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Re: Regulation of compost teas
Hi JBK -
The Compost Tea Brewing Manual contains the standards we have seen as providing teas which everytime suppress foliar diseases. The necessary conditions are discussed in the manual. The data on which we base our standards are in the Tea manual, available from www.soilfoodweb.com
Critics of our data say that fungi don't grow in tea, but that's only when their machines don't extract fungi, or the fungi are killed because the aeration is lacking in the tea. By adding too high a concentration of food for the organisms into the tea, the bacteria and fungi can grow so rapidly that they use up the oxygen in the water. And it can be any food, from humic acid to white sugar, that gets rapid growth, uses the oxygen in the water more rapidly than oxygen can be replaced, and results in anaerobic conditions on the tea, and thus allows E. coli to be able to out-compete competitors, inhibitors and organisms that consume E. coli and other pathogens.
We are in the process today of running three replicated samples from one compost pile, doing total and active bacterial biomass, total and active fungal biomass, protozoan numbers and ID to family, and nematode numbers and ID to genus/species. We done work like this often, and have alot of data on compost quality. That's where our standards come from. Lots of testing, and relating the results to plant growth.
The work in the tomato blight problem exemplifies this, and as soon as I have the paper finished and off to the journal, I'll send a preprint to you.
OK? Any other questions, please ask. Or give me a call if you'd rather. Check our website, www.soilfoodweb.com