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  • 25-04-2023

The importance of biotechnology in agriculture

Biotechnology is a science that has been used for centuries. From natural beers and wines fermented in barrels of different types to yeast handling and fermentation to make bread, there is always a biotechnological process involved.

Agriculture is also a sector linked to biotechnology. Since the earliest crops, farmers have manipulated plants and animals through selective breeding and sowing. They chose those with better features and created new varieties and species with the desired traits.

In addition, what is known as agricultural biotechnology emerged thanks the technological development of the 20th century. This is based on the use of biological tools and techniques that use living organisms as a means to improve agriculture, leading to the development of agricultural products.

The transition from chemical to biological agriculture

We are increasingly aware of the environmental damage that traditional agriculture does to the planet. The soil is not a bottomless pit. Over-fertilizing can end up in aquifers, polluting the waters used by humans. Moreover, soil fertility is reduced when increasing salt concentrations and unbalancing the nutrient balance.

In response to the risk posed by these insensitive agricultural practices, organic farming emerged in 1960. This is based on the optimal use of natural resources, without the use of synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms.

IMAGE: GROUNDWATER BODIES POLLUTED BY NITRATES (2015) ACA 2015. ANALYTICAL RESULTS. MONITORING AND CONTROL PROGRAMME. CATALAN WATER AGENCY. HTTP://ACA-WEB.GENCAT.CAT/SDIM2/INICI.DO

Biotechnology as a solution

Thanks to biotechnology, great advances have been made in the agricultural sector. From improved nutrient absorption thanks to the use of microorganisms with plant growth-promoting properties to pest control using plant and fungal extracts and ferments.

The most well-known case in agriculture is the use of microorganisms with plant growth-promoting features, known as PGPR. These properties biostimulate the plant through improved nutrient uptake, root development and phytopathogen control.

Image: Plant growth promoting activities. Source: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/19939

Benefits of agricultural biotechnology

  • Crops with greater resistance to drought, thus enabling agriculture in drier areas.
  • Improved plant resistance to pests and diseases, reducing the amount of phytosanitary products to be used.
  • It allows the creation of varieties that withstand the use of herbicides, making weed control easier in large areas of cultivation.
  • It improves the nutritional quality of agricultural products. For example, it increases the vitamin content in crops.

 

Herogra Especiales rides the wave of biotechnology

Thanks to the fermentation plant of Herogra Especiales, organic products are being promoted and developed with the CAAE certification for organic agriculture.

Biotechnology Department of Herogra Especiales

This is the case of TOTEM, a last generation rooting product based on Orygin 2.0 technology from natural ferments derived from extremophile organisms. It boosts and regenerates the root, biostimulating its growth throughout its life cycle. As the root system develops further, it achieves a better soil nutrient absorption and a greater resistance of the plant to external stresses such as drought, waterlogging or wind.

 Mode of action of TOTEM in the soil

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