Kurukshetra MAY 2019: a Journal on Rural Development (Part-3) (Download PDF)

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Biofertilizers And Green Manuring: Biofertilizers & green manures are important pillars of organic farming that support higher yield & maintain soil health. Biofertilizers is a very cost –effective solution for providing nutrients to crop in a sustainable manner, unlike chemical fertilizers which are costly & need repeated application.

  • Green manuring utilizes lean period b/w 2 main crops & improve soil fertility by providing fixed nitrogen & improving organic matter of the soil.

  • Biofertilizers are products of beneficial microorganisms which increase agricultural production by way of nutrient supply especially nitrogen & phosphorus.

  • Biofertilizers can fix atmospheric nitrogen for plant use & can mobilize unavailable phosphorous pool which can be used by plants.

  • These biofertilizers are inexpensive, simple to use & have no problem of environmental pollution.

  • Use of biofertilizers not only help in sustaining productivity & soil health but also in reducing subsidy burden on the government by reducing the consumption of chemical fertilizers.

  • Types of Biofertilizers: - Concept of microbial inoculation started w/legume Rhizobium first patented by Nobe & Hiltner in 1896.

  • In development countries like USA, UK, France, Australia, Biofertilizers is restricted to Rhizobium, whereas in Brazil, China & India it has been diversified & & a large number of bacteria, fungi & actinomycetes are included in this group.

  • Nitrogen-fixing Biofertilizers.

  • Rhizobia

  • Azotobacter

  • Azospirillum

  • Blue Green Algae (BGA)

  • Phosphate, potassium & Zinc Solubilizing microorganisms

  • Arbuscular Mycorrhizae (AM)

  • Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR)

  • Azolla

  • Carrier based formulations

  • Liquid formulation: - Liquid formulation are prepared by maxing bacteria w/additives, stabilizers & nutrient solution that support bacterial population for a longer period.

  • The Main advantages of liquid formulation are

  • They are easy to apply as they can be directly applied to seed.

  • They can be stored for a longer period.

  • They require smaller space for storage compared to carrier based formulations.

  • Benefits of application of different Biofertilizers: -

  • Biofertilizers help in diff. ways to increase the crop yield some of which are:

  • Biofertilizers provide various nutrients to plants like N, P, K etc. either by fixing elemental form (N) or by solubilizing unavailable nutrients like P, K & Zinc. VAM (AM) fungi benefit plants by mobilizing nutrients from a larger root area. Azolla not only fix N but also add organic matter to soil.

  • Biofertilizers not only provide nutrients to plants but also protect plants from plant diseases as they secrete many antibiotic compounds which suppress the growth of disease – causing pathogens.

  • Beside providing nutrients & suppressing diseases, biofertilizers also secrete some plant growth promoting hormones like auxins & gibberellic acid which makes plant healthy.

  • Many Biofertilizers like VAM & PGPR also help plants in avoiding water stress by secreting some polysaccharide which helps in soil aggregation & conserving moisture for longer times.

  • Once the biofertilizers are established in the filed after 2 - 3 year of continuous application, does of biofertilizers may be reduced.

  • Available of Inoculants : - Rhizobium Azotobacter, Azospirillum & PSB inoculants of popular brands of various companies & corporation (IFFCO, NFL, Kribhco) are generally available on their agency shop, seed, pesticide & fertilizer retail shop in the market.

  • Method of application of Biofertilizers: -Seed application w/bacterial inoculation.

  • Quality control of Biofertilizers in India: -

  • For effective mgmt. of quality control regime, many important biofertilizers are include under “Fertilizers order 1985 ” since march 2006 & standards are set by govt. to ensure quality of these Bio-fertilizers.

  • Earlier under bureau of India standards (BIS) Product certification marks schemes licenses were granted to manufacturers for affixing BIS mark on their products of 6 months for carrier- based formulation & 12 Months for liquid formulation has been set under FCO.

  • Constraints: - Some of difficulties faced by govt. & extension agencies popularizing biofertilizers especially for organic farming are

  • Timely supply of cultures in remote corners of the country where organic agriculture is practiced.

  • Lack of knowledge farmers biofertilizers & proper measures taken by extension department in demonstrating benefit of inoculants farmers.

  • Though mechanisms exits under fertilizer control order to looks after quality control of biofertilizers, persons involved quality control are not versed w/Proper tools & techniques of handling biofertilizers sample.

  • Green Manuring: -

  • Green manuring is practice of growing lush plants on site. you want to incorporate organic matter, then turning into the soil while it is still fresh.

  • Plant material used in this way is called green manure.

  • Green Manuring is usually done in lean period available b/w two main crop.

  • Kind of Green manuring: -

  • An ideal In- situ green manuring An ideal in- situ green manure crop should be fast growing w/minimum nutrient & water requirement

  • Nitrogen- fixing legumes which produce heavy tender growth early in its cycle are most Suitable for green manuring. Species commonly used for green manuring are given in table

  • Green Leaf manuring: -

  • In green leaf manuring, leaves & tender green twinges are grown in separate fileds, bunds or wasteland & incorporated in the soil of some other field.

