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FAQ’s For Biofertilizers

1. What is biofertilizer?

Biofertilizers are ready to use live formulates of such beneficial microorganisms which on application to seed, root or soil mobilize the availability of nutrients by their biological activity in particular, and help build up the micro-flora and in turn the soil health in general.


2. Why should we use biofertilizers?

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.

3. What are the benefits from using biofertilizers?

  • 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.

 

4. What are the advantages of bio-fertilizers?

  1. Cost effective.
  2. Suppliment to fertilizers.
  3. Eco-friendly (Friendly with nature).
  4. Reduces the costs towards fertilizers use, especially regarding nitrogen and phosphorus.

 

  1. What types of biofertilizers are available?
  1. 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.
  2. For Phosphorous
    • Phosphatika for all crops to be applied with Rhizobium, Azotobacter, Azospirillum and Acetobacter
  3. For enriched compost
    • Cellulolytic fungal culture
    • Phosphotika and Azotobacter culture

 

6. How could one get good response to biofertilizer application?

 

  • 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.

 

7. What would be probable reasons for not getting response from the application of biofertilizers?

 

  1. On account of quality of product
    • Use of ineffective strain.
    • Insufficient population of microorganisms.
    • High level of contaminants.
  2. On account of inadequate storage facilities
    • May have been exposed to high temperature.
    • May have been stored in hostile conditions.
  3. On account of usage
    • Not used by recommended method in appropriate doses.
    • Poor quality adhesive.
    • Used with strong doses of plant protection chemicals.
  4. On account of soil and environment
    • High soil temperature or low soil moisture.
    • Acidity or alkalinity in soil.
    • Poor availability of phosphorous and molybdenum.
    • Presence of high native population or presence of bacteriophages.

 

8. What precautions one should take for using biofertilizers?
 

  • 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.

 

FAQ’s For Tissue Culture

 

1. What is Tissue Culture?
The propagation of a plant by using a plant part or single cell or group cell in a test tube under very controlled and hygienic conditions is called "Tissue Culture".

2. What are advantages of Tissue Culture Planting Material ?

  • True to the type of mother plant under well management.
  • Pest and disease free seedlings.
  • Uniform growth, increases yield.
  • Early maturity of crop - maximum land use is possible in low land holding country like India.
  • Round the year planting possible as seedlings are made available throughout the year.
  • Two successive ratoons are possible in a short duration which minimizes cost of cultivation.
  • No staggered harvesting.
  • 95% - 98% plants bear bunches.
  • New varieties can be introduced and multiplied in a short duration.

 

3. Which is the Planting Material ?
Sword suckers weighing approximately 500-1000 gm are commonly used as propagating material. Suckers generally may be infected with some pathogens and nematodes. Similarly due to the variation in age and size of sucker the crop is not uniform, harvesting is prolonged and management becomes difficult. Therefore, in-vitro clonal propagation i.e. Tissue culture plants are recommended for planting. They are healthy, disease free, uniform and authentic. Properly hardened secondary seedlings are only recommended for planting.

4. Which Climate is suitable for banana plantations?
Banana is basically a tropical crop, grows well in temperature range of 13ºC – 38ºC with RH regime of 75-85%. In India this crop is being cultivated in climate ranging from humid tropical to dry mild subtropics through selection of appropriate varieties like Grand naine. Chilling injury occurs at temperatures below 12ºC. The normal growth of the banana begins at 18ºC, reaches optimum at 27ºC, then declines and comes to a halt at 38ºC. Higher temperature causes sun scorching. High velocity wind which exceeds 80 kmphrs damages the crop.

5. How should be the Soil?
Soil for banana should have good drainage, adequate fertility and moisture. Deep, rich loamy soil with pH between 6-7.5 is most preferred for banana cultivation. Ill drained, poorly aerated and nutritionally deficient soils are not suitable for banana. Saline solid, calcareous soil is not suitable for Banana cultivation. Avoided soil of low laying areas, very sandy & heavy black cotton with ill drainage.
A soil that is not too acidic & not too alkaline, rich in organic material with high nitrogen content, adequate phosphorus level and plenty of potash are good for banana.

6. What is the right Planting Time?
Planting of tissue culture Banana can be done throughout the year except when the temperature is too low or too high. Facility of drip irrigation system is important. There are two important seasons in Maharashtra, India;
Mrig Baug (Kharif) Month of planting June - July.Kande Baug (Rabi) Month of planting October -November.

7. What are biopesticides?
Biopesticides are products containing natural organisms, or their genes or metabolites, that are used to protect vegetation against damaging pests. Of the 13 million ha or so of Canadian forests defoliated by insects, 10% may benefit from application of these products. Biopesticides are viewed as an attractive alternative to chemical pesticides because they attack specific pest targets and are more efficient than chemical pesticides. One example, Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies kurstaki, or Btk, is the most widely used biological control agent in forestry.

Q:  Is biopesticides safe to the environment?
A:  Biopesticides are safe to the environment because they are biodegradable, eco-friendly, host specific and leave no harmful residue.

 

FAQ’s For Micronutrients

 

1. Is there a need to apply micronutrients to crops?
Application of good quantities of organic manures usually supplies the required micronutrients to crops. If the farmer is not able to apply such organic manures, then over time soils will be deficient in micronutrients. In such a situation, the soil analysis will help in identifying the deficiency of micronutrients in the soil and application of deficient micronutrients will lead to increased yields.

2. What are some good sources of micronutrients?
Organic manures (FYM, compost, green manure and green-leaf manure) are good sources.

Other specific sources include:


Boron

Borax or boric acid

Zinc

Zinc sulfate

Iron

Ferrous sulfate

Manganese

Manganese sulfate

Molybdenum

Sodium molybdate, ammonium molybdate, lime

 

3. How micronutrients are applied to the crops?
As micronutrients needed in small quantities, they are applied as foliar sprays.