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    Efficacy

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  • Application
  • Efficacy
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  • Safety
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  • Microorganisms for the treatment of roots:

    Mycorrhizal fungi, Trichoderma and beneficial bacteria (PGPR)

    This section gives answers to frequent questions about the application, efficacy, compatibility, durability, quality and safety of our microorganisms for the treatment of roots.

    Is it possible to guarantee the efficacy?

    Maintaining and strengthening the plant’s health is the main contribution of our microorganisms. A biofungicide reduces the amount of a soil-borne pathogenic fungus without eradicating it completely. However, the remaining infective units are prevented from causing disease. We do not aim for the total destruction of the pathogenic fungus at the expense of the “patient” the plant. Instead our goal is to avoid damage and achieve maximum yield through healthy plants.

    The application of conventional chemical substances follows a monocausal linear thinking. For example, if leaves loose their color as a symptom of a lack of nitrogen, adding nitrogen will result in a darker green.

    Microorganisms tend to display an abundance of different modes of action and interactions. Dealing with complex biological systems requires comprehensive reasoning instead of a linear mindset that is restricted to simple cause-effect chains. In practice it is often impossible to predict efficacy with quantifiable accuracy. Instead, we ask ourselves about the likelihood of several effects to occur all at once, often reinforcing each other. These effects then often outperform the solutions offered by an approach purely based on chemicals.

    Do biological products perform as well as chemical products?

    Our biological products are of the highest quality and, when applied correctly, frequently get as good results as conventional chemical products.

    Biological crop protection values prevention more than cure, often in marked contrast to the chemical plant protection approach. The antagonistic microorganisms in the product BactivaTM can improve problem soils substantially, particularly if they have accumulated great quantities of pathogenic fungi that are almost uncontrollable by conventional fungicides. When a soil has been exposed for many years to a glut of chemical fungicides, their replacement with antagonistic microorganisms represents a sudden and profound shift in the protection strategy. This can result in a dramatic improvement of plant health and growth.

    The treatment with biological agents does not require the plant to rid itself of toxic chemicals by means of energy consuming biochemical processes. This is part of the reason why using biological control agents often increases yield.

    An initial needs assessment should shed light on whether a chemical product can be replaced by a biological product. After looking at the results, these recommendations should then be improved further with the help of our technical support.

    Fertilization

    Biofertilizers cannot completely replace chemical fertilizers in high performance crop production systems.

    Nitrogen fixing bacteria only bind a limited amount of nitrogen (up to a maximum of 70kg/Ha), but on the other hand, they are capable of channeling this nitrogen efficiently to the plant without loosing the major part as in the case of chemical fertilization.

    Microorganisms give the plant access to otherwise locked up phosphorus and potassium. However, they cannot fix theses elements from the air or simply “create” them out of nowhere. Hence, they can only help replacing chemical fertilizers when those elements are locked up in sufficient quantities in the soil where they are unavailable to the plants. This means that microorganisms cannot contribute phosphorus and potassium in an artificial substrate void of any mineral fertilizer.

    If microorganisms are capable of preventing disease, why doesn’t it always say so on the package?

    The product has to be submitted to a costly registration process so that pesticidal claims can be included on the label. Fortunes may be invested without any guarantee for a successful registration or subsequent commercial breakthrough. In the face of the present low level of sales in biological crop protection, the huge investments bear unpalatable economical risks for most companies.

    In the meantime, the products are simply labeled as “soil amendments” or “biostimulants” and do not contain any pesticidal claims.

    At which temperature do our microorganisms work best? At which temperature don’t they work?

    The development of our microorganisms reaches an optimum at warm temperatures (between 25°C and 35°C). Even higher temperatures can suppress their growth, but real losses occur only above 42°C when coagulation can take place, i.e., when proteins may be damaged irreversibly.

    The microorganisms contained in our products must not be exposed to temperatures above 40°C during storage and handling. Beware that this can easily be reached in a car or in the tubes of an irrigation system in summer.

    Trichoderma doses not grow at temperatures below 10°C. Nevertheless, we routinely observe good results in cultures of temperate climes, probably because at low temperatures the activity of pathogenic fungi is also limited.

    Most of our microorganisms should not be stored below freezing point because ice crystals might form in the cells and pierce through their membranes.

    Generally speaking, the conditions that are suitable for plant growth are also benign for the microorganisms that are contained in our products. This includes the temperature range. Microorganisms that live in close association with the roots and that tolerate hot and cold temperatures help the plant to withstand extreme temperatures.

    How to judge whether the application of microorganisms was successful?

    After a root has been treated with BactivaTM it tends to grow more lushly. Its color is lighter and it is equipped with more root hairs. The root ball retains more earth when shaken. The root gains weight in comparison to the aerial parts of the plant.

    Plants that were treated with BactivaTM and EndosporTM withstand transplant, adverse conditions and lack of nutrients better. They are also more resistant to soil-borne pathogens and less prone to disease in all parts of the plant. They have higher yields, live longer and produce over longer periods of time.