  • In north India dhaincha is sown as green manure crop after wheat harvesting & buried in soil 1 Month prior to rich transplanting. some farmer also takes pulse crop in b/w wheat harvesting & rice transplantation & bury legume crop like moong rains.

  • Majority of green manure crop are buried deep in soil after 6 to 8 week after sowing. In principle, green manure crop to sowing/transplanting of next crop so that the crop is properly degraded before sowing of next crop to avoid nutrient immobilization during degradation process.

  • Advantages of the green manuring : -

  • It adds organic matter to soil which helps in maintaining activity of beneficial soil microorganisms.

  • Green manuring crop improve physical structure of soil by increasing humus & organic matter content of the soil.

  • Leguminous green manuring crop like dhaincha, add nitrogen to soil for succeeding crop besides increasing available of nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium & iron.

  • Disadvantage of the green manuring under organic farming: .

  • Decomposition is not proper especially under rainfed condition in the absence of good rainfall.

  • An inverse of diseases, insects & nematodes is possible If green manure crop is not properly decomposed before sowing of next crop.

Changing scenario of organic Framing

  • Traditional Systems : -Organic Framing is based on traditional system if Indian agriculture.

  • To illustrate : Rig Veda (700 BC), Arthshastra (After 326 BC), Brirhat Samhita (6th Century), Vrikash Auyurveda (6th Century) Sarngadhara paddhati (13th Century), Babarnama (15th Century), Jahangir’s Memories (16th Century), Dara shikoh’s Book on agriculture (17th Century).

  • These manuscripts cover entire gamut of agriculture including prediction & measurement of rainfall soil improvement, non- chemical fertilizer & peat control seed prevention, growth promotion of plants better farming implements, etc.

  • Way Organic Framing?

  • Organic Framing is basically farming w/o use of chemicals In India after power agriculture (19%) is second highest emitter of greenhouse gases.

  • Organic Farming is totally environmental friendly.

  • Organic Farming reduce the carbon emission by 40 to 60 % compared to farming w/chemical fertilizers & pesticides.

  • Organic Farming does not pollute environment w/chemical hence it preserves the biodiversity of animal, plant, insects & micro- organism species:

  • Conserves water enhance moisture retention in fields.

  • Organic Farming ensure sustainable soil health & reduce soil erosion.

  • Organic Farming reduce use of non renewable energy.

  • Organic Farming is a healthier option.

  • Organic products taste better.

  • Climate change risk mgmt.

  • Increased Livelihood.

  • World Scenario: -

  • India had highest number of producers (835,200) followed Uganda (210352) & Mexico (210,000), this is a 20 % increase over pre. Year. A total of 69.8 million ha. Of land worldwide was organically managed.

  • Australia leads (35.6 million ha. ) followed by Argentina (3.4 million ha. ) & China (3 million ha. )

  • Oceanin (35.9 million ha) leads nearly half w/Europe 2ed largest 21% (14.6 million ha. ).

  • India is only 2.59%, 1.5 million hectares of the total are of 57.8 million ha.

  • Organic Products are mainly exported to following countries.

  • Europe: Netherlands, UK, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland

  • France, Italy, Spain

  • Americas: USA, Canada

  • Middle East: Saudi Arabia, UAE

  • Asia: Japan, Singapore

  • Australia:

  • Africa: South Africa

  • Oilseeds are 500 % of India’s export followed by processed food products at 25%.

  • Status of organic agriculture in India: -India has a unique climate ranging from frozen areas to hot climate of equatorial region. This ensure that a large number of Agri produce like tea, coffee, spices, vegetable & fruits are available throughout year, wheat & rice ids grown twice a year & cotton once.

  • Domestic market: - It is organized by producers, aggregators, wholesalers/trade, special farmer market & super market restaurants & hotels.

  • Changing role of organic agriculture in rural economy – a paradigm shift: - out of 145727 Cr. Farmer holding in India, marginal ( < 1 Ha. ) holding are 99885 w/average size 0.38 ha. & small (1.0 to ha. ) are 25777 Cr. w/average size 1.41 Ha.

  • These 2 comprise a total of 76.21 % of total holding.

  • They require is knowledge & training in additional inputs like soil preparation w/Amrit paani & compost, vermicompost, growth promotion & pest control w/panchgavya mixture as foliar sprays w/botanical material available in the farm.

  • Abt. 100,000 farmers in Nalanda dist. of Bihar were trained in system of Rice intensification (SRI) & systems of crop intensification (SCI) in 2008. Few education young farmer started innovation w/traditional methods & broke national records in rice, wheat, potato, & onion.

  • In 2012 they set a new world record in each this extraordinary achievement became world news compelling former world Bank President & Noble laureate joseph Stieglitz to visit Nalanda in January 2013.

  • SRI (Systems of rice intensification) : -

  • Requirement of seed is only one – either (1/8) & requirement of water is reduced to 20%.

