Biofertilizers have the potential to increase the health and productivity of plant life and reduce a need to use synthetic fertilizers.
The term refers to the use of microorganisms and organic compounds that improve the ability of plants to assimilate nutrients.
There is controversy over the advantages of using biofertilizers (Rhizobium leguminosarum) and their effectivennes as growth stimulators.
Soil and Plant Health
Most biofertilizers (Rhizobium) consist of microbes that are involved in the decomposition of organic matter and the breakdown of minerals into a soluble form that is useful to plants. Most of these microbes and the compounds they create are abundant in any compost in the soil. Biofertilizer contain specific strains of these naturally occurring organisms that have been cultivated in the lab environment to use for a particular purpose — some help to increase levels of major nutrients like nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P), while others help to fight off disease pr provide beneficial trace elements in the soil.
One of the advantages of using biofertilizers is the diminished need to use other forms of fertilizer, many of which have negative effects in the environment . For example: Synthetic nitrogen (N) fertilizers are known to accumulate salts in the soil after prolonged use, making the soil less fertile overtime. Concentrated applications of nitrogen and phosphates, whether from synthetic or organic sources, can run-off into waterways during heavy rains and disrupt the balance of aquatic ecosystems. If biofertilizers are effective in promoting healthy soil and plant life, the overall environment is healthier, as water and air quality are inextricably linked to soil quality.
Disadvantages of Biofertilizers
Applying biofertilizers in unlikely to harm plant life or the environment in any way, but there is little to guarantee that they will help either. This is a distinct disadvantage compared to nutrient-based fertilizers that reliably provide quantifiable results. The reason for this lies in the myriad factors that have to be aligned for the microbes in biofertilizers to be effective for the purpose they are prescribed. Their effectiveness is a product of complex chemical and biological interactions that are themselves affected by moisture, pH, temperature, and other environmental variables. If the condition aren’t right for the microbes to multiply and do their work, their populations are likely to peter out, and the user will have wasted time and money on a product that was not suitable for the soil conditions.