Organic matter is a well-known part of organic fertilizers and an important nutrient for the soil. Besides organic matter there is also effective organic matter (EOM). What is effective organic matter and how does it differ from « regular » organic matter? Why is effective organic matter measured in the soil? What does the effective organic matter do for the soil in the long term? All questions which we will answer in this article.
The meaning of effective organic matter
EOM or effective organic matter is a part of organic matter that remains in the soil after a year. Organic matter can be applied to a soil through fertilizers, manure, compost, green manure and crop residues. In the first year after application, a large part of the organic matter will be digested because it is easily degradable. What remains is the effective organic matter.
The contribution of organic matter versus effective organic matter
What does effective organic matter do for the soil? The contribution of effective organic matter to the soil is greater compared to the contribution of organic matter. It is not less important, but the effect is different. In the short term organic matter provides a lot of nutrition for soil life and after the decomposition process the effective organic matter remains which contributes to a better soil structure.
Organic matter in its entirety contributes to an airy soil structure and a balanced soil life. Organic matter promotes soil fertility and increases the water retaining capacity. In short we can say it is indispensable for both soil and soil life. Find out more about the nutrient organic matter in organic fertilizers.
The perfect level of organic matter
What is the ideal figure or level of organic matter for the soil? Unfortunately there is no answer for that. It is important to create a good balance in the supply of organic material. That means adding a varied range of organic fertilizers, compost and green manure to the soil. In this way you apply easy degradable (unstable) and difficult degradable (stable) organic material into the soil. The more stable the organic matter is, the more it contributes to the organic matter level in the soil.
Organic matter versus effective organic matter
There are different type of fertilizers and manure and therefore a difference in the level of organic matter and effective organic matter. Below you will find a comparison.