Root biomass refers to the total mass or weight of plant roots in a given area or volume of soil, usually that of the single host plant. Understanding root biomass is vital for assessing the impact of land use changes, climate variations, and other environmental factors on plant growth and ecosystem dynamics. It also has implications for soil carbon sequestration, as a significant portion of the carbon fixed by plants is allocated to below-ground biomass, particularly in the form of root material.
Grow Safe® fertilisers are fortified with over sixty trace and ultra-trace elements, such as molybdenum, manganese and rubidium, that are vital for plant metabolic processes, as well as zinc, selenium and cobalt, essential to animal fertility. Accessing these minor and trace elements is best facilitated by a large, healthy root biome. A greater root-biomass represents an increase to the root surface area, providing storage of nutrients and moisture in the soil profile. Stimulating root growth improves the biological access without compromising yield or plant performance. Studies suggest a greater root biomass facilitates an increase to carbon sequestration, cumulative yield gains and beneficial root exudates (Eusenhauer et al. 2017).
A trial in Mt Madden, WA, highlighted the benefits Grow Safe® minerals & microbial fertilisers had on root biomass compared to standard fertiliser practice. Grow Safe® plots had an average root-shoot biomass ratio of 50.5% compared to 26.9% on standard practice, and surface area of 890cm² compared to 360 cm².
Plant root mass is enhanced with the presence of soil microbes – groups of sub-microscopic organisms like actinomycetes, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and beneficial nematodes, all that live in association with plants (in varied forms and degrees of symbiotic relationship or otherwise in isolation). Soil microbes regulate fertility through their involvement in various activities such as decomposing organic matter, storing of plant nutrients, enhancing accessibility of water and guarding the rhizosphere from phytopathogenic microbes. Beneficial microbes are often impacted by past land-uses and management practices including that of ag-chemical use, crop species selection and nutrient management which can lead to bigger issues such as depletion of organic carbon, acidity, salinity, top soil erosion and fertility loss.
Grow Safe® microbes include many beneficial strains such as Bacillus, Trichoderma and Mycorrhizal fungi. The flagship Grow Safe® microbial product, Premium-Ag, is a freeze-dried powder concentrate, containing a blend of beneficial bacteria & fungi that be either coated on fertiliser (opt for the Grow Safe® coating) or available standalone for seed coating.