Nitrogenous fertilizer use affects soil health, crop productivity

New studies have revealed that continuous use of nitrogenous fertilizer had a deleterious effect on soil health and crop productivity in the country.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  10 Feb 2021 3:59 AM GMT
Nitrogenous fertilizer use affects soil health, crop productivity

Hyderabad: New studies have revealed that continuous use of nitrogenous fertilizer had a deleterious effect on soil health and crop productivity in the country.

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar told Lok Sabha that "even with recommended doses of NPK [nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium] deficiency of micro and secondary nutrients has become yield-limiting factors over the years. Deficient nutrients may also affect plant growth and cause plant physiological disorders."

As per the latest information available with Ministery of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, the consumption of chemical fertilizers in the country during 2017-18 was 54..38 million tonnes. It shot up to 56.21 million tonnes , 2018-19. In 2019-20 the consumption touched 59.38 million tonnes and up to the kharif season of 2020, it was 33.85 million tonnes. The fertilizer products include Urea, Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP), Murate of Potash (MOP), Complexes, and Single Super Phosphate (SSP).

The Minister added that there is also a possibility of nitrate contamination in groundwater above the permissible limit of 10 mg NO3-N /L due to excessive/over-use of nitrogenous fertilizers, particularly in light textured soils that have consequences on human/animal health if used for drinking purpose.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has recommended soil test based balanced and integrated nutrient management through conjunctive use of both inorganic and organic sources of plant nutrients to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers, preventing deterioration of soil health, environment and contamination of groundwater.

In addition, split application and placement of fertilizers, use of slow-releasing N-fertilizers and nitrification inhibitors, growing leguminous crops and the use of resource conservation technologies (RCTs) are also advocated.

The government has launched a National Mission on Soil Health Card to promote soil test based balanced and judicious fertilizer application in the country. Similarly, organic farming is being promoted under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER) in the country. Training and demonstrations are organized through ICAR institutions including Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), and agricultural universities to educate farmers on all these aspects.


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