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Microbial Inoculants

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A growing number of companies are selling biofertilizers or biostimulants: microbial inoculants intended to enhance soil health. In laboratory and greenhouse studies, the microbes contained in these products have proven effective in enhancing nutrient availability, decreasing pest infestations, stimulating plant growth, protecting plants against stress conditions, and enhancing plant competition against invasive species. These benefits have not always been seen by farmers in “real world” conditions, however—making the value and cost-effectiveness of these products a topic of considerable uncertainty. To help you reach your own conclusions, this publication explains how microbial inoculants work, reviews current (in 2020) scientific literature and studies, and offers practical recommendations: factors to consider before buying and using these products.



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