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Bioliquid Fertilizer Update

Bioliquid fertilizer (BLF; also known as organic liquid fertilizer) has become popular with ECHO’s network and smallholder farmers around the world. ECHO West Africa introduces and instructs on how to prepare this amendment in ECHO West Africa Note 1 (Sié Kansié, 2017). You can also watch this short video [Lightning Talk - Bioliquid Fertilizer | ECHOcommunity.org] sharing one approach to making and applying BLF.

In March (2022), we made BLF as outlined by Sié Kansié, 2017 with the utilization of pigeon manure and the new growth (leaves and stems) of Mexican sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia). We thoroughly mixed the ingredients until uniform in appearance. The container was covered with a breathable cloth, allowing for aerobic decomposition. We mixed the BLF daily for the duration of the trial. Each week (including the week of initial mixing: week 0), we thoroughly mixed the BLF and obtained a sample. Samples were sent to a laboratory for analysis.

Nutrient content over time

Nutrient levels increased over time during the first few weeks, before reaching a peak and leveling off. Nitrogen content was highest at the third week after initial mixing (Figure 1A). Phosphorus content peaked at week five (Figure 1B). Potassium content followed a similar trend as phosphorus, increasing rapidly until week five (Figure 1C). The average pH of the BLF was 6.76.

In summary, we saw that:

Figure 1. Total nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content of the BLF over time.

These trends indicate that the optimum time to apply BLF is earlier (2 to 3 weeks) for nitrogen than other nutrients. Factors such as temperature, thoroughness of mixing, and sample handling may have impacted nutrient content values over sampling weeks.

Have you make BLF before? What ingredients did you use and what was your experience?

Reference

Sié Kansié, B. 2017. The preparation of organic liquid fertilizer. ECHO West Africa Note no. 1.

Thanks Stacey for sharing that information. Very interesting. I had not thought about taking ours to a lab for testing but I will.

We make ours in 250 gallon tanks using a variety of mixtures but most often comfrey leaves, manure, molasses and raw milk. In addition, we add something we make that we call MM (Mountain Micro organisms) which is similar to KNF-2. The difference is KNF is grown aerobically and MM is grown anaerobically. But they both look the same and have the same benificial effect on plants, soil and animals…including us. In fact, I just finished making a 4 liter batch that will be ready for me to drink in about 8 to 10 days.

That which we make in 250 gallon tanks if for injecting into our drip irrigation lines. For foliar sprays and as a starter for bokashi, we make in 55 gal barrels with a variety of mixtures but most often with only MM, molasses, milk or kefir. It ferments for 30 days or more before using. Blessings.