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In the agricultural industry, for every gram of soil researchers say there are more than 90 million microorganisms, both beneficial and pathogenic. Bernarda Mora from Biocontrol spoke during the Second Environmental Education National Event carried out at UNal-Palmira, and addressed the importance of using microorganisms to control diseases in different types of crops. “Microorganisms are always there for our service and there needs to be a balance between beneficial and pathogenic microorganisms. Beneficial microorganisms are used for bioremediation purposes in wastewaters where they help us diminish the greenhouse effect and improve crops, therefore we need to create awareness of this to producers,” said the specialist. Furthermore she added that her company is using microorganisms such as Trichoderma, Bacillus subtilis and Pseudomonas fluorescens, which reproduce and are offered as disease and pest control. “For example for downy mildew in onion crops in the Province of Valle del Cauca we used Trichoderma and Bacillus subtilis, that compete for substrate and space with pathogens removing their feeding source and controlling and enabling plants to grow better,” said Mora. Thus these microorganisms along with organic fertilization are helpful to mitigate the effects of climate change from the agricultural standpoint. “There are atmospheric nitrogen fixators; therefore if we have good amounts of microorganisms in the soil and good organic plant nutrition 1kg of compost produces 40 grams of free nitrogen we can incorporate clean agricultural practices to have greater soil stability and less carbon footprint.

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