Continuous use of nitrogenous fertilizer damages soil health

Continuous use of nitrogenous fertilizer damages soil health

The team of researchers of carried has carried out a study of ‘Long Term Fertilizer Experiments’ over five decades at fixed sites. The study was carried out under the All India Coordinated Research Project. The study indicated that continuous use of nitrogenous fertilizer alone had a damaging effect on soil health and crop productivity showing deficiencies of other major and micronutrients.

The study found that even with recommended doses of NPK and more, 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. There is also the possibility of contamination of groundwater.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) recommends 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 use of resource conservation technologies (RCTs) are also advocated. 

As per the latest information available, the consumptions of chemical fertilizers in the country during 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 (up to Kharif 2020) are 54.38, 56.21, 59.88 and 33.85 million tonnes of fertilizer products (Urea, Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP), Murate of Potash (MOP), Complexes and Single Super Phosphate (SSP), respectively.

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 Parampragat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY) and Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North East Region (MOVCD-NER) in the country.

Observer Voice Team