IISR’s innovative formulations help address soil pH issues and boost crop yields

ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode, has developed three new microbial formulations based on granular lime and gypsum to help farmers improve agricultural productivity.

The formulations developed using IISR’s patent-applied technology .can address soil pH issues and deliver beneficial microorganisms concurrently through a single formulation, a press release said.

Bactolime integrates beneficial bacteria or PGPRs (Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria) with liming material into a single formulation. These beneficial bacteria, being a potential tool for sustainable agriculture, ensure the availability of essential nutrients to plants and help enhance nutrient use efficiency.

Strains like Bacillus sp and Pseudomonas are commonly used in agriculture as nutrient solubilizers/mobilizers as well as plant growth stimulants.

Recognizing this potential of beneficial bacteria, scientists at IISR developed ‘Bactolime’, which integrates liming material and beneficial bacteria, performing the function of both – ameliorating the soil’s low pH and ensuring delivery of plant- beneficial bacteria through a single product.

Around 6.73 million ha of land in India is affected by salt. This saline/sodic soil adversely affects agriculture productivity, often making crop production activities economically unviable. To promote use of beneficial microorganisms, IISR developed two gypsum-based bacterial formulations: Bactogypsum and Trichogypsum.

Gypsum is traditionally used to counteract soil salinity/sodicity. While Bactogypsum ameliorates high pH soils and ensures simultaneous delivery of plant beneficial bacteria, Trichogypsum delivers Trichoderma – a fungal biocontrol agent and corrects the high pH levels of soil.

Both ‘Bactogypsum’ and ‘Trichogypsum’ buffer the soil pH to a near-neutral level, creating a favourable environment for establishing these beneficial microbes. This, in turn, improves the physical condition of the soil, enhances the availability of secondary nutrients, and boosts overall microbial activity.

R Dinesh, Director of IISR, said the technology opens up new vistas for designing integrated approaches to enhancing soil health and crop yields.

Scientists from IISR V Srinivasan, R Praveena, S J Eapen and Director R Dinesh are the inventors of these formulations.

The first product using this formulation technology, Tricholime, which integrates Trichoderma and lime, was released a few months ago.

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