Lets Talk About Nitrogen Fixation

It’s a part of farming that’s been around from the very beginning, nitrogen fixation.

Nitrogen fixation is the process in which nitrogen from the air is converted to nitrogen for use by plants and soil microorganisms. It occurs naturally in most soils but can be limited due to a number of factors including weather, climate, type of nitrogen, and the nitrogen fixing microorganisms.

Nitrogen fixation can be accomplished by nitrogen-fixing bacteria such as Rhizobium (found in root nodules on legume plants such as soybeans, peas, alfalfa and clover) or Frankia (found in non-legume plants). Since nitrogen is continuously available in the air, nitrogen fixation is essentially a biological nitrogen storage process. When nitrogen fixation rates in soil are high, nitrogen accumulates in soil and can become incorporated into biomass or leached from soil with water moving down through the profile to streams and rivers (Smith and Gianessi , 1991).

Nitrogen fixation is often more prevalent in warmer, tropical climates because nitrogen availability in soil can be high when nitrogen fixing bacteria are encouraged by high soil temperatures.

While nitrogen fixation is a natural process, it can be enhanced through the use of nitrogen-fixing crops or inoculants (bacteria that are applied to seeds or roots to increase nitrogen fixation).

Genesis Ag is a biological company that is working to help farmers improve their soil health for improved yield potential and long term sustainability.

“Many soils are depleted of key micronutrients, microorganisms, and fungi,” said Genesis Ag president Phillip Davis. “We’re developing key products to help fill these voids. And as we fill these voids, we’re finding out that the plants are really responding to what we’re doing. We are focused on trying to bring back these key components to production agriculture.”

The nitrogen fixing microorganisms convert atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia (NH 3 ), which is the form of nitrogen that plants can use. This process takes place in the soil and is called nitrogen mineralization. Ammonia is then converted into nitrate (NO 3 -) by soil microorganisms. Nitrate is the form of nitrogen that plants can use for growth.

The nitrogen food web is a complex and interconnected system in which nitrogen fixation is just one part. The nitrogen food web includes nitrogen fixation, nitrogen mineralization, nitrogen immobilization, and nitrogen denitrification.

Farmers are keenly interested in nitrogen fixation because it is a process that helps to improve the soil fertility and ultimately leads to better crop yields. By adding nitrogen-fixing crops or inoculants to their fields, farmers can increase the nitrogen fixation rate and yield potential in nitrogen-depleted soils.

Nitrogen fixation is important because it can help farmers reduce their reliance on traditional fertilizers. This means healthier soils in the long term.

Genesis Ag’s line of biological products include Revita-N, MorPhos, Carbose, RizNate, Invigor8 Plus, and Zenergy.


Please note: The author and website has a direct financial interest and relationship with Genesis Ag, the company mentioned in this article.




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