Use of BioFertilizer
Benefits and advantages
Use of Bio Fertilizer and Compost in recommended in home gardens and agriculture crops:
Land Scapes
New lawns
Lawn repair
Shrubs and trees
Vegetable gardens
Flower gardens
Add organic matter
Lighten and aerate clay soil
Give body to sandy soil
To Increase fertilization retention: You can apply compost to any garden bed once or twice a year, there is little if any danger of overusing compost. To improve the structure and fertility of poor soil quickly, give it a thorough compost treatment in the fall. Spade it 12 to 18 inches deep.
Vegetable gardens: Put compost in the furrows when you sow seeds and in the holes when transplanting seedlings. When the plants begin to grow rapidly, mix compost with equal amounts of soil and spread it on top of the soil.
Flower beds: Apply an inch-thick layer of finely screened compost as a mulch around all flowering plants when they come up in spring. Rose bushes: When hilling up the soil around rose bushes for winter protection, mix plenty of compost with the soil - the roses will get a better start the following spring.
Lawns: To renovate an old patchy lawn, dig up the bare spots about 2 inches deep, work in plenty of compost, tamp and rake well, and sow your seed after soaking the patches well.
Containers: Twice a year, scratch an inch or so of compost into the soil in pots where houseplants and others are growing.
Composting / USING COMPOST - The final stage of composting is using the finished product. The next stage is wishing you had more of it. Your compost should be ready for use anytime between four months and two years from when you began composting. You know you have finished compost when it is dark in colour, crumbly but not powdered and smells earthy. These are indications that the compost has stabilized - or matured - and that the original raw organic material has been converted into nutrient-rich humus. If you wish, a simple pH test kit can give you an indication of maturity. Finished compost is in the neutral range.
Compost is classified as a soil conditioner rather than a fertilizer. To be classified as a fertilizer it would have to have higher levels of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Finished compost does add these elements, and others, but tends to release them over a longer period of time than chemical fertilizers.
As well, compost adds organic material to the soil, increases permeability of clay soils and increases water-holding capacity of sandy soils, promotes root growth and creates spaces for air and water.
Finished compost is usually found at or near the bottom and centre of the compost bin. For many applications it is desirable to screen the compost through a one-half-inch mesh before using it. Material that doesn't fall through the screen can be thrown back into the bin for further composting or used as mulch.
The early spring is the best time to add large volumes of compost to the garden. It can be dug into the top six inches of the soil. By mixing the organic matter with the slowly warming earth, it supplies nourishment just in time for planting. Screened compost can be used with an equal volume of soil and sand for a seedling mixture. Use it straight up for a top dressing on potted plants and patio container gardens. For containers and hanging baskets use one third compost, one third potting soil and one third vermiculite or perlite.
Ways to Use Compost
Top Dressing -
Top dressing is placing compost on the soil around the bottoms of flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and trees, leaving the stem free for air to circulate. With larger trees, the compost can be placed on top of the soil six inches from the tree's trunk to just beyond the drip line. Aerate the lawn in the spring by pulling cores (machine or hand tool) then rake 5 cm of screened compost over the lawn surface.
Mulching -
Mulching is similar to top dressing. The compost or other organic material is placed on the soil to finish breaking down. Aside from adding organic material, mulching helps retain moisture in the soil, smothers weeds and inhibits soil compaction. Be sure to remove weeds before mulching. Grass clippings left on the lawn as a mulch will help retain moisture and provide nutrients.
Transplanting -
Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball, mix compost with an equal part of topsoil and fill in around the root ball, tamping the mixture just enough to eliminate air pockets. Water gently.
Compost Tea -
Fill a cloth bag with a litre of compost. Tie the bag and soak in a garbage can full of water. Let it steep overnight and pour the "tea" into the soil for your plants. If you let the compost steep longer than overnight, the water may need to be diluted before pouring.
Directions For Use
Soil-less Mixtures: Mix 2 to 4 pounds of Bio Fertilizer per cubic yard of soil-less mix.
