The current difficult market situation of industrial fertilizers brings up many questions, not only in terms of balancing the missing nutrients in crop production, but also in terms of the overall economy of their production. The enormous increase in industrial fertilizers prices, combined with their unavailability, has caused considerable problems for farmers. Which is the right approach to supply all necessary nutrients in different soil and climatic conditions? Shall we apply the reduced doses of industrial fertilizers that consider the current market prices of fertilizers? Or shall we use other approaches which on one hand can´t fully replace all the necessary nutrients depleted by high crop yields, but on the other hand, can significantly reduce the impact in the absence of reduced doses of the main macro biogenic elements?
One of the solutions is the application of microbiological preparations – bacterial fertilizers containing strains of bacteria, which play an important role in maintaining and restoring the biological properties and productivity of the soil.They contribute to the nonsymbiotic fixation of atmospheric nitrogen, support the processes of organic matter decomposition in the soil, help to make the important macro biogenic elements in the soil available (from insoluble forms to accessible forms.
AZOTER® bacterial biofertilizer, together with phytohormones and vitamins for plants, constantly supplies plants with important macro and micro biogenic elements in acceptable and immediate usable form that participate in the plant’s metabolism effectively. Nutrient depletion through liquid and gaseous losses, as opposed to industrial fertilizers, is eliminated. Due to the restored microbial life in the soil and intensive bacterial activity in metabiosis, the decomposition of post-harvest residues of nonorganic substances in the soil accelerates. It has a beneficial effect on soil´s air and water regime and it increases the utilization of applied mineral nutrition and existing nutrient reserves in the soil.
The economic value of AZOTER®
An application of only AZOTER® fertilizer at a rate of 10 liters per hectare, gives us a profit in the following amount:
1.) During the vegetation period, the amount of fixed nitrogen using bacteria in AZOTER® fertilizer, which is acceptable for plants, is at the level of 60 – 80 kg. In optimal conditions it´s up to 100 – 150 kg. N ha 1
»Take into consideration only the minimum amount of fixed nitrogen of 60 kg N.
The price for industrial fertilizer in 2020 was 0.70 € – 0.80 € per 1 kg.
That is ……….. ………………………………………….. ………………………………………….. …………….. 42 € .
2.) The amount of released (available) phosphorus during the vegetation period from sparingly soluble forms corresponds to 30 – 40 kg of P. ha-1. In optimal conditions it´s up to 60 – 80 kg of phosphorus in pure nutrients.
»Take into consideration only the minimum amount of released phosphorus of 30 kg P. It´s price is 2.00 € per 1 kg.
That is …………………… ………………………………………….. …………………………………… 60 € + added value:
3.) The market price for the mycoparasitic fungus Coniothyrium minitans is in the range of ………….. 40 – 100 € per ha
4.) The market price for the mycoparasitic fungus Trichoderma atroviride ranges from ………………… 30 – 100 € per ha
After adding up the minimum values, the grower receives ………….. 172 € ……….. at the price of the application costs incurred for purchasing AZOTER® fertilizer.
Older prices for industrial fertilizer (from 2020) were used in the calculation. There weren´t used enormously increased fertilizer prices occurred in 2021.
From a toxicological point of view, AZOTER® is a harmless substance. Its composition does not endanger the environment. It has certification for eco- friendly companies. Compared to other bacterial-based microbial fertilizers, AZOTER® contains the highest germ density, in a minimum of 4.109 KTJ.cm-3. AZOTER® application rate is 10 liters per hectare. Due to the high concentration of bacteria in the fertilizer, the amount of bacterial microflora in the soil will increase significantly after its application. AZOTER® contains not only bacteria but also water-soluble cellulose.Azotobacter chroococcum and Azospirillum brasilense are involved in the asymbiotic fixation of atmospheric nitrogen, making it available to plants. On the other hand, Bacillus megaterium is involved in making phosphorus available.
In addition to the already mentioned positive sides of AZOTER® application in the plant nutrition and its beneficial effect on soil fertility, very significant is its use in biological prevention against common diseases of agricultural crops, i.e., the white rot (caused by Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) and fusariosis infection.
AZOTER SC® contains fungi spores identified as Coniothyrium sp. and AZOTER F® contains Trichoderma atroviride fungi spores. These spores enrich the soil with naturally occurring species of microorganisms that ensure diseases prevention.
In addition to the usual conservation measures, of which the observance of sowing procedures with the elimination of host species is the most important element, the cultivation of crops in uncontaminated soils and the destruction of host weeds also plays an important role.
Antagonists such as Coniothyrium sp. and Trichoderma sp. (T. harzianum, T. atroviride) can also be used for biological control of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. They are the only parasitic fungi, and they are effective against S. sclerotiorum under field conditions. Mycoparasite Coniothyrium sp. produces hundreds of pycnidia on the surface of a colonized sclerotium, which creates a prickly, irregular surface. Usually, several mycelial hyphae grow from infected sclerosis. Mycoparasite is spread by conidia in the soil. Coniothyrium sp. is a saprophyte that can also grow on dead plant remains or on artificial nutrient media.
The antagonistic relation of Azotobacter to some pathogens is also significant, the mainly genera are Fusarium, Alternaria and Penicillium causing serious fungal diseases.
Fusarioses pose a serious threat to the cultivation of many field crops. The parasitic fungi Trichoderma atroviride, improves the natural abilities of the soil and enhances the protection of cultivated crops at the same time. It significantly reduces the risk of primary infection of the root system and the above-ground parts of plants. Trichoderma atroviride has a significant stimulating effect on the dynamics of plant growth and on the plant resistance by improving the defense responses of cultivated crops and reducing the content of mycotoxins in final production. Many growers who have several years of experience with AZOTER® application confirm that its use significantly reduces the risk of infestation of the root system in cultivated crops except Fusarium and other related genera such as Pythium, Alternaria, Rhizoctonia and Botrytis. At the same time, there is an improvement in biological properties of soil, soil microbes are restored, the decomposition of organic matter in the soil is promoted and the air and water regime in the soil is improved, too. That has a positive effect on the acceptability of nutrients from the soil. Therefore, in primary agricultural production, emphasis should be placed on prevention against these genera which is, from an economic point of view, an effective solution.
Doc. Ing. Ladislav Varga, PhD. , product manager of Azoter Trading s.r.o.
Application of AZOTER® bacterial fertilizer with a front applicator during pre-sowing soil preparation under the maize.