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Use of biofertilizer in rice

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  •  There is a need to balanced supply of nutrients to the crops in an integrated fashion without over reliance on only one source of nutrients for sustainable production.
  • In this direction, bio-fertilizer has emerged as a promising component in integrated nutrient supply system for sustaining the crop production. 
  • Cyanobacterial nitrogen fixation helps to minimize the over dependence of chemicals, in particular, urea in rice farming and also enhances the use efficiency of nitrogen by releasing ammonia constantly to the rice crop. 
  • In addition to nutrient supplementation, Cyanobacteria and Azolla that grow on the soil surface and also as a floating mass act as live aerators in paddy field ecosystem and oxygen released during the photosynthetic activity got liberated as minute air bubbles and consequently aerate the water impounded in paddy field that resulted in increased dissolved oxygen content which ultimately decreased the methane flux. 
  • In addition to the aeration of water, Cyanobacteria and Azolla might alleviate the toxicity due to accumulation of reduced iron and sulphites in rice fields observed under continued submergence. 
  • In another study Banayo et al. (2012) at Philippines evaluated three different biofertilizers (based on Azospirillum, Trichoderma, or unidentified rhizobacteria) during four cropping seasons between 2009 and 2011, using four different fertilizer rates i.e. 100% of the recommended rate (RR), 50 per cent RR, 25 per cent RR, and no fertilizer as Control) and reported that relative terms, the seasonal yield increase across fertilizer treatments was between 5% and 18% for the best biofertilizer (Azospirillum-based), but went up to 24% in individual treatments. 
  • Integration 50 per cent RDN+ Biofertilizers (Azotobacter, Azospirillum and Azolla) +17.5 kg P+ 32 kg /K ha recorded the higher grain yield of rice over the recommended dose of nitrogen (Pattanayak et al., 2009).
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File Courtesy: 
R K Avasthe, Subhash Babu and Raghavendra Singh ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region
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