Beyond Ag & The Benefits Of Frass

At Green Man Char, we have teamed up with Beyond Ag to produce Australia's first Biochar and Frass fertiliser products, including:

Biochar+Frass - a mix of 80% biochar and 20% frass. This fertiliser and soil conditioner product is high in biochar which has been pre-charged with nutrients and microbes from added frass. The addition of frass enhances the beneficial interactions of biochar in soils; and

Frass - a mix of 80% frass and a 20% mix of biochar and wood vinegar. This product is designed to perform as a standalone fertiliser as it has a higher concentration of frass, and so it is higher in plant nutrients, chitin and beneficial microbes. The added biochar and wood vinegar increase the storage and activity of nutrients and microbes in the frass.

Both products use frass that is locally sourced from Beyond Ag. 

Beyond Ag

Beyond Ag have innovated technology that processes sustainably sourced, organic biomass using black soldier fly larvae. The process produces frass - an all-natural insect manure that is rich in plant nutrients and beneficial microbes. Beyond Ag's production process is carbon-negative and produces a potent and unique plant fertiliser. 

Beyond Ag's frass is:

+ More nutrient dense than typical compost and worm castings with an excellent NPK ratio of 4:2:2 and is rich in trace nutrients that support plant growth

+ More microbially diverse than typical compost and worm castings and contains ~240 million microbial colony forming units per gram

+ An excellent source of labile carbon which is essential in soils for the support of beneficial microbes

+ Is a source of chitin which activates natural plant defences to guard against pathogens

Chitin - the unique ingredient in Frass

What is unique about frass as a fertiliser, is that it is also a rich source of natural chitin, which comes from the exoskeletons of the black soldier fly larvae that are shed during the production process. 

An increasing evidence base has shown that chitin both exhibits strong antimicrobial activity against some plant pathogens and promotes higher populations of symbiotic microorganisms that consume pathogenic microbes, such as those that commonly cause root rot.

Plant root exposure to chitin has been found to improve the proliferation of legume-rhizobia (symbiotic root nodules) which in turn supports the higher capture of atmospheric N and plant performance overall.

Studies have also shown that plant cell exposure to chitin increases expression of genes involved in the resistance of phytopathogens. This can expedite germination and support vigour in seedlings.  

Frass nutrient and microbial analysis

Total nutrients (w/w%): Nitrogen (N) – 3.5%, Phosphorus (P) – 1.4%, Potassium (K) – 1.8%, Calcium (Ca) – 10.8%, Magnesium (Mg) – 1.1%, Sulfur (S) – 0.5%, Sodium (Na – 0.4%).

Total trace nutrients (mg/kg): Aluminium (Al – 741, Boron (B) – 23, Cobalt (Co) – 1, Copper (Cu) – 42, Iron (Fe) – 2643, Molybdenum (Mo) – 2, Manganese (Mn) – 407, Nickel (Ni) – 5, Selenium (Se) – 1, Silicon (Si) – 3252, Zinc (Zn) – 446.

Bacteria and fungi cell count: 240 million colony forming units (CFU) per gram.

Links and further reading on the benefits of frass and chitin:

Chitosan in Plant Protection

A Review of the Applications of Chitin and Its Derivatives in Agriculture to Modify Plant-Microbial Interactions and Improve Crop Yields

Use of Enterra Natural Fertilizer (Black Soldier Fly Larvae Digestate) As a Soil Amendment

A Survey of Bacterial Diversity From Successive Life Stages of Black Soldier Fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) by Using 16S rDNA Pyrosequencing

BSFL Frass: A Novel Biofertilizer for Improving Plant Health While Minimizing Environmental Impact

Chitin and Chitosan Preparation from Marine Sources. Structure, Properties and Applications

A survey of the mycobiota associated with larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) reared for feed production

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