    Apart from these results that are easy to appreciate, the microorganisms can also be detected by laboratory methods.

    Not all roots that are inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi show more vigorous growth. As opposed to ectomycorrhizae, the endomycorrhizal association cannot usually be seen with the naked eye. The successful performance of the symbiosis depends on the fungal mycelium to be well established in the soil. Contrary to common believe a good performance is not always correlated with a strong presence of the fungus in the roots. Notwithstanding, this percentage of colonization is often measured by applying costly methods.

    High concentrations of our strains of Trichoderma can be found in the proximity of the root with a light microscope for weeks after the application of BactivaTM. The higher their concentration the more comprehensive they protect against fungal root rot.

    Experience shows that soils and substrates that are treated with antagonistic microorganisms can still feature rather high concentrations of pathogenic fungi without the plants showing any symptoms of disease.

    How much fertilizer can be saved when using nitrogen fixers and phosphate solubilizers?

    The crop’s demand for nutrients depends on many things, such as, the soil’s natural content of macronutrients and micronutrients available to the plants, the special needs of the crop, its stage of development, the production system, and the desired yield. A fertilizer recommendation should take all of these considerations into account and be issued on the basis of a proper chemical analysis.

    Hence, there are no blanket recommendations for savings on fertilizers through the application of mycorrhizal fungi in combination with rhizobacteria (such as the products EndosporTM33, FosfonatMR, and EndosporTMDry Mix). Nonetheless, many empirical data show that the nitrogen and phosphate input for agricultural crops can be lowered by 20% in the first year. If yields do not decrease a further reduction to 30% and afterwards 40% can be achieved.

    Beware of overambitious promises by those who advocate replacing the entire chemical and organic fertilizer program through the use of microorganisms. Please let our technical support assist you for the duration of several growth cycles when planning for the savings on fertilizer programs.

    How much additional yield can be expected from the application of microorganisms?

    There are frequent reports of yield increases in the range of 5 to 10% in agricultural crops after the use of EndosporTM33, FosfonatMR or EndosporTMDry Mix. But similar to the discussion on fertilizer savings, it is impossible to give an across-the-board answer to this question.

    Experience shows that treatment results in rather large yield increases when the base line yield lingers well below the potential for the crop. The production of maize (corn) can be expected to increase by 10% when it usually only attains 6ton/Ha, whereas maize that routinely yields 12ton/Ha should not be expected to gain more than 5%.

    =

    FAQ

    Microorganisms for the treatment of roots:

    Mycorrhizal fungi, Trichoderma and beneficial bacteria (PGPR)

    This section gives answers to frequent questions about the application, efficacy, compatibility, durability, quality and safety of our microorganisms for the treatment of roots.

    Is it possible to guarantee the efficacy?

    Maintaining and strengthening the plant’s health is the main contribution of our microorganisms. A biofungicide reduces the amount of a soil-borne pathogenic fungus without eradicating it completely. However, the remaining infective units are prevented from causing disease. We do not aim for the total destruction of the pathogenic fungus at the expense of the “patient” the plant. Instead our goal is to avoid damage and achieve maximum yield through healthy plants.

    The application of conventional chemical substances follows a monocausal linear thinking. For example, if leaves loose their color as a symptom of a lack of nitrogen, adding nitrogen will result in a darker green.

    Microorganisms tend to display an abundance of different modes of action and interactions. Dealing with complex biological systems requires comprehensive reasoning instead of a linear mindset that is restricted to simple cause-effect chains. In practice it is often impossible to predict efficacy with quantifiable accuracy. Instead, we ask ourselves about the likelihood of several effects to occur all at once, often reinforcing each other. These effects then often outperform the solutions offered by an approach purely based on chemicals.

    Do biological products perform as well as chemical products?

    Our biological products are of the highest quality and, when applied correctly, frequently get as good results as conventional chemical products.

    Biological crop protection values prevention more than cure, often in marked contrast to the chemical plant protection approach. The antagonistic microorganisms in the product BactivaTM can improve problem soils substantially, particularly if they have accumulated great quantities of pathogenic fungi that are almost uncontrollable by conventional fungicides. When a soil has been exposed for many years to a glut of chemical fungicides, their replacement with antagonistic microorganisms represents a sudden and profound shift in the protection strategy. This can result in a dramatic improvement of plant health and growth.

    The treatment with biological agents does not require the plant to rid itself of toxic chemicals by means of energy consuming biochemical processes. This is part of the reason why using biological control agents often increases yield.

    An initial needs assessment should shed light on whether a chemical product can be replaced by a biological product. After looking at the results, these recommendations should then be improved further with the help of our technical support.

    Fertilization

    Biofertilizers cannot completely replace chemical fertilizers in high performance crop production systems.

    Nitrogen fixing bacteria only bind a limited amount of nitrogen (up to a maximum of 70kg/Ha), but on the other hand, they are capable of channeling this nitrogen efficiently to the plant without loosing the major part as in the case of chemical fertilization.

