Probiotic foods have become an essential part of most kitchens for their health benefits but did you know that they are now gaining popularity in agriculture as well? Probiotics are making it to the mainstream due to their ability to shield crops from pests and weeds and produce a better yield. From balancing the microflora of cultivated land to improving soil health, probiotics have revolutionized the food production industry.
Probiotic foods and supplements were so far being used to treat digestive disorders but are now benefiting the agri business with booster shots. This innovative approach has taken farming a huge leap forward as it boosts the level of nutrition in plants, enhances their ability to absorb essential nutrients, facilitates optimum use of available nitrogen and eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers.
The Enormous Benefits of Probiotic Farming for Modern Farmers
Soil health plays a crucial role in improving the yield. The microbes in the soil have numerous benefits that include inhibition of pathogens and absorption of nutrients. However, they are soon depleted when subjected to environmental stresses like heat, weed, pathogens, and drought. This adversely affects the quality of yield and lowers the quantity over time.
Probiotic farming can replenish the soil that has been rendered infertile and inorganic by overuse of chemicals. The fusion of aerobic and anaerobic microbes releases organic antioxidants that are similar to the lactic acids found in yogurt. The fermentation of yeasts and fungi secretes B vitamins that nourish crops and suppress the growth of harmful microbes while balancing the ecological harmony of the soil for:
Enhanced soil quality
Increased nutrient uptake
The Future of Probiotic Farming
Probiotics are poised to bring a major revolution in the farming technology by overtaking the fertilizer industry. The benefits of probiotics have the potential to make crops more productive, healthier, and free from diseases. Biotechnology firms and agricultural companies are currently treating cultivated land with microbials for a greener produce. The benefits of probiotics also extend to increasing fertility in farm animals and improving the production of milk and eggs.
Application of probiotic microorganisms can manipulate the intestinal ecosystem of farm animals for optimal growth. Probiotics have also shown positive results in poultries in terms of improved feed conversion, reduced mortality rate and weight gain.
Every living system has a microbial ecology which can be easily improved by administering probiotics. Regenerating beneficial bacteria balances the ecology of soil, plants, and farm animals for high returns.
With changing climatic situations adversely affecting agriculture production, probiotics are playing an instrumental role in addressing the problems that arise with the overuse of chemical fertilizers, nitrate run-off, soil erosion, biocide sprays and loss of cultivated biodiversity.
Unlike chemical based farming that renders the soil infertile, the probiotic approach replenishes the organic matter. Other effective methods of organic farming are planting cover crops, diversifying crop sequences, and animal manure fertilization. The agricultural application of probiotics is increasing gradually; however, it is important to select specific strains based on their properties and health implications.
Organic agriculture can significantly improve plant growth and increase the yield by 8 times. Food producers and farmers can boost the inherent genetic capability of crops by optimizing soil health through probiotic shots. When combined with organic farming, it can improve resistance to insects, pests, and UV radiation which is vital for both crop health and nature conservation. Organic farming prevents pollution of groundwater, reduces the use of non-renewable energy, mitigates the effects of global warming, and improves resistance to climatic stress. It combines innovation and science with nature and tradition to improve the quality of crops.
Organically grown crops are rich in nutrients, free from toxic chemicals, taste better, and have a much longer shelf life. Organic farming involves less cost and produces a much better yield while promoting biodiversity.