Every living organism requires nutrients for their growth and other metabolic activities. For their survival, they follow a mode of nutrition. We humans and animals depend on plants for nutrients. Plants have an autotrophic mode of nutrition where they prepare their own food and obtain their nutrients via photosynthesis. The soil is not fertile enough to provide essential macro and micronutrients to plants in sufficient quantity. Hence they need another source of nutrition. Manures and fertilizers are the alternatives used in agriculture for this purpose.
What is Agriculture
Agriculture is the art of growing food and cash crops for the basic requirement for every living being. This is practised through a series of phases. In ancient times they used to cultivate in a very small field by using certain procedures for their management and improvement but today the agricultural practices and technologies are growing very rapidly as it includes a set of procedures to be followed to raise crops. The different agricultural practices followed includes :
- Preparation of soil,
- Sowing of seeds,
- Removal of weeds and other unwanted plants from the field,
- Manuring, and irrigation of crops,
- Harvesting and storing of yielded crops.
For the higher technology in farming, agriculture and agricultural practice requires the knowledge of harvesting and methods of storing and protection of the harvested crops.
Also Read: Agriculture And Organic Farming
Types of Agriculture
Agriculture is divided into three main types:
- Arable farming is a farming system of growing crops in fields. Paddy, wheat, barley are the main crops grown by the Arable farming system.
- Pastoral farming is a farming system for producing livestock and raising animals. Beef, cattle’s, sheep’s, hens and other animals are examples of Pastoral farming animals.
- Mixed farming is the farming system which is the combination of both arable farming and pastoral farming.
Also Read: Agricultural Process
Manures are the natural source of nutrients obtained from cow dung, leaves, human excreta, and other wastes. Fertilizers are commercial products available in different forms like solid, gas or liquid. Both manure and fertilizers contain salts and organic chemicals which consist of essential plant nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus in known concentrations. They make soil fertile and provide nutrients to plants for better growth and higher yield.
Also Read: Fertilizers
Types of Fertilizers
There are six different types of Fertilizers.
- Potassic Fertilizers.
- Complete Fertilizers.
- Phosphate Fertilizers.
- Compound Fertilizers.
- Nitrogenous Fertilizers.
- Organic Nitrogenous Fertilizers.
Use of Fertilizers or Importance of Fertilizers in Agriculture
Unlike manures, fertilizers are very expensive and are used in large amounts in farming fields. As a part of crop production management, farmers largely depend on fertilizer. But they should only be used when it’s necessary. Manure should not be replaced by fertilizer as constant use of it may lead to infertility of soil and pollution. 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 get affected and microbes will be harmed due to clogging of fertilizers in the soil. Sometimes fertilizers cause various plant diseases. Therefore, the amount and frequency of their use need to be checked and controlled. It should always be optimum.
Due to these disadvantages, nowadays organic farming is much preferred over fertilizer. Organic farming is a new method of farming where crops are grown with the help of natural compost.
Also Read: Fertilizers Vs Manure
List of Chemical Fertilizers
Chemical fertilizers are considered inorganic fertilizers containing a high concentration of nutrients required for plant growth. They are composed of primary macronutrients, like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium compounds. Based on their composition, chemical fertilizers are further divided into different types.
Listed below are the names of chemical fertilizers based on their compositions:
- Amide fertilizers.
- Nitrate fertilizers.
- Potassic Fertilizers.
- Ammonical fertilizers.
- Ammonical-nitrate fertilizers.
- Insoluble phosphatic fertilizers.
- Water-soluble phosphatic fertilizers.
- Citric acid-soluble phosphatic fertilizers.
- NPK – Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium Fertilizers.
Also Read: Microbes As Biofertilizers
Important Questions for You:
- Difference between fertilizers and pesticides
Fertilizers are compounds which promote plants growth. There are two types of fertilizers – organic and inorganic. Fertilizers provide the plant with the required nutrient
Pesticides are the substance designed for preventing, destroying, repelling or reducing the pests which are the major cause for the damage of the crops. These substances include both chemical substance and biological agents.
- What is the main objective of agriculture?
Agriculture is the process of growing plants and animals for human needs. There are different types of agriculture are its main objective is to promote the quality of life, provide employment opportunities, to encourage an awareness of agriculture, improve crop production, etc.
- What are the types of agriculture?
Agriculture is one of the most widespread activities in the world and is mainly based on the primarily on nature of the land, climatic characteristics and available irrigational facilities. The different types of farming practised by the farmers in India are:
- Dry farming
- Wet farming
- Terrace Agriculture
- Subsistence farming
- Shifting Agriculture
- Intensive Agriculture
- Extensive Agriculture
- Commercial Agriculture
- Plantation Agriculture.
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