Improve Your Soil with Microp 4XL

August 11, 2014

soybeans2-240x240 - Article 45What is our Microp 4XL product all about? How does it work and how can you use it for your own crops? We hope this blog post can answer your questions about this essential agriculture product.

What is Microp 4XL?

Microp 4XL is a biofertilizer that works to improve both the physical and chemical properties of your soil, to better support croplife. Unlike cover crops that must be planted and plowed down to improve soil, Microp 4XL provides all the traditional benefits of a green manure crop without taking land out of production. Instead, Microp 4XL can be planted as a companion microbial crop, improving soil right as your cash crop is growing. The biochemistries produced by the cyanobacteria and microalgae in our product work to increase available soil nitrogen, soil aeration, aggregation, and water holding capacity. Microp 4XL is an ecologically sound means of improving crop yields and soil structure and is approved for use in organic production.

How does Microp 4XL work?

Microp 4XL is composed of two types of microorganisms. Cyanophytes, or blue-green algae, and chlorophytes, or grass-green algae and both are significant to the soil biology.  These single-celled organisms are photosynthetic and provide myriad benefits for any soil. The microbes work in a number of ways:

  • Nitrogen-fixing. An essential function of cyanobacteria is their ability to “fix” nitrogen so it is readily available to crops. This greatly boosts soil fertility and reduces the need for other fertilizers.
  • Organic matter. The microscopic plants grow right alongside cash crops, adding organic matter to the soil, exuded directly into the soil mostly in the form of polysaccharides. Also, when the microbes decompose, they distribute carbon and a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients.
  • Soil aggregation. Microalgae produce polysaccharides, an important material of humus. These complex sugars work to bind soil particles together. This has the effect of building soil to improve its ability to retain moisture. It also prevents erosion.
  • Soil aeration. Well-aggregated soil also contributes to increased aeration. The soil is better able to circulate air and provide a free flow of oxygen to the root system.

Microp 4XL can be used conceptually as a companion green manure or a cover crop. It can be used as a substitute or addition to compost or other fertilizers. Unlike compost, the microbes in Microp work directly to produce beneficial biochemistries, which means they work to produce soil benefits without a decomposition period.

Our research shows that Microp 4XL improves soil tilth and decreases erosion, compaction, and crusting. In one study, corn crops showed an average increase of 9 bu./acre.  In another field trial with organic sugar cane, plots treated with Microp 4XL had over 25% higher yield when compared to untreated plots. Microp 4XL acts as a perpetual input for maintaining maximum crop yields.

How do you use Microp 4XL?

Microp 4XL is easy to use! The product is composed of no less than 640 million live plant cells per gram, packaged in powder form. Mix the dried microalgae powder with water and apply to the soil surface using conventional spray equipment. Circle, wheel-line, hand-line, and flood irrigation systems may also be used. The product does not need to be incorporated. Apply Microp 4XL before or after planting, during the commercial crop’s growing cycle, or after harvest. The standard application is one ounce of the product per acre (70 grams per ha.)

This application can be repeated one to four times per year depending on crop conditions. Microalgae colonize the upper one inch (2.5 cm.) of soil through rapid cell division. With Microp 4XL, this colonization reaches maturity in about 40 days under average field conditions. It is capable of maintaining this high level for an additional 30-60 days if soil conditions support the colony.

At Soil Technologies Corp., we’ve been producing natural agricultural products for more than 30 years. We created Microp 4XL as an efficient, ecological, and safe biofertilizer for achieving maximum crop yields. We also have Microp BG for rice crops and Microp SL for saline soils. Stay tuned for blog posts about these products and more!

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