Monthly Archives: July 2016

Beneficial Microorganisms in Agriculture

Beneficial Microorganisms in Agriculture

Beneficial Microorganims in Agriculture. Here’s a situation where a picture does tell a thousand words.

The picture below is a side by side comparison showing Biota Max™, a biofertilizer, (on the left) and untreated (on the right). This is a great example of the power of using beneficial microorganisms in agriculture, farming, and gardening. 

You’ll notice that the plants on the treated side are much healthier and greener. This is because the root system on the treated side is much more developed. This larger, more developed root system allows the plant to take up nutrients and water more efficiently.

Beneficial Microorganisms in Agriculture

Biota Max side by side field trial. The side on the left used Biota Max.

 

Beneficial Microorganisms

This field trial used Biota Max™ our unique, effervescent soil treatment. Each Biota Max™ tablet contains billions of beneficial microbes. Both beneficial bacteria and beneficial Trichoderma fungi are contained in the tablet. Included in Biota Max™ are 5 species of Bacillus, 4 species of Trichoderma fungi and Paenibacillus polymyma, a nitrogen fixing bacteria.

Beneficial microorganisms are used in agriculture as both a soil and seed treatment. Beneficial microbes are sometimes called biofertilizers, soil amendments, or soil probiotics.

As the picture so dramatically illustrates, biofertilizers help grow bigger, healthier and more vibrant plants and vegetables. This is why the use of biofertilizers and biological soil amendments is growing in agriculture, farming, and gardening.

Custom Biologicals

Custom Biologicals, Inc. manufactures a number of innovative microbial products for agriculture, including Biota Max™. We specialize in manufacturing concentrated microbial products. Our  products are ideal for agriculture, farming and gardening.

Dealer and distributor inquires are always welcome. We have both domestic and international distributor agreements available. Private labeling, customized formulations, and protected territories are also available. Protected territories are only available for our international distributors.

Contact CustomBio at (561) 797-3008 or via email at Bill@Custombio.biz.

 

 

4 Solutions to Farming in Saline Soils

4 Solutions to Farming in High Salinity Soils

 

Salinity is the measure of the total amount of soluble salt in the soil. As the amount of salt increases, it becomes more difficult for the plant to extract the water out of the soil.

Saline soils in farms and gardens is becoming a worldwide problem. High concentrations of salt impact crops in a number of ways, from a reduction in yield all of the way to total crop failure.

According to a United Nations report soil salinity is such a problem that the UN…

… estimates that 2,000 hectares of farmland (nearly 8 square miles) of farmland is ruined daily by salt degradation. So far, nearly 20 percent of the world’s farmland has been degraded, an area approximately the size of France.

The rest of this post will discuss 4 solutions to farming in high salinity soils. While there are other methods used, these are the most common and generally the most successful.

Improving Drainage and Leaching

First, if adequate water sources and good drainage are available, the soils can be washed Saline Soils(leached) to remove the excess salt. Drainage is an absolute must, because the water must move through soil and not just run off the surface.

Select and Plant Salt Tolerant Crops

Plants widely vary in their salt tolerance. One method to control saline soils is to plant crops that have a high salt tolerance. Crops selection varies greatly by climate so check with your local farm extension bureau to determine the appropriate crops in your area.

Use Biofertilizers containing Bacillus subtilis GB03.

Biofertilizers are living microorganisms that are used to help plants grow more efficiently. Biofertilizers are used in agriculture, farming and gardening to improve crop performance and take advantage of microbe plant interactions. These interactions are synergistic. In other words, they are beneficial for both the plant and the microorganism.

One beneficial microorganism that is used for high salinity soils is Bacillus subtilis GB03. This particular microorganism is a bacteria that was found in soils that had a high salt concentration. B. subtilis GB03 have been shown to promote growth promotion and reduce some types of plant stress. This bacterium is also helpful for the plant in seed germination. Additionally, it has proved valuable in both drought and salt tolerance.

Applying Chemical Treatments

Applying chemical treatments is another way to treat high salinity soils. However, this method can be time consuming and expensive. It is best to consult with an expert before trying to chemically treat your soils to reduce problems with saline soils.

For many soils, some type of combination of the above methods may be the best option.

Custom Biologicals manufactures and distributes a number of biological products for agriculture, farming, and gardening including biofertilizers that contain Bacillus subtilis GB03. Custom B5 contains B.subtilis GB03.

Contact Custom at (561) 797-3008 or via email at Bill@Custombio.biz.

Grow Bigger, Healthier Crops and Vegetables

Grow Bigger, Healthier Crops and Vegetables

Healthier Crops

The goal of every farmer and every gardener is to grow bigger, healthier crops and vegetables. Whether the crop is 1000 acres of beans or a backyard with herbs, spices and tomatoes, healthier plants are the desired outcome. The health of all plants starts with the root system.

