What is the Role of Biofertilizers in Agriculture

Biofertilizers Introduction

Biofertilizers are the living microorganisms that supply essential nutrients for the plants. These essential plant nutrients help in the growth and development of plants. There are many microbes that act as biofertilizers. They may be fungal, bacterial or algal microorganisms. Biofertilizers play a key role in organic farming, natural farming and sustainable agrifarming.

Advantages of Biofertilizers

  • Biofertilizers fix atmospheric Nitrogen to the plants.
  • They convert the insoluble form of elements such as iron, tricalcium, nitrates and aluminum phosphates into available forms in the soil which are further easily absorbed by the crop plants.
  • Biofertilizers supply phosphorus to the plants.
  • They produce anti-metabolites and hormones that help in promoting root growth.
  • Biofertilizers fasten the mineralization process that occurs in the soil.
  • In addition, biofertilizers also decompose the organic matter present in the soil.
  • Furthermore, biofertilizers increase the crop yield and economic value of the crop.

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Types of Biofertilizers

  • Bacterial biofertilizers
  • Fungal biofertilizers
  • Algal biofertilizers
  • Actinomycetes biofertilizers

Examples of biofertilizers

Bacterial biofertilizers

  • Rhizobium
  • Azotobacter
  • Azospirillum
  • PSB (Phosphorous Soulubulising Bacteria)
  • KSB (Potassium Soulubulising Bacteria)
  • Phosphobacteria

Fungal biofertilizers

  • VAM (Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhiza)/ Mycorrhiza

Algal biofertilizers

  • BGA (Blue-Green Algae)
  • Azolla

Actinomycetes biofertilizers

  • Frankia

How to use biofertilizers in Agriculture

                Biofertilizers are used in various ways in agriculture. They are used as a seed treatment, seedling treatment (Seedling dip), soil drenching, foliar application of biofertilizers. However, biofertilizers applications various with the crop.

Fig: Azolla biofertilizer
Biofertilizers in Agriculture

The recommended dose of biofertilizers in Agri farming

The dose of biofertilizers varies from crop to crop. However, biofertilizer’s recommendation for various crops is as follows.

Bio-fertilizers Crop Biofertilizer treatment method Dosage
Rhizobium Chickpea Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Beans Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Groundnut Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Soybean Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Lentil Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Lucerene Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Berseem Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Greengram Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Pigeonpea Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Other crops Soil drenching 1-2ml/plant
Azotobacter Wheat Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Oat Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Barley Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Castor Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Mustard Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Linseed Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Sunflower Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Pearlmillet Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Kodo millet Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Finger millet Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Tobacco Seedling treatment 500ml/acre
  Tea Seed treatment 400ml/acre
  Cofee Seed treatment 400ml/acre
  Rubber Seedling treatment 2-3ml/plant
  Coconut Seedling treatment 2-3ml/plant
Azospirillum Paddy Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Maize Seed treatment 200ml/acre
  Sorghum Seed treatment 200ml/acre
PSB All crops NA 200ml/acre
VAM All crops Soil application 2-3 kg/acre
Azolla Paddy Sub-merged soil application 4ton/acre

Benefits of Biofertilizers

Azolla Biofertilizer: It is a water fern that fixes atmospheric Nitrogen (N) in association with Algae (Anabaena azollae)

VAM (Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhiza)/ Mycorrhiza:  It is a fungal biofertilizer is symbiotic with the plant roots. It helps in the conversion of unavailable for Sulphur to the available form of Sulphur which is late absorbed by the plants. In addition, the plants provide shelter to the VAM fungal biofertilizer.

Rhizobium: Rhizobium is a Nitrogen fixing biofertilizer that fixes the atmospheric Nitrogen to the host plant. It is in the form of nodules adhered to the plant root system.

Azotobacter: This Azotobacter biofertilizer converts N2 to NH4+ and No3_  fixes atmospheric Nitrogen for the crop plants.

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Azospirillum: This bacterial biofertilizer also fixes the atmospheric nitrogen (N) as the above biofertilizer.

PSB (Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria): PSB is a bacterial biofertilizer that converts an insoluble form of phosphorous in the soil to soluble biofertilizer and makes it available for the plants.

BGA (Blue-Green Algae): This BGA microbe increases soil fertility. In addition, it also increases the water holding capacity and prevent weed growth in the soil.

Biofertilizers production:

There are various methods of biofertilizer production. However, we will come up with an article on methods of biofertilizer production soon.

Conclusion: Therefore, this is a brief summary of the role and importance of biofertilizers in the field of agriculture. For more queries comment below.

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