|Typical Analysis of Tuna Fish
Emulsion / fertiliser / hydrolysate:
|Minimum Crude Protein 19.6% Oil 5-15%
Beware of competing products that do not
tell you what the Mercury content is.
|Detailed analysis PDF (762KB)|
|Hazchem data sheet
Hazchem data sheet Microsoft Word
Chemical versus Organic Fertilizers.pdf|
|Powerpoint slide show (2.2 MB)|
|Aquasate Info sheet3.doc|
|Southern Bluefin Tuna data from http://fishbase.org/|
|Hydrolysate must not be compared to chemical fertilizers. This product is natural and organic, there is nothing added and its complete array of nutrients are all available to the micro-organisms that inhabit and give life to soil and plants. This is all plants need to prosper and all the soil needs to sustain and perpetuate life.|
I should say that fish products are not high-analysis NPK type fertilisers, and therefore you'll never dazzle anyone with test results unless there was something dazzling there.....and there ain't. Selenium, I have no idea what a good level is, as I couldn't find anther product with selenium tested. This is a human-nutrition element, and good soil levels inevitably lead to healthy levels in the food growth .....but not in more healthy plant growth. You get a few products where it's claimed the N % is 5.9%, and you just know fully well that they've bumped the N up with added urea....especially given that the product ain't all that thick. And these days, smart farmers KNOW this. They also know fully well that they can buy a 50kg bag of urea with 46.6% N for under 30 bucks. If they want straight N, they don't expect to find it in fish! What they expect is a product which is nice and thick, and those who know what they're talking about know that a good oil % is invaluable. It's soil food rather than straight plant food. It contains stuff that feed bacteria and fungi in the soil, and the activities and enzymes excreted by these bugs are just as essential for healthy plant-growth as N's and P's and K's. Basically, if you place TOO much emphasis on the nutritional analysis, you'll get people comparing it with chemical products with higher analyses.....and you'll lose out every time as a result.
The product smells pleasant. It flows well. It's thick. It doesn't block filters. It doesn't appear to coagulate. It makes a damned fine microbial product. Just had a client on the phone last night raving about the results he had from an application he put on last Friday (of fish-included microbial product).Cheers,
The usage of this type of product is certainly on the rise in many forms of agriculture, particularly in intensive horticulture and orchards/vineyards. The drive for this demand is mostly due to the increase in awareness of how fish products and products like it actually work in the soil and how they are applicable in a production system.
As far as a comparative reference in terms of amounts used in agricultural systems at present - I'm unsure and unaware of any data. But my experience in Australia and the US would point an exponential growth of these types of inputs. A lot of this is a direct result of information reaching the farmers on the benefits of using the products and perhaps more so of the damage that conventional products have on the soil.
Rates would be in the order of 20-200L per hectare
Aquasate is a high quality material. Most commercial fish products on the market are fish emulsions - meaning that the oil component has been removed (which is used in cosmetics) , these emulsions are quite good additives but do not compare to a fish hydrolysate - which has the oil still in it.
Just about all of these products on the market have had an additional nitrogen source added to them usually in the form of urea. This is mainly due to the fact that people like to see high numbers on the nutrient analysis sheet, as they are usually comparing them to a chemical fertilizer. Whereas they should be looking for the amount of oil in the product as it plays a huge role in how the fish works.
Basically a fish product is just made up of protein, amino acids and enzymes and generally do not have high numbers of anything in the analysis - they have a little of everything but - The main point to understand about these products is that they are not fertilizers in the conventional meaning - they are food sources for organisms in the soil and this is how they work. They have a great ability to stimulate nutrient cycling by feeding the biology in the soil and fish oil is a particularly good food source for enhancing beneficial fungal species in the soil. Fungi is generally lacking in most agricultural systems as they are destroyed by excessive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides etc. Fungi produce antibiotics and are responsible to a large extent to the natural disease suspensiveness of a healthy soil system.
Bacteria and micro-fungi, among other organisms, are the most numerous microbes in the soil and are essentially the storehouse of most of the nutrient that is available to plants in a healthy soil system. Fertilizers such as superphosphate are salts that with over use wipe out much of the beneficial biology and sets the stage for reliance on fungicides and pesticides. Without adequate biology present nutrient availability is restricted and soil structure decline is inevitable. Which leads to further dependence on chemical inputs.
For example: lower order plants such as grasses and early succession weeds are favoured by a bacterially dominated soil. Higher order plants such as shrubs, vines, fruit trees etc (palm oil trees) require or are favoured by a more fungal dominated soil. This is how it works in nature and is readily achieved in an intensive cropping system. If there is no fungi in the soil when you are trying to grow a plant that desires such conditions you will be caught in the vicious cycle of high inputs of soluble fertilizers and the pesticides that follow.
My work as a soil consultant is mainly with operations who are interested in reducing chemical usage and who are motivated to working towards a more sustainable system. There is certainly a ground swell of this type of approach, but you have to know how the biology works. You have to have the biology for a start.
I produce a biological inoculum in liquid form to re-introduce beneficial biology to soil if it has been damaged after chemical abuse. Fish hydrolysate is used in the manufacture of this inoculum and is a critical component of the soil programs I use to enhance the biology.
We have a strong working relationship with UWA in this field and are slowly putting some much needed science behind the workings of these methods.
From a cost angle, you could certainly argue for a $ for $ basis in comparison to a conventional regime. Every site is different, but there is a period of conversion from a chemical to a biological system which may be slightly more costly to begin with, but as the system develops all inputs are reduced in the short to medium term.
The other big question is what cost do you put on the environmental impacts that chemical fertilizers have? Soil erosion, structure decline, ground water and river pollution are all related. There is no question that current practices are unsustainable, most people know it, its just that most don't know how to start to turn things around. There is a real shift in paradigm needed. For instance- even at current usage there is only 20-30 years left of rock phosphate deposits left on the planet.
The fish product shouldn't be looked upon as a stand alone replacement for fertilizers used up until now, but as a major part of a system aim at eliminating all other inputs as the biology improves in the soil.
hope I haven't gone off on too much of a tangent, but I could go on forever!
if there is anything else let me knowregards