The Efficient Use of Nutrients via Biofertilization

On January 12, an online study was published on the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) entitled “Improving Crop Yield and Efficient Use of Nutrients via Biofertilization” (Improving Crop Yield and Nutrient Use Efficiency via Biofertilization-A Global Meta-Analysis).

Without a doubt, it has a long title that can dissuade people from the reading of the report, so we have made a summary to explain its results. The study explains that biofertilizers are inoculants with a large amount of microorganisms (especially bacteria and fungi) that are applied to the soil to improve crop yields. These microorganisms live associated or in symbiosis with the plants and help them in their natural nutrition process, in addition to being soil regenerators. The application of biofertilizers is a new way of tackling agricultural systems in a sustainable way without jeopardizing the rapid decrease in phosphorus reserves and the need to use available nitrogen more efficiently.

Several types of microbial strains are currently used as biofertilizers, depending on their ability to access nutrients from fertilizers and soil reserves, to fix atmospheric nitrogen, or to improve water absorption. An analysis based on 171 publications on the benefits of biofertilizers in terms of increased yield, efficiency of nitrogen, and phosphorus use were analyzed in the study. The main findings presented are:

  • The superiority of biofertilizer yield in dry climates over other climatic regions (yield response: dry climate +20.0 ± 1.7%, tropical climate +14.9 ± 1.2%, oceanic climate +10.0 ± 3.7%, continental climate + 8.5 ± 2.4% ).
  • The yield response with the application of biofertilizers is higher for high levels of P available in the soil due to the effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi), P solubilizers and N fixers.
  • The inoculation of biofertilizers was positive even with low content of organic matter and neutral pH.
  • Finally, it is also indicated that due to the worldwide increase of arid lands (too poor for cultivation) and the effects of climate change, rainfed agriculture is expected to be a great beneficiary of the use of biofertilizers. These conclusions indicate that Ficosterra is moving in the right direction and encourages us to continue investigating the best application of our biofertilizers to optimize agricultural yields, as well as to develop new products that adapt to the needs of our customers.