Many South Africans will recall when it was routine for farmers to collect the manure from animals, such as cattle and the oxen and horses used to draw their ploughs to enrich the soil. Since then, the heightened demand for grown produce has made it necessary to develop a more efficient means to bolster the various nutrients required for healthy and abundant crop growth. More recently, environmental concerns have seen some growers complete a full circle with the return of organic fertilizer.
While the commercial products have numerous advantages, most depend on the large-scale production of ammonia, the common source of the essential plant nutrient, nitrogen, in all manufactured products. Unfortunately, that particular process is also one of the most prolific sources of the atmospheric pollutants jointly responsible for the undeniable and growing threat of catastrophic climate change. In response, some farmers and many gardeners have reverted to more natural sources as a safer means to promote improved crop quality and yield. They now utilise decaying vegetation and food waste to produce their organic fertilizer.
However, while bone, blood and fish meal, seaweed, guano and vegetable peelings are all excellent sources of essential plant nutrients, exactly which of these may be present and in what concentration is always an unknown. Only the precisely formulated commercial products can be relied upon to provide the macronutrients, secondary and micronutrients required by a given plant species at each stage in its lifecycle. While these natural sources may suffice home gardeners and meet the relatively modest demand for organically-grown foods, organic fertilizer in this form would appear to have limited value for intensive commercial farming.
Fortunately, there is a compromise, a way for large-scale farmers to enjoy the best of both worlds. Instead of spreading a field with manure and compost of unknown composition, there are now naturally-sourced commercial preparations that eliminate the guesswork associated with traditional methods and the pollutants arising from the manufacturing process. Instead of compiling a metered mix of various inorganic chemicals, the required plant nutrients can be extracted from natural sources and mixed in the desired proportions to produce a suitable organic fertilizer for any given purpose.
Kynoch has been a pioneer in the science of plant nutrition and a world leader in yield-enhancing technology for more than a century. We are acutely aware of the environmental impact of the agricultural industry and take every precaution to minimise the carbon footprint arising from our operations. Accordingly, we encourage you to learn more about our environmentally-friendly organic fertilizer products and their many valuable benefits.