What is fertilizer?
Fertilizers, artificial or natural, are the components that increase plant productivity and development. Fertilizers help the soil increase its fertility thereby promoting growth. The use of manures as compost is presumably as old as agriculture itself. With the help of fertilizers, plants become resilient against harmful plant pathogens, pests, and weeds. Elimination of diseases in plants increases the value in the harvest.
Present-day synthetic fertilizers incorporate at least one of the three components that are most significant in plant sustenance: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Of secondary significance are the elements sulphur, magnesium, and calcium.
Fertilize the soil, okay. But why
The soil requires the regular maintenance of its fertility. Naturally, soil comprises of very fine rocks, different types of minerals, and organic matter due to the decomposition of the biological species. The proper tillage/tilth is supported by sand, minerals, and organic matter but these do not help in supporting and maintaining adequate amounts of food for the plant required for its nourishment and growth.
At the time of plant growth, essential nutrients are required by the plant for its unimpeded growth. Incorporating fertilizers into the soil guarantees that the plant is getting proper nutrition during its development.
- Boosting growth: One element known for its ability to boost plant growth is Nitrogen. It’s also a greening agent. Fertilizers rich in nitrogen are preferred because of their aforementioned advantages
- Acceleration of maturation: Phosphorus content in the fertilizers is responsible for the plants maturity. Farmers who need to accelerate plant development ought to apply phosphorus rich fertilizers.
- Enhanced resistance: Potassium in fertilizers can reinforce the stalks and straws of plants. Thus enabling them to hold more amount of water and be more impervious to drought conditions.
- Fertilizers can improve the quality of fruits and seeds, leading to better harvest and earnings
Deficiency of nutrients in the absence of fertilizers causes:
- Cell division inhibition
- Delay in flowering
- Death of certain tissues
- Premature falling of leaves and buds
- Stunted plant growth
Thus fertilizers do play a very important role in agriculture.
Bio-fertilizer and the hype!!!!!
Throughout the years, farmers have utilized chemical fertilizers to increase the production of crops to meet the increasing demand. But over the years, continuous usage of these chemical fertilizers have proven to be harmful to all forms of life by causing pollution of air and water, and depletion of minerals from the soil. Therefore, there is a need to now change to organic farming that involves the utilization of the Bio-fertilizers.
Bio-fertilizers are living organisms that enhance soil quality. It refers to the utilization of microorganisms like different types of bacteria or fungi that will enhance fertility. Bio-fertilizers are also much more beneficial to the environment compared to their synthetic/chemical counterpart. Due to this very reason, utilizing bio-fertilizers is so beneficial and important.
Different types of bio-fertilizer are as follows:
- Algae (Cyanobacteria)
Online Course on Agribusiness at James Lind Institute
To learn more about the role of fertilizers in agriculture, enrol yourself in an online training programme on agribusiness being launched at James Lind Institute. This module acquaints you with various aspects of agriculture and the role of fertilizers in agriculture. James Lind Institute is a pioneer in the field of online training courses in various fields such as clinical development, public health and tropical medicine, pharmaceutical medicine, medical communication and journalism and social and environmental sciences. The globally accredited and industry-specific training fine-tunes your skills to match the needs of the ever-growing market. James Lind Institute will soon be launching online training programs on agribusiness. For more details, please visitwww.jliedu.com