Containers: For all uses of BioFertilizer, water must be applied to initiate microbial activity and breakdown of the fertilizer pellets.
Field Use: Apply 200 to 500 pounds of BioFertilizer per acre (adjacent to crop). Best if tilled into the soil.
For all uses of BioFertilizer, water must be applied to initiate microbial activity and breakdown of the pellets
Activation: 1 part of sugar disolved in water into 100 parts of bio fertilizer could be applied to acelerate the activation of the microbial activity .
Varieties of Crops - Use Volume - Usage - Advantages
Teak, orange, persimmon, litchi, longyan, mango, pear, peach
- Use: 1 years old tree; 0.5kg per tree twice a year
2 years ; 1 kg per tree twice a year
3-5 years ; 5 kg per tree twice a year
Very old trees; Apply more in accordance with specific conditions
- Usage: According to the size of the crown, make furrows along the drip line, 20-25cm deep, apply the fertilizer into the furrow then fill up. It's suitable for fruit trees after fruit stage or before flower stage. Once half a year, also available in other stages if necessary. Mustn't dissolve the fertilizer in water; Mix it with farm manure for better result.
Advantages: 1. keeps a full stand of flowers and fruits
2. Increases production, improves quality. Makes fruits (be) fine-looking. Bright-colored, lustrous, tasty, and have a really market.
3. goes on market
Watermelon, balsam pear, towel gourd, fresh Rodney beans, eggplant, wax gourd, tomato, potato, sweet potato, strawberry, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, radish, pumpkin etc.
- Use: 150 kg of the product each hectare in high productive area, once season
120 kg of the product each hectare in ordinary productive area, once a season
Rationally apply more to those needs badly
Application in digs, application in holes
After raking the land smooth, make a furrow, apply fertilizer into the furrow. Be sure to sow seeds or grow young plants after mixing up the fertilizer and the soil.

Additional application
Apply additional fertilizer at one side of the root system or into the furrow, and then fill up.

Mixed Application
Mix up farmyard manure and a few fertilizers for better result.

Early Application
Before sowing and growing, apply fertilizer to the soil days earlier if possible for good effect.

- Advantages: fertilize plants without environment pollution for modern organic agriculture.
Peanut, Soybean, Rape
- Use: 60-80 kg of the product each hectare
- Advantages: Offers high yields. Makes higher oil content a reality
- Use: 80kg of the product each hectare -
- Usage: Apply fertilizer into the hole, mix it with the soil, grow young tobacco, without topdressing any more.
- Advantages: Increases production and grade;
Accelerates ripening;
Helps to resist diseases.
Paddy Rice
- Use: 50-70kg of the product each hectare -
- Usage: Apply 5kg urea, while raking the paddy field. After raking, distribute the fertilizer well immediately, then transplant or throw rice seedling without any top application later. -
- Advantages: Increases production and quality dearly.
Accelerates ripening 7 days before hand without lodging.
Non application or applying a little.
Wheat Corn
- Use: 50-70kg of the product each hectare -
- Usage: Spread the seeds together with the base fertilizer over the field, or sow seeds after application. Be sure to apply urea without topdressing any more.
- Advantages: Increases production and quality.
Makes the rice with strong resistance to lodging and diseases.
Sweet Potato
- Use: 80-100kg of the product each hectare -
- Usage: 8-15 days after furrow application and transplanting
- Advantages: increases production and improve quality. Strengthen disease resistance.
Flowers and plants - Use: 50-100g per pot, twice or three times a year. The use volume is in accordance with different types. -
- Usage: Take out some soil of 3-5cm with an ash spoon, well distribute the fertilizer, and then fill up. Keep the soil damp.
- Advantages: Helps flowers to absorb nutrient.
Helps to fight against unfavorable factors, Accelerates flowering;
Lengthen flower stage;
Keeps Flowers bright colored . The plant is more healthy and easier to control insects.
