Will Ecostern work without nitrogen fertilizers? Tips from BTU-Center experts

According to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture, one-fifth of the cost structure of farmers in the United States is on fertilizers. This figure for corn and wheat producers is even higher - 36% and 35% of operating expenses. In the world, the situation is similar. The rapid increase in fertilizer prices plays not a minor role in this, so farmers are looking for alternative ways and trying to save money. Below we will look in detail at how Applied Microbiology helps in this, what effect the use of destructors gives, and whether it is possible to abandon the use of nitrogen fertilizers in the fall. Spoiler: lots of diagrams, statistics, and practical cases.

The decomposition of plant residues: what is the role of Nitrogen in it?

Plants are the food source of all living organisms on the planet. While the plant is growing, insects, animals, and pathogens feed on the easily accessible sugars that this plant forms. But after the plant dies off, its aboveground part and root system do not complete their mission in crop rotation. After all, the main component of the plant tissues and the root system is complex polysaccharides (cellulose, lignins, etc.), which contain a lot of energy for consumption by microorganisms. Still, to decompose them, you need to make more effort. To do this, microorganisms must synthesize a large number of different enzymes - compounds of protein nature, for the synthesis of which Nitrogen is needed. Therefore, for microorganisms to decompose plant residues, Nitrogen must be in sufficient quantities. Under this condition, enzymes will be synthesized to undergo the biochemical processes of cellulose cleavage and obtain energy for the development of microorganisms.

From the atmosphere to excrement: where can microorganisms get nitrogen?

Healthy soil always contains a certain amount of nitrogen. Lets look at how it gets there. Depending on the origin, there are several sources of nitrogen.

Atmospheric nitrogen. All the time, microorganisms fix it for themselves and plant-nitrogen nutrition.

Nitrogen enters the soil with plant residues. The plant consumes nitrogen released from the cells of microorganisms and uses it to build its tissues. Then, with the dead residues, this nitrogen, which microorganisms have fixed, becomes available again to other plants and microorganisms in the soil. It is a kind of nitrogen cycle in the soil.

Nitrogen enters the soil with animal excrement. So everything is already clear here.

How do nitrogen fertilizers work?

If we are talking about agricultural land, another source is also used here various nitrogen fertilizers, which can be of both organic and inorganic origin. The advantage of fertilizers is that they can simultaneously produce a large amount of easily accessible nitrogen for microorganisms that decompose plant residues.

What happens in the soil? First, microorganisms turn off the fixation mechanism of atmospheric nitrogen, which is also quite energy-consuming. Secondly, microorganisms that are pathogens of agricultural plants begin to grow actively.

That is why monitoring the balance of microorganisms in the field after harvesting is essential. Suppose we do not use beneficial microorganisms, in particular biological destructors. In that case, decomposition will be carried out by those microorganisms that have accumulated on the plant surface during the growing season. In most cases, these are pathogenic microorganisms, various pathogens that remain on plant residues after the active season.

Why Ecostern?

Ecostern from the company BTU-Center is a combination of agronomically valuable microorganisms (bacteria, fungi) and products of their vital activity, the use of which allows you to control the decomposition of plant residues and restore soil health, increasing its biological

Ecostern can be used without nitrogen fertilizers. The effect of the decomposition of crop residues will be, but how quickly it will manifest itself depends on whether we will feed cellulolytic microorganisms with Nitrogen or not.

When farmers use Nitrogen with previously treated crop residues by Ecostern, they get a faster decomposition process - up to 50% of the biomass of plant residues can be lost within 30-60 days. According to the Institute of Applied Biotechnology, the application of Ecostern with Nitrogen increases the decomposition efficiency of straw residues by 17-70% compared to applying without Nitrogen.

Simulation and laboratory studies showed that for 30 days of composting in containers with different Ecostern brands, the following volume of straw had been decomposed: 25-31% without additional nitrogen source and 36-43% with further application of Nitrogen.


One ton of crop residues requires at least 10-15 kg of a.s. Nitrogen. But many farmers now do not have such an opportunity. What, then, should they do?

If we do not add Nitrogen, which reduces the cost of the technology, the decomposition process will be slower. After all, microorganisms will use the remaining nitrogen sources this is available Nitrogen in the soil (ammonium nitrogen, nitrate and nitrite nitrogen), nitrogen from other organic residues, various protein waste, and so on.

If there is not enough Nitrogen in the soil, microorganisms will begin to fix atmospheric Nitrogen on their own. In particular, most of the bacteria found in Ecostern can do this: Azotobacter chroococcum - one of the most active nitrogen fixers, bacteria Bacillus subtilis - decomposes plant residues but is also able to fix atmospheric Nitrogen, providing for its own needs.

Therefore, the managing of decomposition of plant residues with Ecostern:

  • Accelerates the decomposition time
  • Improves soil health
  • Repopulates soil with beneficial microorganisms
  • Increases the availability of nutrients
  • Contribute to the converting of s atmospheric Nitrogen into available for plant form.

BTU-Center agronomists advise:

  • If it is possible, its still better to add some nitrogen (10-15 kg of N) when you apply Ecostern
  • Ecostern does not substitute starting fertilizers for sowing
  • Use organic fertilizers in various particular types of compost.
  • Use microbial nitrogen fixers during the growing season or for primary tillage. In particular, the companys product line includes a natural growth regulator Azotohelp, which actively fixes atmospheric molecular Nitrogen and enriches the soil up to 60 kg/ha (on average - 20 kg/ha).
  • Or Groundfix, which increases the absorption of NPK, promotes the mobilization of phosphorus and potassium, and the conversion of molecular Nitrogen.
  • ECOSTERN can be applied with an alternative source of nutrition instead of Nitrogen. There are biopreparations like HUMIFRIEND, based on humic substances. Also, it is possible to use molasses, algae and amino acids. They will activate the microorganisms and reduce the requirement for Nitrogen

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