Nutrition ManagementIt is important to ensure a balance supply of all the essential nutrients to the soil as it is critical for the sustainability of the food supply.
In the last 50 years, the world population has doubled. By Year 2050, there will be atleast 9 billion people on this planet. The farmers today are already more productive than ever before. Yet over the next 50 years, farmers will need to produce more food than that has been grown collectively in the last 10,000 years. Most of this food will have to come from increasing production in the existing farm land. This can only be achieved if the farmers continue to grow more using sustainable soil, water and nutrition management
There are numerous building blocks of life that plants need for healthy and optimum growth. Without the essential nutrients, plants cannot grow to their full potential, will provide lower yields, and be more susceptible to disease.
Nutrition Management involves two important factors:
- Perpetual Replenishment of key nutrients to the soil and plants
- Maintaining Soil PH Level
Perpetual Replenishment of key nutrients :
Plants require balance of minerals for healthy growth. Without balance of minerals, the plant will not grow normally, eventually crop yields will decrease. This inturn affects humans because of substandard food crop will be less nutritious.
Every farm land is unique and nourishments of different types keep soil healthy and fertile. Using the right type of fertilizer with the right quantum, at the right time and at the right place so that soil and plants receive the nutrients cost effectively is of prime importance.
Fertilizers are the nourishment for plants. They help replenish essential nutrients after each harvest. The choice of the fertilizers we use indicates our commitment to doing an Ethical and Responsible farming. Using Natural Fertilizers Responsibly, Efficiently and Sustainably helps to :
- Maintain Soil Fertility
- Increase food production
- Improve farmers livelihoods
- Safeguard natural habitats
Some of the essential mineral elements of key importance for growth of plants are - Calcium, magnesium, sulfur, boron, chlorine, iron, manganese, zinc, copper, molybdenum, and nickel.
These essential elements are further classified as :
- Macronutrients - that are needed in large quantities like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, magnesium, sodium (secondary nutrients are usually neglected but are as essential as the primary). Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen are obtained from CO2 and H2O and the rest are absorbed from soil as mineral nutrition. Essential elements participate in various metabolic processes and perform several functions.
- Micronutrients are needed in relative smaller quantities and are generally present in the plant tissue for eg boron, chlorine, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, nickel and cobalt.
- It is important to ensure a balance supply of all the essential nutrients to the soil as it is critical for the sustainability of the food supply.
Amongst the many nutrients, the three most important nutrients, without any one of which plants cannot survive, are: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K). Each of the primary nutrients is essential in plant nutrition, serving a critical role in the growth, development, and reproduction of the plant.
The nutrients are generally absorbed from soil and the water around it. An important exception is nitrogen which can be acquired from air by some plants like legumes, peas, beans etc. They live in association with nitrogen fixing bacteria. Hence Legumes are considered the best nitrogen fixers for soil and hence considered the first priority for cover crops
Common Organic Sources :
- Wood Ash
Maintaining Soil PH Level :
PH is a measure of how acid or alkaline a substance is. Ascertaining Soil Acidity or Alkalinity is important because it would help us know how easily plants can take up nutrients from soil.