Benefits of biologicals for plant nutrient availability
Biological choices for growers range from traditional nitrogen-fixing rhizobia to phosphate-solubilizing microbials and combination biologicals that work to improve nutrient availability for plant uptake.
Biologicals for nitrogen fixation
Effective commercial rhizobia inoculants will out-perform indigenous rhizobia in the soil to achieve maximum nitrogen-fixing efficiency. A high-performing inoculant has two characteristics:
Infectiveness is the ability of a rhizobia strain to provide excellent nodulation. The most successful strains are chosen for their ability to successfully compete against other strains and become the primary source of nodulation. We also choose rhizobia for environmental survivability and the ability to infect a legume’s cultivars.
Effectiveness of a rhizobia strain is the ability to efficiently fix nitrogen. Monsanto BioAg continually field-tests and chooses strains that have proven to be dependable and efficient fixers of nitrogen.
Biologicals to help increase phosphate availability
Much of the applied phosphate (P) fertilizer bonds to soil particles and other elements in the soil making it unavailable to the crop each growing season. A small percentage of bound phosphate will gradually be converted into available forms, but this does not happen quickly or efficiently enough to meet the demands of high-yielding crops. At least 25 percent of the phosphate in soils never becomes available, making it crucial to get the most efficient use of fertilizer phosphate.
JumpStart® and TagTeam® products contain the naturally occurring soil fungus Penicillium bilaii, which was discovered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. P. bilaii colonizes (grows along) plant roots, releasing compounds that, in turn, release the bound mineral forms of soil and fertilizer phosphate, making it more available for the crop to use. Penicillium bilaii does not replace the need for phosphate fertilizer, but does provide crops access to more nutrients for higher yield potential.
Penicillium bilaii activity
Biologicals for nutrient uptake
The biologicals Trichoderma virens and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens have the ability to release nitrogen, phosphate and potassium in the soil that would not be readily available to the plant. The resulting benefit of improved nutrient availability is expanded root volume providing improved plant growth and yield potential.