Soil fertility, as defined by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), is “the ability of a soil to support plant growth by providing essential nutrients and favourable chemical, physical and biological characteristics as a habitat for plant growth”. In recent years, it has been observed that the world’s agricultural soil has been severely degraded. In particular, about 40% of the world’s agricultural soil and 24% of the world’s productive areas have suffered a loss of fertility, production capacity and biodiversity. These phenomena are due to various factors such as water and wind erosion, salinity, loss of organic matter and environmental pollution.
This is why research in the field has focused on the use of agroecological principles to minimise potentially harmful chemical inputs and manage ecological relationships and agrobiodiversity. The focus is on products and technologies that not only preserve, but stimulate life in the plant and soil microbiome, composed of a community of micro-organisms (fungi, bacteria, actinomycetes and protozoa) that cohabit and contribute according to their function in the system.
Microbial biostimulants are innovative technologies capable of ensuring agricultural yields with high nutritional values, overcoming the negative effects of environmental changes. A clear example of this revolution are the new microbial biostimulants from Futureco Bioscience: Hydromaat and Fosmobac.
Hydromaat and its strain B2352 regulate the proline dehydrogenase gene, which plays a key role in the plant’s response to drought through osmoregulation. In general, this bacterium increases plant hydration, increases photosynthetic rates and improves plant physiology to overcome water stress. Trials on tomato show how HydroMaat alleviates the impact of drought stress, in a context where climate change is leading to prolonged periods of water shortage.
Fosmobac synergistically solubilises inaccessible phosphorus, making it accessible to crops. In addition, the microorganisms included in the formulation produce the enzymes alkaline phosphatase and acid phosphatase, which play a key role in slowing down bound phosphates. This results in increased phosphorus availability and uptake in crops, as demonstrated in a trial on melon. Fosmobac is an alternative to the NPK fertilisers that are commonly used to achieve the proposed yields, which are based on this essential, non-renewable resource with finite capacity, and therefore restrictions are expected in the short and medium term.
These organic-certified microbial products are the result of ongoing research by Futureco Bioscience’s R&D team to improve the efficiency of plant growth and development in agricultural crops. Both new launches are committed to the care and stimulation of environmental biodiversity, the future of agribusiness and a sustainable food system for the entire growing population.