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Re: Fermented Barley Straw, Take 2...

Thanks for the thoughts and references James. I have actually read 2
of them in surfing about a bit myself.

It seems clear that the benefit is gained once the straw has started
to decompose and that this process is aerobic in that it takes place
at the surface of ponds (one of the references you made point out that 
the bacteria responsible will die if the straw mat goes anaerobic).
It's also clear that this process takes a little while to get started,
presumably straw has touch cell walls and takes a little while for the
bacteria to have an effect.

What I am wondering is if this anaerobic fermentation is a way of
jump-starting the decomposition, making it useful more quickly.
The 30 day period is used to produce more easily digested by livestock,
there may be a point before that when it's useful as an algaecide.

I'll try the German Dupla page on a German colleague to see if
it really means 'fermented'. Presumably they have spent some time
and money researching the process and will offset the cost by 
charging a premium for their straw, but if all you really need to
do is dig a hole and bury a bale then I can do that myself :)
Their reactor is just a tube after all and I already have a canister
filter to hold a handful of the stuff.