A biological input is a living organism or element of biological origin (e.g. nettle manure), as opposed to elements of synthetic or mineral chemical origin, introduced to an agricultural plot or livestock building, in order to participate in the optimization of a production.
Several types of biological inputs (including organic inputs) are taken into consideration:
- Fertilizing components directly or indirectly produced by living organisms (manure, compost) and which favour crop development and soil fertility.
- Living organisms, such as microorganisms that can promote vigour and plant hydromineral feeding (e.g. mycorrhizae), auxiliary insects when introduced to pest control (e.g. Trichogramma against European corn borer), in order to optimize the production.
- Crop protection products made from living organisms, such as liquid manure, powders, decoctions and fermentations. Their action modes are varied and can act either directly on targeted organisms (insecticides…) or indirectly by strengthening the plant natural defence mechanism (Natural Defense Stimulators).
- Cleaning products for buildings, composed of essential oils or other components of biological origin (bacteria).
The use of biological inputs must be adapted in accordance with the cultural, pedoclimatic and economic constraints of the farm. It falls within a production system that is respectful of agroecology and sustainable development values.
References to explore
CSIRO Agriculture and Food. Biological farming inputs – A practical guide to on-farm testing. Online. Accessed Januray 10, 2019.
Ecocert. Inputs. Online. Accessed January 10, 2019.
Ecosense Lab. Biological inputs – substanaible agricultural develeopment. Online. Accessed January 10, 2019.
European Comission. Organic inputs – contentious inputs in organic farming. Online. Accessed January 10,2019.
Grains Research & Development Corporation (GRDC). 2015. Biological inputs. Online. Accessed January 10, 2019.
Soil quality.org. Biological input – Western grain-growing region. Online. Accessed January 10, 2019.