The key difference between organic and bio fertilizer is that organic fertilizer is a nutrient source that contains plant or animal-based materials and is either a by-product or end product of naturally occurring processes, while biofertilizer is a type of fertilizer that contains living beneficial microorganisms or dormant cells of effective microbial strains, and it is generally not a nutrient source.
Fertilizer is a natural or artificial substance that contains elements or nutrients that improve plant growth and crop productivity. Fertilizers enhance the natural fertility of the soil and replace chemical elements taken from the soil by previous crops. Organic and biofertilizer are two types of natural fertilizers. Organic fertilizers contain nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), but biofertilizers do not contain nutrients such as N, P and K, instead, they contain beneficial microorganisms such as nitrogen fixing bacteria, phosphate solubilising and potassium solubilising microorganisms. Both organic and biofertilizers are environmental friendly fertilizers compared to chemical fertilizers, which pose adverse effects on the environment.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is an Organic Fertilizer
3. What is a Bio Fertilizer
4. Similarities – Organic and Bio Fertilizer
5. Organic vs Bio Fertilizer in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Organic vs Bio Fertilizer
What is an Organic Fertilizer?
An organic fertilizer is a natural fertilizer that contains plant or animal-based materials and is either a by-product or end product of naturally occurring processes such as animal manure and composted organic materials. Organic fertilizer is also sometimes known as organic manure. Organic fertilizers provide nutrients to plants while creating healthy soil. They also help to sustain or increase the soil microbiome. Organic fertilizers may consist of animal waste, including meat processing waste, animal manure, slurry, and guano (accumulated excrement from sea birds and bats). Plant-based organic fertilizers consist of plant residues and plant extracts. Moreover, inorganic “organic fertilizers” include minerals and ash. Organic fertilizers are of two types: liquid organic fertilizers and solid organic fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers are widely used for vegetables, fruits, and cash crops. The application of organic fertilizers in agriculture is significant. This is because agricultural products grown with organic fertilizer have better taste and can effectively maintain the unique nutrition and flavour of fruits and vegetables. They also play a pivotal role in the protection and improvement of the soil environment. However, the problem with organic fertilizer is that it takes much longer to take effect than chemical fertilizers. Moreover, the composition of macronutrients such as N, P, and K in organic fertilizers is comparatively low in organic fertilizers compared to chemical fertilizers.
What is a Bio Fertilizer?
Biofertilizers are microbial inoculants that can generally be defined as preparations containing live or latent cells of efficient strains of nitrogen-fixing, phosphate solubilizing, potassium solubilizing, cellulolytic microorganisms, mycorrhizal fungi, or blue-green algae. Therefore, they are products that contain living microorganisms, and when applied to seeds, plant surfaces, or soil, they colonize the rhizosphere or the interior of the plant and promotes growth by increasing the supply of primary nutrient to the plant. Normally, biofertilizers provide nutrients indirectly to plants by accelerating natural processes such as nitrogen fixation, phosphorous and potassium solubilization, and synthesis of growth-promoting substances. Moreover, microorganisms in the biofertilizer restore the natural nutrient cycle of the soil. They also help in building up soil organic matter.
Biofertilizer is a novel approach and a promising sustainable solution to improving agricultural production and overcoming the negative consequences of chemical additives. When added to the soil, biofertilizers increase soil fertility by adding essential nutrients such as nitrogen, vitamins, and proteins to the soil and promote plant growth and yield by increasing the supply of essential nutrients to the plants. They increase the quality and physical properties, such as water-holding capacity of the soil. They also enhance the chemical and biological health of the soil. Moreover, they do not allow pathogens to flourish in the soil as well as in plants. Biofertilizers reduce the heavy use of chemical agro-inputs, minimizing their adverse effects on soil fertility, soil microbiome, environment, and human health.
The use of biofertilizers is favored as it is eco-friendly and they are living microbial inoculants, which help to restore the natural microbiome of the soil environment. Biofertilizer applications lead to the production of nutrient-rich high-quality foods and prevent the accumulation of toxic elements. The most widely used biofertilizer types are Rhizobium inoculants, Azotobacter inoculants, Azospirillum inoculants, and mycorrhizal fungal propagules, phosphate solubilizing bacteria, potassium mobilizing bacteria, and cyanobacteria. Biofertilizers are generally produced as solid or liquid-based formulations and applied to seedlings, seeds, and soil.
What are the Similarities Between Organic and Bio Fertilizer?
- Organic and biofertilizer are two types of natural fertilizers.
- Both are more cost-effective than chemical fertilizers.
- They are eco-friendly fertilizers. Therefore, they can protect the environment from pollutants since they are natural fertilizers.
- Both types are generally not toxic to humans, animals, and other organisms.
- Biofertilizer is a type of organic fertilizer.
- Organic fertilizer may contain beneficial microorganisms similarly to biofertilizers.
What is the Difference Between Organic and Bio Fertilizer?
Organic fertilizer is a natural fertilizer that contains plant or animal-based materials that are either by-products or end products of naturally occurring processes, while bio fertilizer is a natural fertilizer that contains live biomass or dormant cells of effective microbial strains. This is the key difference between organic and biofertilizer. Furthermore, organic fertilizers may contain microbes, but the cell number is not specified, while bio fertilizers contain specific microbes with an acceptable range or a measurable number of cells.
The following table summarizes the difference between organic and bio fertilizer.
Summary – Organic vs Bio Fertilizer
Organic and bio fertilizers are two types of natural fertilizers that are eco-friendly. Organic fertilizer is a natural fertilizer that contains plant or animal-based materials that is either a by-product or end product of naturally occurring processes, while biofertilizer is a natural fertilizer that contains live biomass or dormant cells of effective microbial strains. Organic fertilizer is basically a nutrient source, while biofertilizer is not a nutrient source. This summarizes the difference between organic and bio fertilizer.
1. “Organic Fertilizer.” An Overview | ScienceDirect Topics.
2. Mitter, Eduardo K., et al. “Rethinking Crop Nutrition in Times of Modern Microbiology: Innovative Biofertilizer Technologies.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 1 Jan. 1AD.