The soil food web is an intricate, interdependent network of life, from the primary consumers (bacteria and fungi) to the larger predators (insects and birds etc.) and everything in between.
The interaction of all these living things in the soil is fascinating and it all begins with the primary consumers – and plants know this, which is why they give up some of the simple sugars produced through photosynthesis (exudates) to feed the bacteria and fungi in exchange for the nutrients and minerals necessary for plant growth.
This symbiotic relationship is fundamental for agriculture and a key part of our focus.
Soil biology is not just about the numbers, it is also about functionality. Each layer of the web performs certain functions to help the others and for bacteria, that functionality can include fixing nitrogen from the atmosphere, solubilising essential nutrients such as phosphorous and potassium and producing phytohormones to encourage plant growth.
Soil biology will perform these functions naturally, but when it comes to agriculture and the need to optimise crop yields, we come into an area of conflict. Why conflict – because most farming practice involves the addition of chemicals that kill or inhibit the very lifeblood of the soil that is so important. Every time a pesticide, herbicide or fungicide is applied, some level of the soil food web is damaged.
Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria - ACF-SR and ACF-SR+
Plant Growth Promoting Bacteria (PGPB) or Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) are bacteria species that exist in and around the roots of plants and perform these beneficial functions in symbiosis with the plant.
BluePlanet Labs have, over many years, developed their PGPB range of products. The core products with enhanced functionality, ACF-SR and ACF-SR+, are certified for Organic use in the EU (Irish Organic Association and FiBL) and the USA (OMRI).
Both products are broad consortia of bacteria species, specially selected and produced in stable, ready to use formulae which can also be prepared in bulk for broad acre applications.