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Re: Regulation of compost teas (was: NOSB loses its head)
I do not doubt that increasing the community of beneficial microorganisms on
leaf surfaces will often improve plant performance.
Several years ago I fortuitously discovered an article in a forestry journal
(American Forests?) that discussed phyllosphere ecology in a very clear and
captivating way. I was teaching an agroecology class at the time and I gave
the article to my students as an assigned reading.
What I am skeptical about is the benefit of increasing microbial populations
in compost teas using sugar, molasses, nutrient solutions, or aeration...
As I wrote earlier (but perhaps obscured my meaning with a typo),
the great **majority** of soil microorganisms (>95%) are unculturable using
all known types of media (let alone something very simple like glucose). Why
does selective enhancement of the "greedy"/r selected species improve the
performance of a compost tea ?
As Dale implied with his question about applying cultures of known
biocontrol species, the # of bacteria or fungi applied per square inch of
crop leaf surfaces should be less important than the species composition of
compost teas. Your goal is to promote colonization of leaf surfaces with
persistent phyllosphere adapted micoroorganisms that have the desired
effects of disease suppression and plant growth promotion, right ??.
I want to know if people have found that compost teas work better after they
have been supplemented (with sugar, nutrients, oxygen...).
Dept of Soil Science
NC State University
(919) 515 4270
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