    Microorganisms give the plant access to otherwise locked up phosphorus and potassium. However, they cannot fix theses elements from the air or simply “create” them out of nowhere. Hence, they can only help replacing chemical fertilizers when those elements are locked up in sufficient quantities in the soil where they are unavailable to the plants. This means that microorganisms cannot contribute phosphorus and potassium in an artificial substrate void of any mineral fertilizer.

    If microorganisms are capable of preventing disease, why doesn’t it always say so on the package?

    The product has to be submitted to a costly registration process so that pesticidal claims can be included on the label. Fortunes may be invested without any guarantee for a successful registration or subsequent commercial breakthrough. In the face of the present low level of sales in biological crop protection, the huge investments bear unpalatable economical risks for most companies.

    In the meantime, the products are simply labeled as “soil amendments” or “biostimulants” and do not contain any pesticidal claims.

    At which temperature do our microorganisms work best? At which temperature don’t they work?

    The development of our microorganisms reaches an optimum at warm temperatures (between 25°C and 35°C). Even higher temperatures can suppress their growth, but real losses occur only above 42°C when coagulation can take place, i.e., when proteins may be damaged irreversibly.

    The microorganisms contained in our products must not be exposed to temperatures above 40°C during storage and handling. Beware that this can easily be reached in a car or in the tubes of an irrigation system in summer.

    Trichoderma doses not grow at temperatures below 10°C. Nevertheless, we routinely observe good results in cultures of temperate climes, probably because at low temperatures the activity of pathogenic fungi is also limited.

    Most of our microorganisms should not be stored below freezing point because ice crystals might form in the cells and pierce through their membranes.

    Generally speaking, the conditions that are suitable for plant growth are also benign for the microorganisms that are contained in our products. This includes the temperature range. Microorganisms that live in close association with the roots and that tolerate hot and cold temperatures help the plant to withstand extreme temperatures.

    How to judge whether the application of microorganisms was successful?

    After a root has been treated with BactivaTM it tends to grow more lushly. Its color is lighter and it is equipped with more root hairs. The root ball retains more earth when shaken. The root gains weight in comparison to the aerial parts of the plant.

    Plants that were treated with BactivaTM and EndosporTM withstand transplant, adverse conditions and lack of nutrients better. They are also more resistant to soil-borne pathogens and less prone to disease in all parts of the plant. They have higher yields, live longer and produce over longer periods of time.

    Apart from these results that are easy to appreciate, the microorganisms can also be detected by laboratory methods.

    Not all roots that are inoculated with mycorrhizal fungi show more vigorous growth. As opposed to ectomycorrhizae, the endomycorrhizal association cannot usually be seen with the naked eye. The successful performance of the symbiosis depends on the fungal mycelium to be well established in the soil. Contrary to common believe a good performance is not always correlated with a strong presence of the fungus in the roots. Notwithstanding, this percentage of colonization is often measured by applying costly methods.

    High concentrations of our strains of Trichoderma can be found in the proximity of the root with a light microscope for weeks after the application of BactivaTM. The higher their concentration the more comprehensive they protect against fungal root rot.

    Experience shows that soils and substrates that are treated with antagonistic microorganisms can still feature rather high concentrations of pathogenic fungi without the plants showing any symptoms of disease.

    How much fertilizer can be saved when using nitrogen fixers and phosphate solubilizers?

    The crop’s demand for nutrients depends on many things, such as, the soil’s natural content of macronutrients and micronutrients available to the plants, the special needs of the crop, its stage of development, the production system, and the desired yield. A fertilizer recommendation should take all of these considerations into account and be issued on the basis of a proper chemical analysis.

    Hence, there are no blanket recommendations for savings on fertilizers through the application of mycorrhizal fungi in combination with rhizobacteria (such as the products EndosporTM33, FosfonatMR, and EndosporTMDry Mix). Nonetheless, many empirical data show that the nitrogen and phosphate input for agricultural crops can be lowered by 20% in the first year. If yields do not decrease a further reduction to 30% and afterwards 40% can be achieved.

    Beware of overambitious promises by those who advocate replacing the entire chemical and organic fertilizer program through the use of microorganisms. Please let our technical support assist you for the duration of several growth cycles when planning for the savings on fertilizer programs.

    How much additional yield can be expected from the application of microorganisms?

    There are frequent reports of yield increases in the range of 5 to 10% in agricultural crops after the use of EndosporTM33, FosfonatMR or EndosporTMDry Mix. But similar to the discussion on fertilizer savings, it is impossible to give an across-the-board answer to this question.

    Experience shows that treatment results in rather large yield increases when the base line yield lingers well below the potential for the crop. The production of maize (corn) can be expected to increase by 10% when it usually only attains 6ton/Ha, whereas maize that routinely yields 12ton/Ha should not be expected to gain more than 5%.