MykoPlus, the lat­est biofer­til­izer from Los Baños

Agriculture - - Contents -

AT THE RE­CENT Ur­ban Agri­cul­ture trade show in Que­zon City, UP Los Baños dis­played sam­ples of their so-called biofer­til­iz­ers. These are mi­cro­bial in­oc­u­lants that boost the growth and pro­duc­tiv­ity of var­i­ous crops.

One of them was MykoPlus which is said to be the lat­est biofer­til­izer to be de­vel­oped at the Biotech or the Na­tional In­sti­tute of Molec­u­lar Bi­ol­ogy and Biotech­nol­ogy. The team that de­vel­oped the same was headed by Dr. Jo­ce­lyn T. Zarate.

What makes MykoPlus dif­fer­ent from ear­lier in­oc­u­lants from Los Baños is that it is made up of var­i­ous strains and species of mi­crobes. It con­tains dif­fer­ent species and strains of my­c­or­rhizal fungi and ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria that in­clude ni­tro­gen fix­ers, phos­pho­rus sol­u­bi­liz­ers and growth hor­mone se­cre­tors. MykoPlus comes in pow­der form and it has been proven to work won­ders on corn. It is also very easy to ap­ply. The corn seeds be­fore plant­ing are sim­ply coated with the pow­der. And what is the re­sult? The plants are able to take up and as­sim­i­late nu­tri­ents in the soil more ef­fi­ciently.

In field tri­als in farm­ers’ fields in Is­abela and Ca­gayan, the corn plants treated with MykoPlus had bet­ter or at least com­pa­ra­ble yield to crops that re­ceived 100 per­cent rec­om­mended rate of chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers. By us­ing MykoPlus, only 70 per­cent of the rec­om­mended chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers is ap­plied. This means 30 per­cent sav­ings by farm­ers on the use of rec­om­mended chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers, ac­cord­ing to the re­port from the Philip­pine Coun­cil for Agri­cul­ture, Aquatic and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Re­search and Devel­op­ment (PCAARRD).

The re­port added that in Manaoag, Pan­gasi­nan, farm­ers ob­served that their corn plants treated with MykoPlus pro­duced more roots that were also longer com­pared to the un­treated plants. This

means they can take up more nu­tri­ents faster and they could also be more re­sis­tant to drought be­cause of their deeper roots. At the same time, the farm­ers ob­served that their plants had bet­ter sur­vival from the pro­longed flood­ing brought about by ty­phoons.

MykoPlus has also been ob­served to work equally well on other crops that in­clude rice, cas­sava, sorghum and veg­eta­bles. In rice, the grains are fully filled and thus, heav­ier.

Con­tin­u­ous use of MykoPlus and other biofer­til­iz­ers help build up a di­verse pop­u­la­tion of ben­e­fi­cial or­gan­isms in the soil. Soils that had been de­graded by pro­longed ex­ces­sive use of chem­i­cal fer­til­iz­ers and pes­ti­cides be­come health­ier for sus­tained pro­duc­tiv­ity.

When we write about new prod­ucts from UP Los Baños and our read­ers from the prov­inces ask us where they can buy the same, we could not di­rect them to a sup­plier near their place. What we only know is that they have to buy from Los Baños. Of course, we could be wrong, but we re­ally don’t know where else the biofer­til­iz­ers are avail­able. Can some­body tell us? –ZBS

Higher yield is achieved at a lower cost when the corn seeds for plant­ing are in­oc­u­lated with MykoPlus. Corn seeds are coated with MykoPlus be­fore plant­ing.

When seeds are coated with MykoPlus, the plants de­velop longer roots which en­able them to take up more nu­tri­ents from the soil. At the same time, they are more re­sis­tant to drought and other stresses.

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