What is the Difference Between Biostimulants and Bio-fertilizers

In recent years, the modern agriculture system is facing the dual challenge of meeting food security goals due to the growing world population and the increasing demand for sustainable processes. More precisely, on one hand, it is expected to use efficient agricultural solutions that can boost productivity, which in turn, can meet the growing food demand. On the other hand, agriculture should be eco-friendly and follow farming practices that protect human health and the environment. 

Agricultural intensification is achieved through the use of mineral fertilizers and agro-chemicals. However, it has been observed that using an extensive amount of chemicals can cause soil degradation, reduced crop yield, pollution of air, water and land, eventually causing environmental risks and health hazards for humans. Bio-products or bio-based products such as biostimulants and bio-fertilizers are potential alternatives that can be used to boost crop yield, improve nutrient uptake and reduce crop stress, achieving productive and sustainable agriculture goals.

Difference Between Biostimulants and Bio-fertilizers

Bio-products, as the name indicates, are made naturally. This is what differentiates it from soil conditioners. Thus, bio-products are completely non-toxic to plants, soil as well as the consumer. There are basically two categories of bio-products today which are biostimulants and bio-fertilizers.

Biostimulants

As bio-products are evolving and scientific research and studies continue, there are no formally agreed-upon definitions forbiostimulants and bio-fertilizers yet. Thus, biostimulants can be defined as any material, substance or product which when applied to plants or soil, stimulates or boosts the existing biological processes in plants and related microbes. It helps in enhancing plant growth, boosts crop yield and quality and improves nutrient uptake and tolerance to abiotic stress. Organic plant biostimulants include humic substances, marine macro-algae extracts, protein hydrolysates, microbial inoculants, seaweed, plant extracts. 

The performance of biostimulants can be assessed by different means such as root mass measurement, photosynthesis activity and harvested quantity. Moreover, the effect can be clearly understood in the case of abiotic stress in plants. 

Bio-fertilizers 

Bio-fertilizers are biological microorganisms that stimulate processes that enable plants or roots to take up nutrients. It also helps to increase tolerance to abiotic stress, boosts crop yield and quality. Some of the bio-fertilizers include AMF (Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi), Free-living N-fixing, Hormone-releasing, P-solubilizing. These are also known as plant growth promoting Rhizobacteria or PGPR. One example could be microorganisms fixing atmospheric nitrogen to the root zone without providing nitrogen directly to the plants. 

The key difference between biostimulants and bio-fertilizers is the use and the mechanism of action, and the fact that living microbes are involved in the latter. Thus, biostimulants and bio-fertilizers are bio-products that can change modern agriculture by boosting productivity without harming the environment or human health. 

Bio-products: Growth and Challenges 

Biostimulants and bio-fertilizers have received significant attention worldwide. The commercial market for bio-products is predicted to reach approximately 3 billion US dollars in the next half a decade during which millions of people need to be fed worldwide as well. However, there are several perception-based challenges faced by the industry today. It is mainly due to the increase of fake products in the market. Also, there is a need for more scientific research and studies to understand bio-products comprehensively and establish their efficacy for plant care.

Organica Biotech is a leading company, committed to creating a sustainable future for generations to come. The team of scientists and experts have used environment biotechnology to develop the Magic Gro range of products in state-of-the-art DSIR approved laboratories. The advanced solutions consisting of a dynamic community of microbes, which increases nutrient uptake, improves crop yield, helps plants tolerate abiotic stresses, fight pests and diseases and much more. You can use Organica Biotech solutions for sustainable and highly productive agriculture. For more details, contact us.