Indian Institute of Spices Research develops new granular lime-based formulation

ICAR-Indian Institute of Spices Research, Kozhikode has developed a new granular lime-based Trichoderma formulation, a fungal bio-control agent.

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The formulation named ‘Tricholime’, integrates Trichoderma and lime into a single product, making the application easier for farmers. 

Controlling soil acidity is crucial for obtaining optimal yields from crops, as excess acidity can affect the availability of essential plant nutrients, adversely impacting crop productivity. Lime has traditionally been employed to counteract soil acidity, but simultaneous application of Lime and beneficial microorganisms like Trichoderma is not generally recommended. Farmers have to wait for a period of two to three weeks before incorporating other beneficial micro-organisms in the soil.

Trichoderma, being a fungal biocontrol agent, has proven effective in suppressing several soil-borne plant pathogens and serves as a successful bio-pesticide and bio-fertilizer in crop production. Recognizing the of Trichoderma and the challenges posed by traditional lime applications, the scientists at IISR developed ‘Tricholime’ to integrate lime and Trichoderma.

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Tricholime can successfully eliminate the need for a time-consuming two-step process. This lime-based formulation neutralizes the soil acidity while promoting plant growth and shields crops from soil-borne pathogens, all in a single application, said R Dinesh, Director, ICAR-IISR, and one of the inventors of this formulation technology along with V Srinivasan, R Praveena and S J Eapen.

This formulation also benefits the crop by improving the physical condition of the soil, enhancing secondary nutrient availability and by boosting soil microbial activity, he added.

IISR hopes that the technology behind this product can also be extended to include other beneficial bio-agents, opening new possibilities in product development to support sustainable organic farming.

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