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Manures and Fertilizers

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  • Last Updated : 30 Sep, 2022
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Manure and fertilizers are the materials put into the soil as nutrients to support the healthy growth of plants. Manuring is the practice of incorporating manure and fertilizers. If the manuring is not completed on time, weak plants will show repercussions. Because certain areas have less fertile soil due to farmers planting crops in the same field repeatedly, it is crucial to amend the soil with manure and fertilizers.

It’s possible that the soil lacks the necessary nutrients to support plant growth. In order to improve soil fertility and aid in improved plant growth, manures and fertilizers are added. They produce outcomes more quickly than manures. They do, however, render the land infertile when used extensively. Compost pits are used to break down plant and animal materials to create manure. On the other hand, fertilizers are chemicals made in factories that contain nutrients for a particular plant.

Fertilizers

  • A fertilizer is any substance, natural or artificial, applied to soil or plant tissues to provide plant nutrients.
  • Liming substances and other non-nutritional soil enhancements are not always considered fertilizers. Both naturally occurring and artificial sources of fertilizer are available.
  • The three main macronutrients of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) serve as the foundation for fertilization in the majority of modern agricultural techniques, with the occasional inclusion of micronutrient supplements such as rock dust.
  • These fertilizers are applied by farmers using a variety of techniques, including hand tools, large agricultural equipment, and liquid, dry, and pelletized application processes.
Fertilizers

 

Types of Fertilizers

Fertilizers are of mainly two types i.e., Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers

Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers are natural fertilizers derived from plants and animals. It enriches the soil by adding carbonic molecules required for plant growth. Organic fertilizers increase the amount of organic matter in the soil, promote microbial reproduction, and change the soil’s physical and chemical composition. It is regarded as one of the essential elements of green foods. Organic fertilizers can be made from the following items:

  • Manure from Livestock
  • Waste from Industry
  • Waste from Agriculture
  • Sludge from Municipalities

Inorganic Fertilizers

Inorganic fertilizers are chemical fertilizers produced using chemical techniques that contain nutrients for crop growth. Inorganic fertilizers are classified as follows:

  • Fertilizer with Phosphorus: Phosphorus is the primary nutrient in phosphorus fertilizer. The effective phosphorus concentration, fertilization techniques, soil characteristics, and crop strains all have an impact on the success of a fertilizer. Phosphorus, which is necessary for cell growth and proliferation, is present in the protoplasm of the cell.
  • Fertilizers containing Nitrogen: Nitrogen, which is necessary for crop development, is present in nitrogen fertilizers. Nitrogen, an essential constituent of chlorophyll, contributes to the overall balance of photosynthesis. It is also a component of plant amino acids and contains protein. Nitrogen fertilizers increase agricultural product production and quality.
  • Fertilizers containing Potassium: Potash is a mineral mixture that is used to produce potassium fertilizers (chemical symbol: K). Because potash is a water-soluble nutrient, the primary effort in extracting it from the core entails several purification stages, like removing sodium chloride (NaCl) (common salt). When discussing potassium content, potash is sometimes referred to as K2O for simplicity. The most common potash fertilizers are potassium chloride, potassium sulfate, potassium carbonate, and potassium nitrate.

Importance of Fertilizers

  • Fertilizers make plants more pest-resistant. As a result, fewer illnesses exist, giving the crops an aesthetic value.
  • Nitrogen in fertilizers promotes plant growth, as evidenced by the green color of the plants.
  • The potassium content of fertilizers strengthens the plant’s straws and stalks.
  • Phosphorus in fertilizers aids in the development of roots and the formation of seeds in plants.

Advantages of Fertilizers

  • Because of its nutrient specificity, we can choose a specific fertilizer to supply a specific nutrient.
  • Water is soluble and easily dissolved in the soil, as a result, they are easily absorbed by plants.
  • They have a quick impact on crops, are predictable, and are dependable.
  • Increase crop yield and provide enough food to feed the world’s growing population. Simple to transport, store, and use

Manure

  • Manure is the decomposed form of dead plants and animals that is applied to the soil in order to increase productivity. It is a natural and cost-effective fertilizer.
  • Excreta from humans and animals are also used as manure. The nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium content of livestock manure is high.
  • Manure is high in organic matter and humus, which improves soil fertility. These are better in the long run and do not pollute the environment. 
Manures

 

Types of Manures

There are some categories that divide manure into different types with different characteristics, with a wide variety of manure.

Farmyard manure, green manure, and compost manure are the three major types. These are briefly described further below:

Green manure

  • This type of manure has deep roots in the soil and prevents soil erosion by keeping it fertile.
  • Green manuring also aids in weed suppression and increases the percentage of organic matter in the soil, allowing the crop to grow to its full potential.
  • Crotalaria, which is grown using this technique, is one of the green manure examples.

 Compost Manure

  • Compost manure improves soil structure, increasing its water and nutrient-holding capacity.
  • As a result, it improves crop yield by increasing the nutritional value of the soil and crop.

Farmyard Manure 

  • Farmyard manure increases soil’s ability to hold more water and improves soil structure, allowing it to carry more nutrients.
  • It also increases microbial activity in the soil, which improves mineral delivery and plant nutrition in the crop.

Sources of Manure

  • Human habitation wastes such as urine, night soil, sludge, sewage, and domestic waste.
  • Goat and sheep droppings, cattle dung, urine, and biogas plant slurry.
  • Slaughterhouse waste such as bones, meat, horn and hoof meal, and fish waste.
  • Agricultural industry byproducts and crop waste.
  • Water hyacinth, weeds.

Advantages of Manure

  • These are high in macro and micronutrients. 
  • It is a very low-cost tool for increasing yield. It keeps soil from eroding and leaching.
  • It improves the physical properties of the soil and aerates it.
  • Improves the soil’s water and nutrient retention capacity. It is extremely simple to transport.

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is the practice of growing a variety of crops in the same area over the course of several seasons. It is done so that farm soil is not used for only one type of nutrient. It reduces soil erosion while increasing soil fertility and crop yield.

Growing the same crop in the same location for many years in a row (monocropping) depletes the soil of certain nutrients disproportionately. A crop that leaches one type of nutrient from the ground is followed the following growing season by a dissimilar crop that returns that nutrient to the soil or draws a different ratio of nutrients. Crop rotation also helps to keep pathogens and pests at bay.

FAQs on Adding Manure and Fertilizers

Question 1: What exactly is organic fertilizer?

Answer:

Organic fertilizers are made from human and animal waste, as well as vegetable waste. The most effective organic fertilisers are made from animal waste, slurry, and manure from meat processing.

Question 2: What is the difference between manures and fertilizers?

Answer:

  • Manure is naturally produced by the decomposition of dead plants and animals.
  • Fertilizers are chemical substances that are rarely natural. It is abundant in soil nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.”

Question 3: What exactly are biofertilizers?

Answer:

When applied to seeds, plant surfaces, or soil, a biofertilizer contains living microorganisms that colonise the rhizosphere or interior of the plant and encourage development by increasing the supply.

Question 4: Which is preferable, fertilizer or manure?

Answer:

Manure is superior to fertiliser. Manure is derived naturally and adds much more to the soil than just nutrients. They boost soil fertility by increasing the activity of microbes in the soil. 

Question 5: Mention some applications of fertilizers. 

Answer:

  • Used to provide extra nutrients to plants. Nitrogen-rich fertilisers are used to green up lawns.
  • Organic fertilisers improve soil texture and fertility. 
  • Gardeners use fertilisers to address specific plant needs, such as nutritional requirements.

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