Food is an integral part of all our lives and we are all dependent on mother earth for it. Do you have any idea that most of the food we consume has been grown with the help of Fertilizers which are the major source of energy and nutrients for crops and plants? Like humans, they too need a proper dose of nutrients to nurture themselves. Fertilizers fulfil this requirement and help plants grow in an appropriate manner. Precisely, Fertilizers are substances that are added to the soil to improve fertility and increasing capacity, which in turn enhances farm productivity.
Though there is no specific time known about the first use of Fertilizers, a few studies reveal that fertilizing the crops with manure started some 8000 years ago. The Europeans were the first to use the technique of fertilizing the crops. According to some studies, the Egyptian, Babylonian, and Roman farmers used manure to improve land productivity. Initially, ashes of wood were used as manure. With time, technology developed, and it became more refined. New ingredients were discovered that improved the yield. The Romans used animal excrements on the basis of soil and plant grown. Also, clay, vegetable wastes, and some sort of trash were used in farming. In the present times, new technological advancements and the use of Fertilizers have completely changed the game of the farming sector. Thanks to the famous scientists Francis Bacon, and Johann Glauber, who with their organised research and knowledge, came up with new findings and Fertilizer technologies which strengthened modern farming.
It is quite challenging to meet the demands of the increasing population with limited resources. Lack of nutrients, pests and loss of soil fertility has led to a decrease in agricultural production.
Fertilizers can be important to the plants in the following ways:
• Fertilizers increase the tolerance of the plants towards pests. This has reduced their dependency on herbicides and insecticides, thereby producing healthier crops.
• Fertilizers enhance the water holding capacity of the plants and increase the root depth.
• The potassium content in the Fertilizers strengthens the stalks and straws of the plants.
• The presence of phosphorus in the Fertilizer aids in the formation of seeds and faster growth of roots.
• The Nitrogen content which is present in the Fertilizers enhances the growth of the plants.
Urea is available to the public in a crystalline, organic, and white form. It is hygroscopic in nature and is a highly concentrated nitrogenous fertilizer which makes it difficult to apply. It is found in granular or pellet form, coated with a non-hygroscopic inert material. It is subject to quick leaching because of being highly soluble in water. Nevertheless, it produces immediate results and is quick-acting. Urea can be used during sowing or as a top-dressing, but one should ensure that it doesn’t come into contact with the seed.
Single Superphosphate (SSP) is widely known as normal superphosphate or ordinary superphosphate. It is a universal phosphoric fertilizer that can be used in all kinds of soil and crops. This Fertilizer can be applied as a basal Fertilizer along with other chemicals as well as organic Fertilizers.
SSP has a remarkable impact on the growth of plants. Other than this, it also helps in maintaining soil health and provides protection against pests.
Diammonium PhosphateMuriate of potash
Diammonium Phosphate (DAP) is a widely used phosphorus Fertilizer that can easily dissolve in soil. Plant-available phosphate and ammonium is released by this Fertilizer. Due to its physical features and high nutrient content, this Fertilizer is quite popular in farming as well as other industries.
Muriate of potash
MOP is also referred to as potassium chloride and has about 60% potash. Potash is essential for plant growth and helps in maintaining its quality. It plays an integral role in the production of sugars and proteins. MOP protects against drought by retaining the water content of the plant. It is beneficial for photosynthesis as it aids in keeping the vigour and shape of leaves intact. It can be valuable for soils that are low in chloride. With over 55 million tonnes being sold and used annually, it remains one of the most commercial Fertilizers in the potash family.
NPK Fertilizer contains three macronutrients, which are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These three primary nutrients are essential for plant growth. To meet global food demand and to ensure the growth of healthy crops, the agriculture industry is heavily dependent on using NPK.
Magnesium Sulfate fertilizer contains 18 percent of MgO, 9.8 percent of water-soluble calcium, and 12% of water-soluble sulfur. Magnesium Sulfate offered is agriculture fertilizer grade. Magnesium Sulfate corrects any magnesium deficiency in the crop during yielding season.
Micro-nutrients constitute a perfect blend of mineral elements such as Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Manganese (Mn), Iron (Fe), Boron (B), Molybdenum (Mo). The presence of mineral elements nurtures horticultural crops and also crops of cereals, pulses, oilseeds, spices, and plantation. Despite low demand, critical plant functions get delayed if micronutrients are unavailable, which results in plant deformations, lower yield, and diminished growth. Micro-nutrients play a significant role in balancing crop nutrition and growth.
Considered as one of the plant nutrients, zinc sulphate is the most widely used dry zinc material. It has a relatively water-soluble inorganic compound. In granular form, it is very effective. It can help in increasing the zinc levels of the soil.
Bentonite is mainly used as a feed additive in agriculture. It plays an important role in various applications such as soil improver, stock feed and so on. Use of bentonite compensate the deficiency of minerals in the organism as well as activating the metabolic processes,
Organic manures are natural substances used by farmers to give food (plant nutrients) to the crop plants. Organic manures increase the organic matter in the soil. The Organic matter, in turn, releases the plant-food. Although compared to other compounds, Organic manure is implemented in large quantities with low nutrient content.
Poultry manure contains all kinds of nutrients that are useful for a good crop production. It is considered as one of the best organic Fertilizers. It has been in use as the source of plant nutrition for centuries. Poultry manure consists of droppings.