- Use: 150 - 20 0kg of the product each hectare in high productive tea plantation twice a year, around the Winter Solstice and the summer solstice. -
- Usage: Apply fertilizer into the 10-15cm deep furrow along the crown, and then fill up.
- Advantages: Accelerates sprouting
Increases tea yields
Improves the quality of tea.
Fertilizer Quality - To find a good-quality compost product, use your senses before you buy.
Feel the texture. Must be granular and loose enough to spread and into your garden easily.
Look at the color. Should be brown or almost black in color. Avoid products that are light in color because they contains few organic matter and too much soil. If the compost os dry you can see the real color.
Lift. Compost should be moist, not dry or soggy. One of compost's biggest benefits, once it's in the soil, is that it can hold up to 2 1/2 times its weight in water. But in bagged products, excess moisture makes the compost difficult to spread. It also means that if the compost is sold in 40-pound bags (as most of them are) and you buy a wet product, you'll be paying for water, not compost. (Hefting a bag will give you a good idea of its moisture content. If it feels like a big glob, the compost is probably too wet; if it feels loose, it is probably drier.)
Smell. Compost will not have a nice smell, but the plastic bags help to keep a good odor. It is normal that composts have a woody, or barnyard odor when you first open them. Avoid any products that have a strong ammonia smell because indicates that is immature. If the stores not let you inspect the bag before you buy it, dont do it or just buy the minimum quantity to try it before.
Bio Fertilizer Uses
Fertilizer use for crops -
Balanced fertilizer use has always been the concern in India and there have been group discussions and campaigns to implement it. The optimum desirable NPK ratio given is 4:2:1. It is difficult to find out the source or the reasoning for this magic formula
There are five factors that determine the fertilizer needs of the crop plants.
Crop, its variety and yield potential. For example HYVs need higher NPK application. Similarly rapeseed-mustard needs more sulphur.
Rooting system of a crop: It is another important factor in determining its capacity to feed the soil volume. Rice roots for example are clustered in the surface 0-20 cm depth and can feed from this soil layer only. Even if a nutrient such as P and K is present in deeper layers, rice roots will not be able to tap it. On the other hand, grain legumes such as pigeonpea and chickpea and cotton, etc. have deeper root system and can feed on P and K reserves from deeper soil layers. Incidently, P and K are fairly well distributed in deeper soil layers and as a contrast N is mostly present in surface 0-20 cm layer. Thus, despite a great deal of effort on studying P fertilization of legumes, responses and therefore applications have not gone beyond 30-40 kg P2O5 ha. This is rightly so because only in the initial stages when the roots are young and shall ow they feed upon applied fertilizer P, but as they grow and move deeper they feed upon a larger soil volume and the P,K or other nutrients stored there in.
Soil fertility status: Soils differ in their nutrient supplying capacity; what has been recently termed as INS ( indigenous nutrient supply). For example, alluvial soils in northern India can supply much more potassium than the Ultisols in peninsular India. Required N:K and P:K ratios in a fertilizer material or recommendation cannot be the same for the two kinds of soils. A perusal of the nutrient status of soils of India for eight nutrients (N,P,K,S,Mg,Zn,Fe,B) as shown in the below given Table, shows widespread deficiencies of N,P,S and Zn.
Nutrient status of soils of India
No. - Nutrient - Nutrient status category ( no.of development blocks) -
- - Low - Medium - High
1 - Nitrogen - 228 - 118 - 8 -
2 - Phosphorus - 170 - 184 - 17 -
3 - Potassium - 47 - 194 - 122 -
4 - Sulphur - Deficiency scattered over 130 districts -
5 - Magnesium - Kerala,other southern states, very acid soils -
6 - Zinc - 50% of 200,000 soil samples analyzed found deficient -
7 - Iron - Widespread in upland calcareous soils -
8 - Boron - Parts of West Bengal, Bihar, and Karnataka -
Nutrient uptake pattern: This is the basis used for classifying nutrients as macro (primary and secondary) and micronutrients. This is the main basis which should be considered along with above factors in determining a balanced ratio for that crop and for that region.