Nutrient Absorption by Plants

The root system has a number of important functions, but for our purposes the absorption

healthier crops

Bigger Roots with Biota Max

of nutrients is the topic we’ll discuss. Of particular interest is the rhizosphere, The rhizospere is generally defined as the region of soil around the root influenced by root secretions and the microorganisms present.

Beneficial Microorganisms in the Root Zone

Its these microorganisms in the rhizosphere, or root zone, that can have a large impact on root development and ultimately plant growth.

The plant and the microorganisms form a symbiotic, mutually beneficial, relationship. The plant secretes many compounds into the rhizosphere. These secretions attract microorganisms including mychorrhizae, Trichoderma, and beneficial bacteria. These microorganisms, in turn, secrete a number of growth factors and hormones that help the plants grow to their fullest potential. Here’s a few benefits from beneficial microorganisms:

  1. Plant Growth Promotion – production of plant growth hormones including auxins.
  2. Nitrogen Fixation
  3. Enhanced root growth
  4. Increase supply of nutrients including Phosphorus solubilization.
  5. Increase the efficiency of traditional fertilizers such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium.

Each of these benefits could be a topic to itself, but for today lets just note that microorganisms provide the plant with any number of benefits.

One of the keys, then, to growing bigger, healthier plants is to make sure the soils contain adequate amounts of beneficial microorganisms. In fact, hundreds of scientific research studies have shown that the use of beneficial microorganisms helps grow bigger, healthier plants and crops.

Biofertilizers

How can farmers and gardeners take advantage of the power of beneficial microorganisms? They can use biofertilizers. Very simply, Biofertilizers are fertilizers that contain living microorganisms. The use of biofertilizers, sometimes called soil probiotics or soil amendments, will increase the amount of beneficial soil microorganisms in the root zone.

Biofertilizers can be applied to crops in a number of ways. They can be applied as a seed treatment, as a root drench or as a foliar application. The key is to make sure that the biofertilizer gets to the root zone in the most efficient manner.

The use of beneficial microorganisms can have a great benefit for the farmer and gardener. The key to growing bigger, healthier crops plants is to use biofertilizers.

Commercial Biofertilizers

Custom Biologicals manufactures a number of biofertilizers. Biota Max is the favorite for gardeners. Commercial farmers use Custom GP, a Trichoderma product and Custom B5 a beneficial microbe product.

Custom can be reached at (561) 797-3008 or via email at Bill@Custombio.biz.

Trichoderma species. Trichoderma viride.

Trichoderma Species used as Biofertilizers

There are several species of Trichoderma fungi that are used as biofertilizers. In this post, we’ll talk about the most commonly used Trichoderma.  We’ll also talk about the benefits of using Trichoderma for farming, agriculture and home gardening.

Trichoderma Fungi

First, some background on Trichoderma fungi, such as Trichoderma viride. Trichoderma species are the most prevalent

Trichoderma viride

Trichoderma fungi on a petri dish.

type of fungi in soils and they are present worldwide in almost all soil types. They are microscopic and are generally considered avirulent plant symbionts. In other words, they form a symbiotic, or mutually beneficial, relationship with plants.

Its this symbiotic relationship that biofertilizers try to exploit. The idea is simple, by adding more Trichoderma the plant receives more benefit.

Benefits of Trichoderma

I’ve discussed the benefits to the plant of Trichoderma in another post, so I’ll just summarize the highlights here.

  • Trichoderma generally increase both root and shoot growth.
  • Improves the nutrient status of the plant
  • Production of growth promoting hormones
  • Phosphate solubilization
  • Increased uptake of minerals such as Cu (copper), Fe(Iron), Zn (Zinc), and Na (Sodium).

Trichoderma Species Used as Biofertilizers

Most of the Trichoderma species listed here provide the benefits from above. I’ll talk a bit about the additional benefits of some of the fungi. It’s important to note that Trichoderma applications can be made as seed treatment, as a foliar treatment, or as a drench treatment.

Trichoderma harzianum increases plant tolerance to environmental factors like drought and high soil salinity. T. harzianum increases mineral absorption.

Trichoderma viride, when used as a seed treatment, increases the germination rate in a number of crops.

Trichoderma reesi has the ability to secrete large amounts of cellulolytic enzymes and has a number of uses in biotechnology. In fact, it is used to create stone washed jeans because of this ability.

Trichoderma koningii is known to increase the growth of seedlings and secretes seed germination factors.

Trichoderma polysporum is normally found in cooler climates and conveys all of the benefits associated with the other Trichoderma fungi.

Custom Biologicals

Custom Biologicals manufactures a number of Trichoderma based products, including Custom GP. Custom GP is a concentrated liquid biofertilizer containing 4 species of beneficial Trichoderma fungi. Contact Custom for more information about using biofertilizers in agriculture, farming and gardening.