Nutrients are required by every living organism for their growth and other metabolic activities.
Every life form follows a mode of nutrition for their survival, for example, humans and animals depend on plants for nutrients.
Plants on the other hand have an autotrophic mode of nutrition where they prepare their own food and obtain their nutrients via photosynthesis.
WHY MANURES AND FERTILIZERS ARE USED IN AGRICULTURE?
The soil is not fertile enough to provide essential macro and micronutrients to plants in sufficient quantity. So, an alternate source of nutrition is required.
The art of growing food and cash crops for the basic requirement for every living being is known as agriculture, and it is practiced through a series of phases.
India was a self-sustainable country once, and backbone of this was agriculture.
Agriculture can also be defined as the art of growing food crops and cash crops needed by man.
Agricultural practices and technologies have grown rapidly and selection of farming method totally depends on the financial condition of the farmer.
The ultimate aim of all these farming practices is better and high yield. Farmers cultivated crops in a very small field in ancient times.
They used certain procedures for the management and improvement of the agricultural land.
However, in modern times, the agricultural practices and technologies are growing very rapidly because it includes a set of procedures to be followed to raise crops.
The different agricultural practices followed includes preparation of soil, sowing of seeds, removing unwanted plants from the field, manuring, irrigation of crops, harvesting and storing of yielded crops.
Use of modern and advanced technology in farming and agricultural practice requires the knowledge of harvesting and methods of storing and protection of grains.
Agriculture can be either sustainable agriculture, industrial agriculture or organic agriculture.
Fertilizers contain salts and organic chemicals composed of essential plant nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus in known concentrations and make soil fertile and provide nutrients to plants for better growth and higher yield.
Manures are the natural source of nutrients obtained from cow dung, leaves, human excreta and other wastes while fertilizers are commercial products available in different forms like solid, gas or liquid.
PROPER USE OF FERTILIZER
Farmers largely depend on fertilizer as a part of crop production management. But they should only be used when it is necessary.
Fertilizers are very expensive compared to manures and are used in large amounts in farming fields.
Manure should not be replaced by fertilizer as constant use of it may lead to infertility of soil and pollution. Sometimes fertilizers cause various plant diseases.
During over irrigation, fertilizers get washed along with excess water and are unavailable for absorption by plants which cause water pollution.
Also, replenishment of organic substances in the soil gets affected and microbes will be harmed due to clogging of fertilizers in soil. Therefore, amount and frequency of their use need to be checked and controlled for optimum use.
Due to these disadvantages, organic farming is much preferred over fertilizer in modern times. It is a new method of farming where crops are grown with the help of natural compost.