SOIL BIOLOGY IS OF CRITICAL IMPORTANCE TO FERTILISER PERFORMANCE
Every transformation in the soil concerning nutrients, fertiliser and organic matter is driven by, influenced or controlled by microbes. Nutrient cycling is totally controlled and dictated by the degree of microbial activity. Decrease in microbial activity equals decrease in nutrient availability.
This means the population and activity of healthy soil microorganis are directly related to the efficiency of fertiliser, chemicals and soil nutrients.
Soil microbes, which include bacteria, fungi and algae carry out a wide range of activity within the soil such as:
: which include bacteria that convert nitrogen from organic matter and ones that fix atmosphere nitrogen.
: Microbes that convert phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium and trace elements into a plant available form.
Produce natural plant stimulants like, indole-acetic acid, amino acid, gibberellum and vitamins as a metabolic by product. All necessary for plant growth and vigour.
The converters of organic matter to organic carbon and converting crop residue into plant available nutrient.
Organism that release antibiotics that inhibit disease producting microbes like, root rot, fungi and pythium.
algae that secrete a polysaccharide by product that form soil aggregates which play an important role in soil structure.
MICROBES AND NITROGEN CYCLE
Microorganisms, specifically bacteria, are the primary drivers of the nitrogen cycle. They convert about 90% of all nitrogen used by the cells in plants and animals into useful compounds. The portion of these compounds that are found in the humus fraction of the soil are typically the most stable and readily available nutrients to plants.
Microorganisms are responsible for building the humus fraction (decomposed organic matter) of the soil. The humus fraction of the soil is often referred to as a storehouse of nutrients in the soil. The humus layer of the soil holds plant nutrients in the root zone and prevents them from leaching away.
If the soil is too acidic (pH less than 5.6) or if heavy nitrogen fertiliser applications have been made this can interfere with the bacterial activity and dramatically reduce the efficiency and supply of nitrogen through the nitrogen cycle.