Agrifert - Liquid and Solid Fertilisers, Soil Conditioners and Animal Health Supplements

Importance of Bacteria in Soil

Importance of Bacteria in Soil

Soil contains considerable amounts of available energy in mineral and organic form, and harbours a varied population of living organisms. These inhabitants include large organisms such as earthworms, insects and vast numbers of smaller organisms like protozoa, bacteria, small fungi, nematodes and algae.

This life within the soil plays such a prominent and indispensible role in the cycling of nutrients that it should not be ignored in the endless fertiliser debate (acidic super and Potassium Chloride vs. fertilisers like Agrisol which are beneficial to soil activity).

A handful of soil should contain at least 1300 million bacteria, 3 million moulds and fungi and, hopefully an earthworm.

Activities of soil organisms vary from the disintegration of plant residues by insects and earthworms to the eventual complete decomposition of these residues by smaller organisms such as bacteria, moulds and fungi - resulting in humus.

Apart from the formation of humus, which is a by-product of the food chain in the soil, the various soil organisms contribute in other ways to soil fertility.


The main effect of earthworms is to mix, aerate, and improve soil drainage and porosity. They are a vital link in the chain of soil life and fertility. Their casts are rich in Nitrogen, organic matter, available Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium, all essential for plant growth. Basically, they convert the unavailable into the available.

Moulds and Fungi

The main role of mould and fungi is to breakdown the hard materials in plant remains. Often it is only due to their activity that bacteria can feed on these materials.


The activities of decomposing bacteria are responsible for the circulation of carbon, which is necessary for life on earth. They are also main players in cycling nutrients. Recent studies are showing that our fertiliser practices in this country are causing a huge depletion in carbon. We are not learning from the mistakes made overseas, such as in Australia and United States.
AgriFERT believe this is what a healthy soil should contain, and that after a number of years, using more environmentally beneficial fertilisers, farmers will notice big changes in their soils' bacterial activity.

A fertile soil has an abundance of nutrients and micro-nutrients, it just has to be given a chance to cycle these nutrients and make them available. Many consultants say "earthworms don't matter". Soil with applied harsh chemical fertilisers containing acids, chlorides and root damaging salts do considerable harm to this natural breaking down of nutrients.