Organic farming is a sustainable method of farming that emphasizes the use of natural processes and resources to produce healthy crops and livestock. An important component of organic farming is promoting soil health and fertility, which is essential for sustaining long-term agricultural productivity. Beneficial fungi are one of the essential elements in organic farming, as they play a crucial role in soil quality and plant growth.
Fungi are ubiquitous microorganisms found in soil, air and water. They are important for the breakdown and recycling of organic matter in the soil, which releases nutrients needed for plant growth.
Some beneficial fungi
3.Beauveria bassiana Fungi
Beneficial fungi, also known as mycorrhizal fungi, form mutualistic relationships with plant roots, providing them with essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. In return, the plant provides the fungi with carbohydrates, which are essential for their growth and survival.
Mycorrhizal fungi have been shown to increase plant growth and yield as well as improve soil structure and water-holding capacity. They also help plants resist environmental stress factors such as drought, salinity and extreme temperatures.
Therefore, they are widely used in organic farming to promote plant growth, reduce the use of artificial fertilizers and increase soil fertility.
Another beneficial fungus used in organic farming is Trichoderma, a species of soil fungus known for its ability to suppress plant diseases.
Trichoderma is used as a biocontrol agent to protect plants from soil-borne pathogens, including Fusarium, Pythium, and Rhizoctonia.
By colonizing plant roots, Trichoderma competes with pathogenic fungi for nutrients and space, preventing them from infecting the plant.
Trichoderma also produces enzymes that break down the cell walls of pathogenic fungi, further inhibiting their growth and spread.
Beauveria bassiana is another beneficial fungus used in organic farming as a biocontrol agent against pesticides.
It is a naturally occurring fungus found in soil that infects and kills a wide range of insects, including aphids, whiteflies and beetles.
Beauveria bassia spores attach to the insect’s cuticle, penetrate its exoskeleton and grow inside the insect, eventually killing it.
Since Beauveria bassiana is a natural fungus, it is considered safe for the environment and human health, making it an ideal choice for organic farmers.
In conclusion, beneficial fungi are an essential component of organic farming, contributing to the sustainability and productivity of agricultural systems.
By improving soil quality and plant growth, suppressing plant diseases and pests, and reducing the use of artificial inputs, they play an important role in promoting ecological balance and biodiversity in farming systems.
Therefore, organic farmers need to incorporate beneficial fungi into their farming practices to reap the benefits of these microorganisms. By doing so, they can produce healthy crops and livestock, protect the environment and contribute to sustainable agricultural systems.