Soil Trooper is a concentrated source of the soil fungus Nigrospora oryzae and can be used as a soil ameliorant. It contains spores as well as actively growing fungal hyphae.
Nigrospora oryzae is a native Australian soil fungus that is also found throughout temperate, subtropical and tropical areas of the world. This fungus is a decomposer, also known as a saprophyte. It breaks down dead organic material (eg. grass leaves) into fungal biomass, carbon dioxide and organic acids. By consuming the nutrients in organic matter, this fungus helps to retain nutrients in the topsoil. The organic acids it produces help resist the degradation of soil organic matter.
Nutrient cycling and organic matter that is resistant to degradation are key to healthy soils. Soils with a high organic matter content are more resilient to extreme events and more productive in the long term. Soils with adequate fungi are resistant to erosion, reduce compaction and allow water and air to move freely through the soil.
Soil Trooper has no withholding period and is suitable for use on organic farms.*
Soil Trooper is best used fresh to maximise the benefits of the actively growing fungal hyphae. Use the entire package in a single application to avoid contamination by other organisms.
Unopened, Soil Trooper will store for several weeks in cool conditions. For longer term storage, refrigeration is recommended.
Soil Trooper is grown on a specially prepared substrate. The hyphae and spores need to be washed from the substrate.
Empty the entire contents of the pack and rinse the package into a bucket with water. Washing in clean, untreated** water with a drill-powered paint stirrer is ideal.
Once washed into the water, Soil Trooper needs to be strained through a mesh that will allow spores and fragments of hyphae to pass through into your spray tank. A 450 micron (about 0.5mm) mesh filter is ideal.***
To maximise the yield of spores and hyphae, two repeat washings are recommended. Once mixed with water, Soil Trooper hyphae will remain viable for several days if kept in the shade. Spores may remain viable for several years until weather conditions suit their germination.
Make sure your tank and lines are rinsed clean of chemical residue. As a guide, mix a 1ha pack into around 200L of water.
The fungal spores and fragments of fungal hyphae need to pass through your spray nozzles. Unfiltered, wide aperture nozzles work best. Boomless nozzles are ideal. If boomspraying, deflector nozzles are preferable, with an aperture of 0.4mm or more.
It is best to apply Soil Trooper during a period of damp weather when fragments of the fungal hyphae can keep growing after they are sprayed on.
Nigrospora oryzae will slowly spread downhill with the flow of water and be transported by animals and vehicles. Targeting areas along ridgelines, on tracks and around troughs will help it to spread.
*This product is not certified organic but has been allowed as an input by some certifying bodies. Obtain permission from your certifying body before using on your certified organic farm.
** Chlorinated water may damage the fungus
*** We can supply 450 micron (0.45mm) mesh filters