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Crop Production Management - Nutrient Management

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Nutrition Management

16 Essential Nutrients that plants need –

  1. Carbon
  2. hydrogen
  3. oxygen
  4. nitrogen
  5. phosphorous
  6. Potassium
  7. calcium
  8. Magnesium
  9. Sulphur
  10. Boron
  11. Chlorine
  12. Copper
  13. Iron
  14. Manganese
  15. Molybdenum
  16. Zinc

The nutrients that are required in large quantities are called Macronutrients. The nutrients that are required in small quantities by the plants are called Micronutrients.

Air: Carbon, oxygen

water: Hydrogen, Oxygen

Soil:

(i) Macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulphur.

(ii) Micronutrients: iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, chlorine.

Deficiency of these nutrients affects physiological processes in plants including reproduction, growth and susceptibility to diseases. To increase the yield, the soil can be enriched by supplying these nutrients in the form of manure and fertilizers.

MANURE

Manure contains large quantities of organic matter and also supplies small quantities of nutrients to the soil. Manure is prepared by the decomposition of animal excreta and plant waste. Manure helps in enriching soil with nutrients and organic matter and increasing soil fertility. The bulk of organic matter in manure helps in improving the soil structure. This involves increasing the water holding capacity in sandy soils. In clayey soils, the large quantities of organic matter help in drainage and in avoiding water logging. In using manure we use biological waste material, which is advantageous in protecting our environment from excessive use of fertilizers.

Based on the kind of biological material used, manure can be classified as:

(i) Compost and vermi-compost: The process in which farm waste material like livestock excreta (cow dung etc.), vegetable waste, animal refuse, domestic waste, sewage waste, straw, eradicated weeds etc. is decomposed in pits is known as composting. The compost is rich in organic matter and nutrients. Compost is also prepared by using earthworms to hasten the process of decomposition of plant and animal refuse. This is called vermi-compost.

(ii) Green manure: Prior to the sowing of the crop seeds, some plants like sun hemp or guar are grown and then mulched by ploughing them into the soil. These green plants thus turn into green manure which helps in enriching the soil in nitrogen and phosphorus.

Fertilizers:

Fertilizers are artificial materials that are produced on a commercial basis or natural substances that ensure nutrient benefits to the soil.

Organic fertilizers used by Farmers: Limestone, rock phosphate

Artificial fertilizers used by Farmers: Ammonium nitrate, potassium sulfate

  • Fertilizers provide important nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus to the soil.

  • They help in the proper growth of the plants.

  • They are responsible for high yields in the high-cost farming methods.

Precautions to be taken:

  • Fertilizers should be applied in a proper amount as an excess of fertilizers is not good for the plants.
  • Proper precautions regarding the time of applying fertilizers should be taken.
  • Excess use of fertilizers can lead to water pollution as the extra fertilizers get washed away during irrigation.
  • Excess use of fertilizers can destroy the fertility of the soil as well.

Difference between manure and fertilizers:

Manure:

1. Manure provides humus to the soil.

2. Manures are less rich in nutrients.

3. Long term usage of manure leads to increment in the fertility of the soil.

Fertilizers:

1. Fertilizers do not provide humus to the soil.

2. Fertilizers are highly rich in nutrients.

3. Long term usage of fertilizers can lead to decrease in the soil fertility.

Organic Farming:

A farming practice which involves no use of artificial chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides and completely relies upon organic matter is known as organic farming. Organic farming uses healthy cropping systems such as crop rotation, intercropping and mixed cropping. Organic matter used in organic farming:

  • Manure
  • Bioagents such as blue-green algae
  • Biofertilizers
  • Neem leaves and turmeric as biopesticides
If you would like to contribute notes or other learning material, please submit them using the button below.

Shaalaa.com | Organic Farming

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