Agriculture is one of the major professions for many people all over the world. Agriculture is the key to sustain life on earth. fertilizer, manure, and soil fertility management have become the need of the hour. We, human beings solely depend on agriculture to satisfy all our daily food needs. Thus agriculture is one of the reasons why we have the liberty of choosing so many food types and flavors.
Are you aware of the several factors in agriculture that provide us with disease-free and nutritious food? It is a fact that plant species require eighteen essential elements for its growth. Out of the eighteen elements, only three elements, are readily available to plants. These three elements are air, sunlight and water. For the rest of the fifteen elements, the plant depends entirely on the soil. These 15 elements are minerals. Every soil type requires the potential and capacity to provide all these nutrients that are necessary for proper plant growth.
Continuous exploitation of the soil takes place around the year. By the cultivation of a single crop or intercultural operations, the soil becomes infertile. These practices also lead to reduced nutrient content in the soil. therefore is necessary that every farmer should keep the soil rich in nutrients and minerals. This is possible by applying appropriate manures and fertilizers. All these practices also promote sustainable agriculture. Thus manures and fertilizers have become an essential entity of modern-day agriculture. They help in maintaining soil fertility. Now, let us see about manure, fertilizer and soil fertility management one by one in detail.
Manure is the material we obtain from organic wastes and crop residues. Its composition is free of chemicals. Thus manure is of organic nature. It provides various nutrients to the plants. In addition, manure also contributes to improving the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil.
The categorisation of manure depends upon the concentration of plant nutrients that it provides. Manure is basically of two types, bulky organic manure and concentrated organic manure. Bulky organic manure contains minimal amounts of nutrients. It is required in large quantity. Some of the examples are, farmyard manures, green manures, vermicompost and sludge. Concentrated organic manure has high amounts of plant nutrients as compared to the bulky organic manures. So their requirement is very minimal. Some examples are oil meals, bone meal, feather meal, blood meal, etc.
IMPORTANCE OF ORGANIC MANURE
Organic manure is easily available in all climatic conditions. Organic manure does not require any additional component to react with the soil. Animal manure, which is one of the types of organic manure can also be prepared from the slurry that is easily available in agricultural lands. They can also be used as fuel. An example is cow dung. Organic manure increases the fertility of the soil and maintains the balance of soil fertility. Moreover, traditional organic manure is challenging modern-day fertilizer.
WHAT IS FERTILIZER?
Fertilizers are the materials of natural or synthetic origin. They have a definite chemical composition that enhances their ability to supply the required nutrients to the soil. Basically, fertilizers are made from inorganic components excluding urea and calcium cyanamide. Based upon the number of nutrients, fertilizers are categorised there types. They are straight, complex and mixed fertilizers. Straight fertilizers are made of a single chemical compound that acts as the primary nutrient. Complex fertilizers have more than one nutrient, whereas mix fertilizers are a combination of straight and complex fertilizers. Now let us discuss the difference between manures and fertilizers.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FERTILIZER AND MANURE
It is necessary to know the difference in order to apply them based on cultivational requirements. The major difference between manure and fertilizer is manure is of natural origin whereas the fertilizers are of synthetic origin. Manure is economical to use. Whereas fertilizers are very costly. Organic manure contains all the essential nutrient, whereas fertilizers contain only the specific nutrients. Although manures have all the essential nutrients, it contains relatively small amounts of plant nutrients. Whereas fertilizers are rich in specific plant nutrients. Since manure is of natural origin, it does not have harmful effects on living organisms present in the soil. While fertilizers, if used in excess, will create problems for living organisms due to their synthetic origin. Both manure and fertile are essential to maintain soil fertility.
SOIL FERTILITY MANAGEMENT
The ability of the soil to accept, store and transfer energy in order to support the growth of plants is soil fertility. The study that deals with the management of the physical, chemical and biological composition of soil to know its current nutrient status. And the understanding to provide nutrients in order to increase the fertility of the soil is called soil fertility management. It generally deals with the methods that are concerned with soil conservation, crop rotation and application of manure and fertilizer as per the soil requirements. Thus soil fertility management has become a vital component in the growth of various crops around the world.