  • No standing water is required this eliminates swamp effect of rice cultivation & consequent methane gas emissions. Yield is increased by 96 % in U’khand as per system of rice intensification case study, India swiss agency for Development & cooperation SDC-2009

  • Farmer in Bihar, Tripura, Tamilnadu, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Orissa & Kerala & AP. are now extensively adopting this technology w/very beneficial result including an increase in production

Technological Innovations in Organic Farming

  • The International federation of organic agriculture movement (IFOAM) has defined it as a production system that sustains the health of soils ecosystems & people.

  • Good organic operations integrate various enterprises of which they are comprised like crop husbandry, dairy, poultry, fishery, piggery, sericulture.

  • Crop rotations, green manures, animal manure, compositing, natural fertilizer & bio fertilizers are practical ways to supply plant nutrients under organic crop. In organic crops, pest breaks are relatively are & short lived due to presence of natural predators parasite & disease agents that quickly reduce the pest number to a moderate level.

  • Crop Rotations: -

  • Network projects on organic farming of ICAR have identified following important cropping systems.

  • Soybean – berseem/Mustard/chickpea at Raipur, Chhattisgarh

  • Tomato/Cabbage- cauliflower pea & maize garlic at bajaura, Himachal Pradesh

  • Rice-wheat/potato/Mustard/lentil at Ranchi Jharkhand.

  • Groundnut-rabi sorghum, soybean –durum wheat, potato –chickpea, chili + cotton & maize – chickpea, at Dharwad, Karnataka

  • Soybean-durum Wheat/mustard/chickpea/isabgol at Bhopal, M. P

  • Rice-durum wheat/berseem, rice- potato-okra & rice-garlic, sorghum-berseem, Maize-berseem-maize + Cowpea & sorghum + cluster bean – oats – cowpea at Ludhiana, Punjab

  • Maize – cotton, chilies-onion & brinjal –sunflower at Coimbatore

  • Sorghum-pea-okra at modipuram, Uttar Pradesh

  • Nutrient Management: -

  • Benefit of good crop rotation are increased organic matter nitrogen supply & improve structure of soil.

  • Other benefit of crop rotations are keeping soil under crop cover for most of the year, control of run – off, soil erosion & effective use of fertilizers.

  • Crop residues

  • Green Manuring

  • Bulky organic manures : -

  • Before introduction of high yielding varieties (HYVs) of crop, organic manure were main nutrient source in Indian agriculture. Use of organic manures not only provide plant nutrients but also improves soil physical, chemical & biological properties.

  • Alternative use of cattle dung as fuel is major constraint in increased availability of organic manures in India.

  • Plant nutrient supply from use of organic manures can be increased by developing biogas plant & Agro forestry for providing alternative source of fuel to the villagers, addition of crop residues, recycling of city & urban wastes & adding nutrient value through proper composting.

  • Biofertilizers

  • Weed Management: -

  • Weed compete with the main crop for water nutrient, air & light.

  • 2 Mycoherbicides are registerd in the USA for commercial use for weed control.

  • One of soil-borne fungus is phytophthora palmivora against strangler vine & other formulation is of Colletotrichum gloeosproides against selective control of northern jointvich. Organic manures such as FYM or composts, if used should not have any viable weed seeds.

  • Insect – pests & disease management: -

  • Pesticides permitted in organic farming fall predominantly in several class viz. Botanicals (rotenone, neem, pyrethrum) Pheromones & minerals (clay based material like surround) etc. . Scialabba (1998) have suggested the following practices to control the insect-pest in organic farming: -

  • Manipulation of crop rotations, to minimized survival of crop- specific pests (in from of for example, insect eggs, fungi) which can infect next crop.

  • Strip cropping, to moderate spreading of pests over large areas.

  • Manipulation of pH- level or moisture level of soil (in irrigated area)

  • Manipulation of planting dates, to plant at time which is most optimal for crop or least beneficial for pest

  • Adjustment of seeding rates, to achieve optimal rate given need to crowd out weeds or avoid insects

  • Use of appropriate plant varieties & livestock breeds for local conditions

  • Use of stock burying programmes, which minimize import of diseases onto farm

  • Limiting field size, which aids in weed mgmt. by livestock

  • Biological control methods, to encourage natural enemies of pests by providing habitat or by breeding & releasing them in areas where they are required

  • Trapping insects, possibly w/use of lures such as pheromones

  • Biological pesticides of which active ingredient is short-lasting & which may be produced locally.

  • Use of Botanicals

  • Extracts obtained from plants like neem, Pongamia, Tulsi, Sorghum, Marigold & Bougainvillea are found quite effective against number of diseases & insect pests.

  • Neem oil at 2% & neem seed kernel extract at 5 % have proved effective against major pests of rice, sucking pests of cotton & vegetables. Neem cake applied at 250 kg/ha at last ploughing before sowing is found effective against cotton stem weevil & soil insects of many other crops.

  • Biological Control

  • Mgmt. of pests & disease-causing agents utilizing, parasitoids, predators & microbial agents like viruses, bacteria & fungi is termed as biological control.

  • Trichogramma is egg parasitoid of several pests. Selective microbial pesticides offer particular promise of which strains of Bacillus thuringiensis is example.

- Published/Last Modified on: June 1, 2019

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