Research shows that an application of an extract when planting seed will begin a major reestablishment of soil microbes. If done each time a crop is planted and there are living roots in the ground most of the year, in three years this would be sufficient inoculation. The true test will be a physical and visual examination of the soil to determine the condition of the roots.
When Dr Johnson first applied his special compost it was at 400 pounds to the acre. Through testing he found he could get almost the same plant response with just 2 pounds of compost in extract form applied per acre. Most farmers apply this at 2 pounds but some do less and have good results. Part the answer will be on how much biology is in the compost you make or purchase. If the fungal population is very high, you might get good results from just 1 pound/acre. If one plants a cash crop and a cover crop at two different times of the year, consider a 1 pound/acre application each time. Planting part of the fields with different rates and tracking progress is the best way.
This J/S compost you purchase or make is alive. It must have air and water. It can be stored for many months if is can breathe and you keep it misted with water as needed. Keep it from freezing and temps above 100F -37C. I ship my compost in plastic bags inside a box because the moisture from the compost will soak the box in shipping. When you receive the shipment, open and allow the compost to get air and mist if it is not moist. You might want to transfer the compost to another container.
I add worms to the compost piles when the temperature allows the worms to live. Sometimes the temperature of the compost piles will be as high as 130 degrees F for a few days at the start so I add the worms when the temperature is below 85F. I use African Nightcrawlers in some of the bins and Red Wigglers in other bins. When the compost is finished, I remove what worms I can to keep them working for me. The product you receive from me may have some worms. There may be worm eggs, or very tiny worms I could not see. They won't hurt the product and if kept for a couple of months, there may not be enough food to keep them, and they will die. The worms eat mostly microscopic bacteria, protozoa and fungi, nematodes and tiny bits of organic matter. The worm's digestive system adds enzymes and glues to the castings and can increase the microbial benefits of the compost.
The easiest way is to make an extract liquid with water and spray in on the yard and garden often. When planting seeds, you can soak the seeds in a bit of water with a tsp of the compost overnight and then plant. Or you can add 1/4 cup of the compost to a couple of gallons of other compost and use this to cover the seeds you plant before you cover with soil. Remember, this is very potent and a little goes a long way. An application of 1 pound per acre is just 1 ounce per 2700 square feet. For our garden and lawn, we make an extract from a few ounces of compost and add it to a garden sprayer with liquid fish hydrolysate and water and spray this on the grass, bushes, tree leaves we can reach and the garden. We do this about every two weeks in the evening and try to do it an hour before a rain if possible. Avoid applying this as a foliar during the sunshine as it will damage the life of the spray.
An extract is made by rinsing off the microbiology that is attached to the organic material in the compost. In one pound of compost there are over 5 trillion living organisms! By spraying water over and through the compost, these organisms are removed and rinsed off and collected to be applied in many different ways. The simplest way to do a small batch is with a kitchen strainer. I bought a bullion strainer at a restaurant supply store that will hold a pound of compost and when sprayed with about a gallon of water, will do the extraction very well. I have several levels of extraction equipment under the products section at the top of the page.
Roundup has the active ingredient glyphosate. This was invented and patented in Japan as an antibiotic many decades ago. It works by chelating the minerals as they come into the plant to starve the plant by keeping needed minerals out. The result is it kills the living plant. The J/S compost will help reverse the glyphosate damage to soils over a several year period. It does this by reintroducing new micro life into the soil that have been killed by the antibiotic action of glyphosate. The main reason for this herbicide is pesky weeds. By using the J/S compost in a management program of minimal or no till and living plants year-round, the weed pressure will diminish so the herbicide will not be needed. Most weeds feed on the excess nitrogen fertilizer applied to the fields. The micro life from the compost will make most of the nitrogen the plants need from the air and the weeds won't have such an abundant source of nitrogen and won't prosper. This is a very simple version of a complicated and lengthy process. But by applying the J/S compost at planting and reducing the fertilizer, weed pressure will diminish and this new life will deplete toxic materials applied earlier.
There are basically three ways to apply this and all three would be as an extract. There is no way one can apply 1 or even 10 pounds of compost over an acre. So this involves three ways of applying an extract. Dr. Johnson recommends the best way is to dribble of spray the liquid on top of the seed as it is planted. This does take specialized planting equipment. The next best way is to make a slurry with the extract and wet the seed, then apply it either wet or dried in the shade, then planted. The third way is to spray the leaves and ground of the new plants. In a market garden or home garden, wetting the seeds may not be a problem. If you use a mechanical seeder, the seeds may not flow as well if damp so this must be tested. You can read how to make a slurry in the Home page under How to Use.
I have heard from many farmers who have sprayed their cover crops. There seems to be mixed results on how it effects the plants and production. I just heard Niclole Masters in a webinar speaking about foliar applications of compost extract. She recommends adding fish hydrolysate to the spray mix. The amino acids and enzymes in the fish help to carry the biology in the extract into the plant. Not sure how much fish to use but I think at least on quart per acre would be a good start. You could experiment with dosages and check the brix within hours to see how much change there is on plants that are sprayed vs a control.