Microbes as Biofertilizers

What is Biofertilizer? 

Biofertilizers are substances that contain microorganisms that largely help in soil fertility which makes the plant grow healthy. This increases the flow of important nutrients in trees as well as plants. The Biofertilizers inculcate all the living organisms such as blue-green algae, mycorrhizal fungi, and other bacterial biofertilizers. The role of bacteria as biofertilizers is that it helps in restoring the soil's organic matter and the natural cycle regulates. The role of microbes in biofertilizers assists in healthy plant growth and the soil value increases. Biofertilizers give you an "eco-friendly" way to sustain your crops and promote organic agriculture. The lesser you use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, the better is the health of your plant. 

Microbes as biofertilizers can be a good substitute. There are benefits of synthetic pesticides too and till now it is hard to find a replacement for them but today biofertilizers are being used instead of chemical pesticides.  The use of microbes as biofertilizers make this type of fertilizer very same and they do not possess any ill effects like the synthetic ones. 

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Microbial Biofertilizers

Microorganisms as biofertilizers are of various types. Each type has its exclusive function and capability. There are broadly 6 types of microbes used as biofertilizers. 


1. Rhizobia

Rhizobia are used as a fixating component for nitrogen in a coalition with the roots of leguminous crops. It is a bacterial biofertilizer depending on your crop that can fix 40 to 120 kgs of nitrogen annually. It largely depends on the environmental conditions, rhizobium species, and the size of your crop. They contribute to increasing plant growth, plant nutrition, and soil fertility and it has no fatalistic effects on the soil or the environment. For every leguminous crop, a different type of rhizobium species is required. The role of microbes in biofertilizer is phenomenal.


2. Azotobacter

Another bacterial biofertilizer is Azotobacter which is also a group of bacteria that fixes the soil from nitrogen. Though it is different from rhizobia. This microbe used as biofertilizers does not associate itself with the leguminous crops. They are nitrogen which can be used as fixers for all kinds of crops and are free-living. The only drawback is that they cannot survive in wetland conditions. Azotobacter needs to be regularly applied in soils that have very little fertility. 


3. Azospirillum

Just like Azotobacter, this bacterial biofertilizer does not associate itself with leguminous crops. But they are also not free-living and while fixing the nitrogen, they reside inside the root of the plant. Besides fixing the nitrogen, it can largely contribute to the plant's growth. The Ph level of soil above 6.0 works best for Azospirillum, especially soils with moisture content. 


4. Blue-green Algae

Blue-green algae are photosynthetic algae that are found in marshy and wetland, these are microorganisms as biofertilizers. It is a free-living nitrogen fixer which is also called cyanobacteria. The name is kept based on their color, but it differs and can be red, brown, or purple sometimes. They are used only for rice cultivation when the field is fully flooded, and they do not live through the acidic soil. These microbes used as biofertilizers are prepared in farms itself.


5. Azolla

Azolla is different from other bacterial biofertilizers. It is a free-floating water fern. It helps in fixing the nitrogen and is a renewable biofertilizer. Just like blue-green algae microorganisms as biofertilizers are produced in masses in the farms itself. It has the quality of multiplying fast which allows it to control the growth of weed in flooded rice fields. It is a good quality feeding source for poultry as well as cattle and as green manure. 


6. Phosphate-solubilizing Microorganisms

Phosphate-solubilizing microorganisms are groups of fungi that are capable of disintegrating insoluble phosphates to make them obtainable for crops. They need a good amount of organic matter in the soil to be of great use. They are so important because there is only a third of phosphorus in the soil which is actually obtainable for the crops and remaining is insoluble. 

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How are Biofertilizers Important and its Various Benefits

  • Biofertilizer microbes are used as a fixer for nutrients in the soil. Especially the nitrogen insufficiency.

  • A biofertilizer is a living organism and it can convert composite organic material into simple compounds so it can be easy for the plants to take them.

  • With microorganisms used as biofertilizers, it has enhanced the plant growth enormously and gives soil its richness back.

  • Instead of controlling growth, they advance the growth process in plants especially when it comes to new seed growth. 


Fun Fact

Microorganisms as biofertilizers are highly cost-effective as compared to the synthetic fertilizers. You can even grow some of these in your own farm and use them for your crop's healthy growth. 

They are also known to provide high-quality nourishment to the plant as compared to chemical fertilizers.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Does Biofertilizer Play a Key Role When it Comes to Soil Fertility?

Biofertilizers as compared to chemical fertilizers have worked exceptionally well to increase soil fertility in recent times. When the Biofertilizers pertain to the seed and soil inoculants it multiplies and increases the nutrient cycle which enhances crop productivity. It is known as a key player in soil fertility, especially microbes used as biofertilizers. There are different types of microbes as biofertilizers for every type of land and crop. So, find the one which matches yours and increase soil fertility. Biofertilizers are also not harmful like the synthetic ones. They are environment friendly and promote the growth of beneficial bacteria colonies. 

2. Why are Biofertilizers Important?

Biofertilizers are very important because they are eco-friendly and do not harm the environment at all. They not only increase the soil's health but also enhance the plant's productivity. The farmers can make these biofertilizers themselves in their farms and use them for the plants when required. Over the years, it has gained recognition and now people are understanding how useful microorganisms as biofertilizers are for their agricultural productivity as well as human health. These fertilizers come from natural substances and no chemicals are used. Hence, bio-fertilizers do not decrease the value of the soil over the years, but enhance its fertility.