Nutrient use efficiency: It is another important factor in determining fertilizer need. For example N use efficiency is only 30-50%, Thus about 2-3 times of fertilizer N has to be applied in relation to its uptake by a crop.
There is an urgent need for determining NPKS balanced formulae for each crop in a specific region. Agronomists and soil scientists need to do more home work on this issue during the first decade of next millenium, so that the farmers can make application of needed amounts of plant nutrients. This will also help the fertilizer manufacturers to make the desired grades for different regions.
Integrated Plant Nutrient Management or Supply System (IPNM or IPNS):
An efficient plant nutrient management on a farm should evaluate the reserve stock available and should carefully examine their inflow and outflow. Ange has likened IPNS to a capital system where the fixed capital refers to the soil reserves of plant nutrients and working capital is made up of residues returned to the farm and annual investment in fertilizers. It may be pointed out that agricultural systems differ from the natural forest systems, where the nutrients are completely recycled. In agricultural systems the nutrients in the form of grain,straw and other produce are taken away from the farm. If the nutrients continuously removed are not replenished as in Indian Agriculture, the reserve stock (the capital) is also continuously depleted. That is why the question of sustainability of present day high yielding multiple cropping systems such as rice-wheat has been raised in India. The observation generally made is "we have no right to mine the capital of future generations". IPNM aims at minimising the mining of the natural reserves of the plant nutrients and thus leads to sustainable agricultural systems. Truly speaking, mineral sources of plant nutrients applied as fertilizer and organic sources available naturally or applied as organic residues coexist and constantly interact in soil
It is generally suggested that 25% nutrient needs of the Indian agriculture can be met by utilising various organic sources such as FYM, crop residues, urban and rural wastes and green manuring. Estimates of these tapale (80% human excreta, 30% livestock dung and 33% crop residues) by 2010 are:1.8 mt (N2P2O5+K2O) from human excreta, 2.10 mt from livestock dung and 2.34 mt from crop residues (totaling to 6.24 mt of N2P2O5+K2O). But to mobilise these sources will take much more than just the wishful thinking. The fact generally overlooked is that on per kg nutrient basis organic manures and residues are more expensive. Also, with the gradual decline in draught animals, free home transport is no longer available and the transport costs by tractor trolleys are too high. Also hired labour is too expensive and difficult to get and very few are willing to take up such menial work in the villages. Since most rural areas do not have home toilets some night soil is recycled but in a very unhygienic way. A more hygienic way is needed to use this source of plant nutrient. Human as well as animal urine is very rich in urea.
Most of the livestock dung is used as a cooking fuel in India, but even if ashes could be returned most K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Zn and some P, B and Mo can be returned back to soil. Although returning of kitchen ash to farm is practised in some parts, this needs to be given more attention by extension workers. This way mining of these nutrients from natural soil reserves can be reduced
Green manuring, which is used to be practised quite widely in the past is now loosing ground despite substantive experimental data supporting it. It declined from 35.8 million ha in 1994-95 to 22.5 million ha in 1996-97. Probably a better alternative could be growing a short duration dual purpose legume such as mungbean, harvesting the grain and incorporating the green residue. In rice-wheat cropping system a summer mungbean residue can add 60-80 kg N ha
Of the biofertilisers Rhizobium culture has found most favour with the farmers, particularly in soybean belt. It does good job in other legumes too but these Rhizobia are already present in the soil if the crop has been once grown there. Nevertheless advantages of Rhizobium culture are well accepted by the farmers. Despite a good amount of scientific literature, production and marketing of other biofertilisers have still not made a dent in agriculture in India or elsewhere. The biological nature of biofertilisers and their susceptibility to abiotic factors is responsible for their highly inconsistant performance.
