from the soil as carbon dioxide.
3. Changes in acidity: Certain methods of nitrogen fertilisation, such as the use of ammonia nitrogen, can cause changes in the acidity of soil. A more acidic environment can have an adverse effect on microbial activity and the decomposition processes. This can also lead to an increase in carbon decomposition, as the microbial activity accelerates or changes.
4. Improving efficiency: Restrict the amount of nitrogen in solution used in the spring and give microbes easy energy and suitable amino acids. Soil bacteria activate when the nitrogen they need is no longer abundantly available and they have the energy (easy carbon) to initiate work to break down organic matter (the easiest to break down first) to obtain nitrogen for their growth and reproduction. However, bacteria need just a quarter of the obtained nitrogen for themselves, so ¾ is left in the soluble form for use by cultivated plants. The soluble nitrogen obtained in this way directly replaces fertiliser nitrogen, thereby increasing efficiency.
5. In the traditional model, the activation of soil bacteria only happens in connection with harvesting, when the nitrogen level is lowered and scraps from harvesting fall onto the soil to provide carbon that is easily broken down for energy. Carbon decomposition therefore does not begin until autumn, and the soluble nitrogen (and phosphorous) are released and are susceptible to being washed away by autumn rains unless any flora in the soil (grass, winter grain) can utilise it before growth ends.
However, it is important to note that the effects of nitrogen fertilisation on carbon decomposition in the soil can vary due to many factors, such as the properties of the soil, growing conditions, and farming practices. Additionally, controlling farming practices and sustainable farming methods can affect carbon decomposition and help to reduce the negative impact on soil carbon stocks.
Luo, Y., et al. (2010). Nitrogen-induced changes in soil carbon dynamics: a review. Journal of Soils and Sediments, 10(6), 1133-1148.
Smith, P., et al. (2014). Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). In Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Van Groenigen, J. W., et al. (2013). Nitrogen-induced loss of soil carbon from a grassland ecosystem. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 61, 102 FT Keijo Lehtonen, Hiilen kiero maassa 2017 (eng) Carbon Combooster –lannoitusmenetelmä ja viljelymaan humus 2017.