Several types of molasses are widely available, where molasses is any liquid feed ingredient that contains at least 43% sugars. Cane (0.5:0.8:2.4) and beet (1:0.3:4.7) derived molasses are the most abundant sources. Molasses contains high levels of potassium relative to N and P as well as vitamins and trace elements, including iron. Molasses addition to soils can stimulate rapid microbial decay of resident organic matter and so additions can prompt quick release of soil N to create short term yield benefits. The long term influence of this practice and relative cost of this material compared to other sources of K might be a concern. If local sources, including processing wastes, are available, molasses could be applied in concert with high carbon residues and appropriate P sources. In order to be used as a soil or crop amendment, the molasses must be natural and contain no prohibited substances (see Can I Use This Input on My Organic Farm?
). In order for molasses to be used as a feed or feed additive for organic livestock, the molasses must be organic.