What are Biologicals?
Biologicals are derived from naturally occurring micro-organisms, plant extracts, beneficial insects and organic matter. Biological products are sustainable and chemical free and for the most part – organic. There are 3 main categories of biological including:
o Biostimulants for enhanced plant growth
o Biopesticides for protection against insects and pests
o Biofertility to improve nutrition
The biological market is a rapidly growing segment in the agricultural industry and is valued at over $3 billion.
Types of Biological Products
- Amino acids
- Beneficial bacteria
- Citric acid
- Cytokine, kinetin
- Fulvic acid
- Kelp meal
- Soluble Seaweed Extract
- Rooting hormones
- Salicylic acid
- Worm powder
Rock Phosphate and Biologicals
Phosphorus is the second most important nutrient in the soil aside from nitrogen. Availability of phosphorus can be problematic due to low solubility and mobility in the soil. According to research, the application of biological products and rock phosphate in agriculture can lead to positive, synergistic effects.
- Increase plant available phosphate with tryptophan and humics.
- Potential to enhance nutrient efficiency.
- Biologicals solubilize phosphate in the soil.
- Prevent phosphorus fixation/ tie-up in the soil using biological.
- pH decreasing ability of actinomyces to improve solubility of rock phosphate.
- RP improves microbial communities in the soil (fungi and bacterial), which are important for solubilisation of RP and plant uptake.
- Solubilize RP with microbes to develop a biofertilizer.
- Improved P availability in calcerous soil with organic acids (oxalic and citric).
- Phosphorus solubilising bacteria produce organic acids which lower surrounding pH levels improving phosphorus solubility.
- Add RP to green waste compost to improve P mobilization and composting process, then use final compost as a bioavailable source of P fertilization.
- Reduce soluble P fertilization application requirement by applying RP with bacteria, fungi and humic acid.
- Addition of phosphorus solubilising bacteria to the soil improves early growth, P uptake and yield of several crops including corn and wheat.
- Improved plant growth and P uptake through application of RP with manure in calcareous soils.
- Improve legume nodulation and production with a rock phosphate biofertilizer.
- Rock phosphate biofertilizer can be used as an alternative to triple superphosphate.
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Ubiana C. Silva1, Julliane D. Medeiros2, Laura R. Leite2, Daniel K. Morais2,3, Sara Cuadros-Orellana2,4, Christiane A. Oliveira5, Ubiraci G. de Paula Lana5, Eliane A. Gomes5 and Vera L. Dos Santos1*Long-Term Rock Phosphate Fertilization Impacts the Microbial Communities of Maize Rhizosphere. Frontiers in microbiology. 2017: 8 (1266)
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K.S. Baig1, M. Arshad*1, Z.A. Zahir1 and M.A. Cheema. Comparative efficacy of qualitative and quantitative methods for rock phosphate solubilization with phosphate solubilizing rhizobacteria. Soil & Environ. 29(1): 82 – 86, 2010.