I was curious about the health of the environment in relation to the practice of farmers. I found a very effective and environmental-friendly but less exploited means by which you as a farmer can increase your farm yield at relatively low cost. This is biofertilizer. There are different types of biofertilizers you can use as a means of replenishing the soil nutrients without causing any menace to the environment; it is ideal for organic farming.
What is biofertilizer?
Simply put; biofertilizer is a living material, naturally existing or cultured, added to the soil, seeds or plant roots to promote crop growth by improving the soil fertility.
Types of Biofertilizers
- They have the ability to withstand drought better than non-mycorrhizal plants.
- They are protected from pathogens, nematodes and heavy metal concentration in the root zone of plants.
- The soil condition is improved; hence, it is well aerated and the movement of nutrient within the soil is easy.
- The plants enjoy rapid growth as a result of adequate phosphorus supply and the production of phytohormones such as cytokinin which may have positive effects on the plant growth.
How to use biofertilizers
- Direct soil application: You can introduce the inoculant directly to the soil before planting by mixing a recommended quantity of the inoculant in a carrier. The carrier is commonly an organic material, mostly manure. the manure is then applied evenly to the soil before planting or transplanting.
- Seed treatment: Seed treatment is a pre-planting operation; in this context, the biofertilizers inoculants are made to come in contact with the seeds before planting. This is achieved by soaking the seeds in the inoculant slurry; the seeds are allowed to dry for about 15 minutes before planting
- Root dip: In case of transplanted seedlings, the inoculants are brought in contact with the roots of the seedings by dipping the root region of the seedlings in the solution of the inoculant for about 20 minutes before planting.