Growers want to use a biological, and they want to know how to select a product that gives them the best chance for success, the answer - diversity. Many microbial species are associated with nitrogen fixation, some work through the roots, others in the stalks, still others on the leaf surfaces. Different from those are the microbes that cycle minerals by driving the exchange process, microbes that solubilize parent soil into fertility inputs, microbes that breakdown residue, microbes that eat pathogens, others that ward off diseases and very importantly those that help to build carbon and improve soil in the long run. More species means more biological functions are addressed and this increases the grower's chance for success with a broad spectrum biological.
Biologicals on the market today:
- Probiotics: live cultures of Bacteria and/or Fungi; many sold as inoculants
- Prebiotics: previously living or secondary metabolites of living organisms
- Biofertilizers: increasing the supply or availability of primary nutrients to the host plant
- Bio-stimulants: increase the activity or propagation of an organism; sugars, molasses, and dextrose powders, humates or soluble carbon
- Biocides: plant extracts directly control a pest or induce a response in the plant (ISR). Oils, extracts and other volatile organic compounds
Different species perform:
- Nitrogen fixation, root nodulation, germination and emergence
- Mineral Cycling
- Mineral Solubilization
- Soil Re-Carbonization (Bacteria can consume sugars, but it takes fungi to process lipids/oils, and thus the difference between organic matter and organic carbon)
- Competitive Exclusion
So what's the solution?
All the above things are going on in the soil and are different functions performed by different microbes, so the key is diversity in your soil. We know soil is complex, some say it is the most complex system on earth. Because there are so many different interconnected structures, black and white solutions are tricky. This is why it is more beneficial to have a broad spectrum of diversity to perform many functions as opposed to a limited amount of species that just perform one function. You can find this diversity in both of our liquid biologicals, CX-1 and CXPro.