Microbial biofertilizer could boost sustainable farming as food demand booms

planthand
Credit: Colourbox

Agriculture is facing tough challenges in the years ahead, including a rising world population and arable land and water becoming scarcer. The traditional methods of improving food yield to match this demand — chemical fertilizers and insecticides — are unsustainable due to pollution and their negative impact on climate change.

One option to help with this problem is replacing traditional chemicals with microbes to enhance plant growth. Known as biofertilizers, these products change the microbiome of the soil to provide plants with nutrients and are less polluting than chemical fertilizers.

Biofertilizers are effective in greenhouses where you can control the environmental conditions. In the field, however, environmental stresses make the microbes less effective. [biotech firm] Kapsera aims to overcome this limitation by supplying microbes in capsules made from alginate, a material derived from seaweed.

Related article:  Precision drones, driverless tractors bring automated agriculture closer to fruition in the UK

Smaller than a grain of sand, the capsules consist of a liquid core that houses the beneficial microbes. This core is surrounded by a shell that lets nutrients and gases pass so that the microbes can survive inside.

Read full, original article: This Biotech Fertilizes Crops with Little Microbe Capsules

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend