Biotechnology, in particular "EM - biotechnology", has recently been called "The Hope of the Planet". What is biotechnology? Biotechnology is defined by the European Biotechnology Society as the application of organisms, biological systems or biological processes in industry, agriculture and ancillary industries.
Environmental biotechnology using microorganisms undoubtedly provides mankind with great opportunities in improving the biosphere and in obtaining better food products, in reducing the energy intensity of agricultural production. But unlike the chemicalization of agriculture, the use of biological products does not lead to negative consequences. This is primarily due to the fact that microorganisms used in EM - biotechnology are isolated from nature, they cannot accumulate in it in excess and disturb the ecological balance of natural ecosystems. However, the use of agrochemicals and biologicals is not mutually exclusive and their combined use in agriculture is more effective.
At the present time, a bank of useful ecologically safe types of microorganisms has been created. The drugs created on their basis are characterized by a complex action. They have a stimulating effect on plant growth, suppress the development of a number of diseases, improve the mineral nutrition of plants, contribute to an increase in soil fertility, and significantly reduce the pesticide load. The use of biological products of a new generation not only increases the productivity of plants, but also allows you to get an earlier product, increases its safety.
All microbial preparations have a wide spectrum of action, but they show the greatest efficiency on vegetable and fodder crops. Their use makes it possible to reduce the rates of application of mineral fertilizers and pesticides, which has a positive effect on the content of nitrates and nitrites in products and reduces the pesticide load on ecosystems.
In Russia, the production of microbial preparations, mainly for legumes, began in the 1920s and 1930s. The main manufacturers of biological products in the world are, mln./ha portions: USA -10 - 15, Austria - 6 - 8, Brazil -4 - 6, India - 2 - 4, Argentina - 2 - 3, Canada - 2 - 2.5 , Uruguay - 1 - 2.
In our country, microbial preparations based on nitrogen-fixing microorganisms were widely used in agriculture in the 80s - 90s. Their production and use reached 4 - 5 million hectares of portions annually. Currently, preparations of complex action are used: rhizotorfin, rhizoenterin, rhizogrin, flavobacterin, agrophil, bioplant - K, etc. To optimize the soil environment, baktogumin, bamil, EM - 1, EM - 2, phytopflora - C, etc., are used to optimize the soil - microbiological processes.
To protect plants from pests, entobacterin, lepidocid, bitoxybacillin, bactoculicide, bacterodencid, etc. are used They are safe for humans and warm-blooded animals.
Biotechnology of organic waste composting occupies a special place. The natural composting process involves many types of microorganisms - over 2,000 species of bacteria and about 50 species of fungi. The content of bacteria in compost is very high - up to 108 - 109 cells in 1 g of wet compost. Nevertheless, additional enrichment of composts leads to a significant acceleration of the decomposition process and obtaining a higher quality product. Such compost primarily improves the structure of the soil, enriches it with microorganisms, improves the mineral nutrition of plants, increases the water-holding capacity of soils, enriches them with biologically active substances and reduces the risk of plant diseases.
Microorganisms are also used in aerobic biological wastewater treatment in aeration tanks or biofilters.Active sludge consists of 70% living organisms, primarily bacteria (there are about 30 species of them). There are also protozoa in activated sludge that regulate the number of bacteria.
Microbial preparations are also used for waste processing, as well as in the oil industry, to enhance oil recovery, search for oil fields, and purify wastewater from oil industry enterprises. In the ore industry, they are used for leaching metals from ores, combating aggressive waters in mines, for desulfurizing coal and treating mine wastewater.
This shows that the possibilities of biotechnology are endless. They are still insufficiently studied and it is necessary to carry out in the future large-scale experiments to test the effectiveness of biological products in different sectors of the national economy.