ecoTECH Natural Source Fertilizers:  Background & Philosophy

Why we designed the ecoGROW alternative

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are by-products of the oil industry, a convenient way of utilizing otherwise pollution-causing toxic wastes to accelerate crop growth and expand crop yields. By convincing the world’s farmers that the chemical products are necessary to increase productivity, the industry has managed, whilst making huge profits from “fertilizers” and pesticides, to defray the cost of toxin disposal under the guise of helping mankind.

The excessive use of fossil fuelled energy-intensive petroleum-based fertilizers and pesticides creates a death spiral of biological soil fertility, whereby increasing amounts of the synthetic materials are needed to induce crop growth until the point is reached that the soil becomes useless for agriculture. Many regions of California are approaching this point, while others lie fallow and useless to conventional agriculture because of the highly concentrated salt content induced by fertilizers.
Now the extent of the damage to our life-sustaining soils is beginning to be understood, we must not allow upset of natural balances to ruin forever the symbiotic infrastructure of agricultural, horticultural and silviculture sustainability.
Once a healthy, balanced soil ecosystem is disrupted by the excessive use of soluble synthetic fertilizers, restoring it can be a long and costly process. The living part of soil is just as critical to plant growth as the physical soil structures. Soil aeration from worms and bacteria, (micro-organisms) and the excreta from these fauna form the essential link between mineral reserves conversion to root availability and plant growth. The cycles that permit nutrients to flow from soil to plant are all interdependent, and they work only with the help of the living organisms that constitute the soil community.
Organic soil management enables soil organisms to maintain ecological equilibrium, and provides humus; whereas conventional (non-organic) soil management merely substitutes a simplified chemical system to provide nutrients to plants and balance pH. Humus is a very significant component of the soil because it enables a slow release of nutrients, acts as a natural pH buffer and has the ability to hold toxins. Worm casts contain up to 45% more humus than is found in the top six inches of the best top soil. Aerobic bacteria break down humic clumps and manure components into plant-absorbable constituents.

© ecoTECH

Waste Management Systems (1991) Inc.


The Demise of Chemical Fertilizers

Apart from the ethical, health and environmental issues raised in the advocacy of reducing chemical fertilizers, there is a simple economic fact that makes this the right time for this project to be launched.

Chemical fertilizers, always cheap and abundant, are becoming more and more ........... and more expensive! WHY?

The majority of Nitrogen (N) fertilizer is either anhydrous ammonia, or products made from anhydrous ammonia (urea, ammonium nitrate, and urea-ammonium nitrate solutions). Ammonia is also a manufacturing component of other N-containing fertilizers such as ammonium sulphate, diammonium phosphate (DAP), and monammonium phosphate (MAP). Natural gas is a major feedstock in ammonia production for both energy and supply of hydrogen (H) in ammonia (NH3). The average natural gas consumption for anhydrous ammonia production is approximately 33.5 mmBTU (million metric British thermal units) per ton [15.6 gJ/tonne]. Therefore, the ammonia production cost is closely tied to the price of natural gas.


Why we do not use the term “Organic Fertilizer": for our products

By definition, bio-fertilizer made from the excrement and urine of pigs, cattle and birds that have been fed on GMO foods, or animal by-products, or have been inoculated with growth hormones, or doused in flea killers and other pesticides, or have been fed a diet of plants grown with and “protected by” chemicals are not helpful (and may be harmful) for long term rehabilitation.