On 24 June, PhD Angélica García Álvaro, CEO of Clean-Biotec, presented the book entitled “Culture and Application of Mycorrhizae for Horticultural Production in La Rioja”. A book that constitutes the memory of the agricultural innovation project that has lasted four years; with a foreword by Pablo Alonso Tafalla from the Regional Ministry of Agriculture and introduction by Javier Sáenz de Cabezón, Coordinator of the Mycorrhizae Innovation Team.
The book aims to be a small compendium on vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae and their application in market garden crops, so that both professional farmers and horticulture enthusiasts can put into practice some of the simple techniques explained to improve their crops and promote the biological diversity of the soil and enhance the effect of atmospheric CO2 sink. And in this way, contribute a little bit to mitigate climate change.
There are six chapters explaining what vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizae are, their history and all the benefits they produce in plants and in all the soil of the planet.
It teaches us how to find them in the field, how to start their cultivation to produce inoculums and then inoculate, seeds and nursery seedlings; their role in Ecological or Organic Agriculture and tricks to maintain them for long periods through a good planning of horticultural species in crop rotation and fallow land.
The results achieved with peas, lettuce, leeks, peppers, aubergines, broad beans and tomatoes are presented. In the case of peas, 40% higher grain yields are obtained in the plant that has been sown with mycorrhizae than without mycorrhizae, for two consecutive seasons.
Chapter 5 is devoted to climate change with a simple study carried out by Guadalupe Valle, a student of the International Baccalaureate of the Sagasta Secondary School in Logroño, with the application of mycorrhiza in tomatoes and beans. The amount of carbon fixed by the mycorrhizal rhizosphere compared to the non-mycorrhizal rhizosphere and the number of microorganisms in both rhizospheres were monitored. Both the carbon fixed and the number of micro-organisms was higher in the mycorrhizal plants.
And finally, the book emphasises social innovation, as it has put scientists in contact with farmers, working hand in hand with them and has been disseminated with conferences and practical workshops, so that in these four years 6000 people have learnt what these special mycorrhizae are.
Just as the hyphae of these fungi bring the plants in the soil into communication, the mycorrhizae innovation team has tried to emulate them and spread this generated knowledge to as many people as possible.
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