[Agriculture] BioFertilizers & Green Manure: Meaning, use, advantages, disadvantages

MrunalEnvironment

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  1. Biofertilizers
    1. Examples of BioFertilizers:
    2. Pros and Cons
  2. Green Manure
    1. Examples of Green Manure
    2. Pros and Cons of Green Manure?
    3. Advantages
    4. Disadvantage

What is Biofertilizer?

  • Biofertilzier is a substance containing living microorganisms.
  • It can be applied to seed, plant surfaces, or soil.
  • Biofertilizer improves the supply of primary nutrients like nitrogen, Phosphorous etc. to the host plant, and thereby promotes its growth.

Examples of BioFertilizers are as following:

  1. Rhizobium,
  2. Azotobacter,
  3. blue green algae (BGA)
  4. Azospirillum
  5. Nostac

Biofertilizers classification

Biofertilizers: Pros and Cons
Advantages Disadvantages
  1. Biofertilizer increases crop yield by 20-30%,
  2. replaces chemical nitrogen and phosphorus by 25%, and stimulates plant growth.
  3. It provides protection against drought and certain soil-borne diseases.
  4. Compared to chemical fertilizers, Bio-fertilizers are quite cost-effective. They have lower manufacturing costs, especially regarding nitrogen and phosphorus use.
  5. environmentally friendly, cleanse the plant from precipitated chemical fertilizers.
  1. Their effects are is slower than chemical fertilizer.
  2. Biofertilizers are sensitive to temperature and humidity changes, hence difficult to store.
  3. They’ve much lower nutrient density than chemical fertilizers. Farmer would need to use large quantity to get the same yield.
  4. Some of them need special type of machines for spraying in the farm.
  5. In rural and remote areas, often it’s hard to find a retailer selling biofertilzers.

Green Manure

  • green manure is a type of cover crop, grown to add nutrients and organic matter to the soil.
  • Typically, a green manure crop is grown for a specific period of time, and then ploughed under and incorporated into the soil while it is green or shortly after flowering.
  • Government of India provides subsidy Subsidy on the purchased of seeds & cost on production of seeds for green manure plants.
Examples of Green Manure plants
Leguminous plants Non-leguminous plants
Example Cowpeas, soybeans sudangrass, millet, sorghum, and buckwheat.
Why are they used? for their nitrogen fixing abilities for weed suppression and addition of biomass to the soil.

Pros and Cons of Green Manure?

Green Manure: Advantages

  1. They improve soil nutrients and protect soil erosion.
  2. Green manures provide forage for pollinating insects.
  3. Root systems of many green manure crops to efficiently penetrate compact soils thus increasing the aeration of the soil.
  4. The deep rooting properties of many green manure crops make them efficient at suppressing weeds
  5. They fix nitrogen in soil, thus Less chemical fertilizers are required.
  6. provide habitat for predatory beneficial insects, they kill and eat the pests / harmful insects thus less pesticides are required.

Green Manure: Disadvantage

  1. These Leguminous plants require good amount of irrigation, hence unsuitable for arid farmers.
  2. The “time” factor: Farmer cannot plant the primary marketable crop during green manuring phase.
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