Field Demonstration - To demonstrate the usefulness of Biofertiliser and to its impact in increasing the crop productivity, large number of field demonstration are being conducted by RBDC, Imphal. To convince the farmers about the potentiality or different biofertilizers in different crop, demonstrations on farmer’s field is the most effective extension method. In this programme a demonstration is put up on 1 acre land of any progressive farmer in a crop of farmer's choice. Half of the plot is save as per the farmers package of practices and half plot is save with Biofertilisers. When crop is in full bloom and the impact of Biofertilisers are quite visible, the field day/ Kisan Mela is organised at that side.
In - the field day/Kisan Mela 50 farmers from nearby villages are being invited. 3-4 expects explain the farmers about the usefulness of Biofertilisers and the impact is physically shown in the demonstrative plot. Necessary literature in the local language is also distributed among the farmers. Every year 10 demonstrations are being taken up directly by RBDC,Imphal and 45 demonstration are being conducted through State Agriculture Deptts, Krishi Vigyan Kendras or through some NGOs. - Guidelines for laying a demonstration - Select ½ acre to 1 acre plot belonging to interested farmer having progressive attitude. - The selected site must be uniformly leveled and should have uniform fertility. - Measure the plot and divide it into 3 equal parts. If plots size is bigger, then demonstration can also be laid in standard random block design with 3 replications and 3 treatments. -
Treatments: (1) Untreated control with 100% N.P.K. as per recommendations
(2) 75% N, 85% P2O5, 100% K + Biofertilizer (for N+P)
(3) 50% N, 75% P2O5, 100% K + Biofertlizer (for N+P) -
Divide the seeds to be sown or seedlings to be transplanted into 3 equal parts. Leave one part as untreated control and treat the remaining 2 parts of seeds/seedling with biofetilizers as per recommendations.
Sowing/planting should be done immediately after treatment. First sow/transplant untreated seeds/seedling followed by treated ones.
In case of crops where biofertilizers are to be applied as soil treatment, apply biofertilizer compost mixture only in treated plots while control plot be treated with equal quantities of blank compost (without bioferlizer) - To compare with the other field. Chemical fertilizer is to be applied in normal way. Reduce the quantity of N and P2O5 as recommended above in biofertilizer treated plots from al the split doses in equal quantities.
After sowing, mark the plots with proper placards and demarcate them with bunds if possible. - Follow usual recommended cultural practices
Following observations should provide conclusive proof of biofertlizer impact:
(a) - % emergence of seedling per sq m after 10-15 days of sowing.
(b) Total fresh weight and dry weight of plants after 60-90 days of sowing.
(c) No. of nodules/plant in case of leguminous plants.
(d) Yield.
Precautions : -
To assess the total yield, harvest the crop from each plot leaving a minimum of 1 m of border row from all the sides. Try to harvest the crop from the measured square area (e.g. Take 5m X 5m area for evaluation of yield).

Thrash the crop after proper drying, separately for all the three treatments and record the yield. Convert the obtained yield into q/ha and compare with control.
Use :
In case of leguminous corps where Rhizobium fertilizer is used if all the three plots show almost equal yields, that means Rhizobium biofertilizer is used if all the three plots show almost equal yields, that means Rhizobium biofertilizer along with phosphatika can supplement upto 50% of required N and 15-25 % of P2O5.

In case of non leguminous crops where Azotobacter or Azospirillium is used along with Phosphatika.
If the yield in biofertilizer treated plot with 75% NPK is equal or higher than control plot and the yield in biofertilizer treated plot with 50% N is less than other two plots it means that biofertilizer application is supplementing only 25% to 30% of N and 15% of P2O5.
If the yield in all the three plots is almost at par with each other it means that biofertilizer application is supplementing 50% N and 25% P2O5.
If the yield in biofertilizer treated plots are significantly lesser than control plot it means that biofertilizer has not worked properly.

The biofertilizer is not good or exposed to high temperature.
Or there is some problem in soil or with application methodology.
References: The Rodale Book of Composting, Rodale Press, 1992.
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