Biofertilizers are cost-effective.

They reduce the risk of plant diseases.

The health of the people consuming the vegetables grown by the addition of chemical fertilizers is more at risk.

Biofertilizers do not cause any type of pollution.

Biofertilizers are required to restore the fertility of the soil. Prolonged use of chemical fertilizers degrades the soil and affects the crop yield. Biofertilizers, on the other hand, enhance the water holding capacity of the soil and add essential nutrients such as nitrogen, vitamins and proteins to the soil. They are the natural form of fertilizers and hence, widely used in agriculture.

Microorganism used as biofertilizers are:

Rhizobium

Azotobacter

Azospirilium

Biofertilizers utilise certain microorganisms. These microorganisms trap atmospheric nitrogen and convert it into nitrates and nitrites and make it available to the plants. They also convert insoluble phosphates into the forms required by the plants.

The main sources of biofertilizers include bacteria, cyanobacteria and fungi.

Rhizobium is an important nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Rhizobium lives in symbiotic association with the leguminous plants, specifically in their root nodules. It traps the atmospheric nitrogen and converts it into usable forms that enhance the growth of the plants.

(A) Types of bio fertilizer for sugarcane .
Acetobactor , Azotobactor, Azoospirillum & Phosphate Solublizing Bacteria (PSB)
(B) Rate of application : 12-15 kg / ha
(C) Mode of application  :

1. Set Treatment: Suspended & mixed thoroughly 5 kg bio fertilizer for one acre in 100 lit of water .Treat cane sett by dipping in this suspension before planting.

2. Soil Treatment: Suspended 5 kg of bio fertilizer per acre in 10 liters of water & mixed with thoroughly with 80-100 kg of FYM. The mixed bio fertilizer in FYM is sprinkled over cane setts in the rows at the of planting .Immediately rows should be covered.

With the introduction of green revolution technologies the modern agriculture is getting more and more dependent upon the steady supply of synthetic inputs (mainly fertilizers), which are products of fossil fuel (coal+ petroleum). Adverse effects are being noticed due to the excessive and imbalanced use of these synthetic inputs. This situation has lead to identifying harmless inputs like biofertilizers. Use of such natural products like biofertilizers in crop cultivation will help in safeguarding the soil health and also the quality of crop products.

  • Increase crop yield by 20-30%.
  • Replace chemical nitrogen and phosphorus by 25%.
  • Stimulate plant growth.
  • Activate the soil biologically.
  • Restore natural soil fertility.
  • Provide protection against drought and some soil borne diseases.
  • Cost effective.
  • Suppliment to fertilizers.
  • Eco-friendly (Friendly with nature).
  • Reduces the costs towards fertilizers use, especially regarding nitrogen and phosphorus.
  • For Nitrogen
    • Rhizobium for legume crops.
    • Azotobacter/Azospirillum for non legume crops.
    • Acetobacter for sugarcane only.
    • Blue –Green Algae (BGA) and Azolla for low land paddy.
  • For Phosphorous
    • Phosphatika for all crops to be applied with Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azospirillum and Acetobacter
  • For enriched compost
    • Cellulolytic fungal culture
    • Phosphotika and Azotobacter culture
  • Rhizobium + Phosphotika at 200 gm each per 10 kg of seed as seed treatment are recommended for pulses such as pigeonpea, green gram, black gram, cowpea etc, groundnut and soybean.
  • Azotobacter + Phosphotika at 200 gm each per 10 kg of seed as seed treatment are useful for wheat, sorghum, maize, cotton, mustard etc.
  • For transplanted rice, the recommendation is to dip the roots of seedlings for 8 to 10 hours in a solution of Azospirillum + Phosphotika at 5 kg each per ha.
  • Seed treatment: 200 g of nitrogenous biofertilizer and 200 g of Phosphotika are suspended in 300-400 ml of water and mixed thoroughly. Ten kg seeds are treated with this paste and dried in shade. The treated seeds have to be sown as soon as possible.
  • Seedling root dip: For rice crop, a bed is made in the field and filled with water. Recommended biofertilizers are mixed in this water and the roots of seedlings are dipped for 8-10 hrs.
  • Soil treatment: 4 kg each of the recommended biofertilizers are mixed in 200 kg of compost and kept overnight. This mixture is incorporated in the soil at the time of sowing or planting.
  • Biofertilizer product must contain good effective strain in appropriate population and should be free from contaminating microorganisms.
  • Select right combination of biofertilizers and use before expiry date.
  • Use suggested method of application and apply at appropriate time as per the information provided on the label.
  • For seed treatment adequate adhesive should be used for better results.
  • For problematic soils use corrective methods like lime or gypsum pelleting of seeds or correction of soil pH by use of lime.
  • Ensure the supply of phosphorus and other nutrients.
  • Biofertilizer packets need to be stored in cool and dry place away from direct sunlight and heat.
  • Right combinations of biofertilizers have to be used.
  • As Rhizobium is crop specific, one should use for the specified crop only.
  • Other chemicals should not be mixed with the biofertilizers.
  • While purchasing one should ensure that each packet is provided with necessary information like name of the product, name of the crop for which intended, name and address of the manufacturer, date of manufacture, date of expiry, batch number and instructions for use.
  • The packet has to be used before its expiry, only for the specified crop and by the recommended method of application.
  • Biofertilizers are live product and require care in the storage
  • Both nitrogenous and phosphatic biofertilizers are to be used to get the best results.
  • It is important to use biofertilizers along with chemical fertilizers and organic manures.
  • Biofertilizers are not replacement of fertilizers but can supplement plant nutrient requirements.

Anybody who is involved in farming can use these biofertilizers in crops such as legumes, cash crops, cereal crops, fodder crops, oil seed crops, horticultural crops, vegetables, fruit trees, forest trees, medicinal, herbal and decorative plants.

There is a huge difference in the application amount and the actual availability of chemical fertilizers to the plants. Biofertilizers have been reported to enhance the availability of these inorganic inputs to the plants. Thus Biofertilizers can be used along with chemical fertilizers but the care should be taken to avoid direct contact of chemical based inputs with Biofertilizers which is likely to reduce the microbial population of Biofertilizers.

Mycorrhizae are mutualistic relationships between soil fungus and plant roots.

In disturbed soils, the kinds found in landscape projects, restoration, new grove/orchards, and mine reclamation sites.

Probably not. Even if there was a mycorrhizal fungi present in nursery stock the species that would thrive in a nursery setting would probably offer little benefit in a real world landscape, restoration, or forestry planting.

Again, practices generally are geared to high production to turn inventories. Under highly managed operations any mycorrhizal fungi present would be poorly adapted to real world conditions found at out planting sites.

Rhizobium is used for pulse legum. It fixes 50-100 kg N/hectare with legumes. For different pulse crops specific rhizobium cultures are required.

Azospirillum is recommended for rice millets, maize, wheat sorghum etc. and it fixes 20-40 kg N/hectare.