Environ. Horticulture, Pears, Cherries, and Viticulture
University of California
Environ. Horticulture, Pears, Cherries, and Viticulture

Bacteria Sourced Organic Ammonium Takes a Step Closer to the Market

Very important news for organic berry growers, actually all organic crop growers.

As most of you know, nitrogen is pretty limiting in berry production, and those of you who follow this blog are also aware of the discussions of including conventional sources of fertilizer into organic production because of the issues of low nutrient concentration in organically approved fertilizers.

Perhaps we don't need to worry so much about this anymore.  Looks like to some extent this problem has been solved by the discovery and development by Dr. Brian Ward out of Clemson University of a bacteria produced organic source of ammonium.  The article says Dr. Ward is hoping to scale up to commercial by 2021.

It's a good article by the way, this wasn't something that was achieved easily but Dr. Ward's persistence in figuring it out eventually opened the door.




Posted on Monday, May 14, 2018 at 9:24 AM


This is a interesting development. Initially I wondered if the process was taking nitrogen out of the air to make the ammonium fertilizer, as is the case with the Haber-Bosch process for synthetic N fixation. However after looking in to it further I learned that it is just converting the N in organic forms (i.e. protein) in the feedstock into ammonium. So in other words there is no new nitrogen, just nitrogen in a different form. It will be interesting to see if OMRI approves this. Here's a link to another article with a little more information on this. http://newsstand.clemson.edu/mediarelations/extreme-bacteria-could-be-game-changer-for-organic-vegetable-production/

Posted by Eric Brennan on May 15, 2018 at 9:26 AM

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