MICROBIAL PRODUCTS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO HELP FARMERS BETTER MANAGE NUTRIENTS AND SLAY PESTS. IMPROVING PRODUCT CONSISTENCY, THOUGH, IS KEY.
On the surface, a crop field seems as dull as, well, dirt. Underneath it, though, is an invisible war that’s constantly being waged. Soil microbes (like bacteria and fungi) continually slug it out for food and dominance. Some of these microbes are bad, but many are good since they aid in tasks like the transfer of crop nutrients or pest control.
It’s into this fray that microbial and biological products enter. At best, microbes introduced to the soil as seed treatments or as liquid can play well with existing soil organisms and help crops better use nutrients or slay pests. Soybean farmers have long used inoculants to jump-start nitrogen-fixing rhizobia bacteria in the soil.