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Nutrient Management

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There are various methods for preventing people from going hungry. One is to increase production efficiency. The second step is to provide food access to all people who live in food deserts, and finally, people must have enough money to buy food. Food is one of the most basic needs of all living beings and organisms. Food contains a variety of nutrients, including fats, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Despite the fact that India is heavily reliant on agriculture, there is still a food shortage due to the country’s growing population.

Nutrient Management

  • The efficient use of crops to improve productivity is referred to as nutrient management. The soil nutrient input must be balanced with crop requirements.
  • Air, water, and soil provide nutrients to plants. There are sixteen nutrients that plants require.
  • Carbon and oxygen are supplied by air, hydrogen by water, and the remaining thirteen nutrients are supplied by the soil.
  • If nutrients are applied at the right time and in sufficient quantities, crop yield is maximized.
  • It will harm the crop if used in large quantities, and it will limit yield if used in small amounts.
  • The nutrients that the crops do not use leach into groundwater or nearby surface water. Nutrient management is accomplished by providing necessary nutrients to the soil through the application of fertilizers and manures.

Classification of Nutrients 

The 13 nutrients required for plant growth have been classified into two groups: macronutrients as well as micronutrients


Macronutrients are essential nutrients for plant growth, function, and survival. They are so-called because plants require large amounts of them. Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur are all six elements.


Six of the 13 essential nutrients are classified as macronutrients, while the remaining seven are classified as micronutrients. Because they are only required in trace amounts, they are also known as trace minerals.

Iron (Fe), boron (B), chlorine (Cl), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), and molybdenum are among these nutrients (Mo).

Manure & Fertilizer 

The incorporation of manures and fertilizers into the soil increases plant nutrients and organic matter.


Chemicals known as fertilizers are applied to crops to boost output. These are regularly used by farmers to boost agricultural productivity., Fertilizers are commercially produced plant nutrients that are only needed in small amounts. This fertilizer is available in a variety of brands on the market. NPK fertilizer, which provides nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, is a common type of fertilizer. The fertilizers contain the nutrients that plants require, such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. They increase the soil’s fertility and ability to retain water.

Importance of fertilizer

  • Fertilizers deepen plant roots and improve their ability to hold water.
  • The potassium content of fertilizers strengthens the plant’s straws and stalks.
  • Fertilizers make plants more resistant to pests. Their use of insecticides and herbicides has dropped as a result, leading to healthier crops. Diseases have so diminished, improving the crops’ aesthetic value.
  • Nitrogen in fertilizers promotes plant growth, which is characterized by the green color of the plants.
  • The phosphorus in fertilizers aids in the faster development of roots and seed formation in plants.

Classification of fertilizer 

Inorganic fertilizer 

  • Inorganic fertilizer, also known as chemical fertilizer, contains one or more nutrient elements for crop growth that are produced chemically.
  • Nitrogen fertilizer, phosphate fertilizer, potassium fertilizer, micronutrient fertilizer, and compound fertilizer are examples.
  • The fertilizer is distinguished by its simple composition, high nutritive value, and long fatty effect.

Organic fertilizer

  • Organic fertilizer, also known as farmyard manure or natural fertilizer, is derived primarily from animals and plants. It can provide carbonic materials for plant growth when applied to the soil.
  • It contains a variety of organic acids and nutrient-rich elements. It not only provides a complete nutritional balance, but it also has a high manurial effect.
  • Organic fertilizer can increase organic matter content, promote microorganism reproduction, and alter physical and chemical properties. As a result, it is the primary nutrient for green food.
  • Agricultural waste, livestock manure, industrial waste, and municipal sludge can all be used to make organic fertilizers.


Organic matter can be found in manure. It provides small amounts of nutrients to the soil. It is made by decomposing animal excreta and plant waste. Manure enriches the soil with organic matter (humus). Humus aids in the restoration of sandy soils’ water retention capacity and drainage in clayey soils. These are the sources of soil organisms such as beneficial bacteria. Bulk organic matter improves soil structure, increasing water retention capacity in sandy soil and aiding drainage and water clogging in clayey soil. Manure is preferred over the use of fertilizers because it contains biological wastes obtained through recycling. Based on the biological material used, manures are classified into three types.


The earthworms are left in the pit to accelerate decomposition. Earthworms consume waste and excrete organic matter as excreta. The resulting compost is known as vermicompost. This is a vermin composition process.


Animal excreta (such as cow dung), kitchen waste, plant leftovers, waste wood, and other materials have long been dumped in the pit. They gradually decompose into compost. This compost is used as manure. This is known as composting.

Green manure

Guar and other fast-growing plants, such as sun hemp, are cultivated. After that, they are plowed into the ground as mulch. They degrade into organic matter. After a while, the main plants are cultivated. Plant remains to provide nitrogen and phosphorous to the soil.

Integrated Nutrient Management and concepts 

  • The combined application of chemical fertilizers and organic manures for crop production is known as integrated nutrient management.
  • Its primary goal is to maintain soil fertility and provide adequate plant nutrients.
  • The nutrients are obtained from sources other than the farm. 
  • Plant nutrients can be found in crop residues, manures, and household waste.
  • Crop nutrient uptake during harvest.
  • Plant nutrients are lost from the field as a result of crop harvesting or volatilization.

Necessary Nutrient Management 

  • Nutrient management planning aids in reducing plant nutrient contamination of waterways. Nutrients can dissolve in soil water and enter surface or groundwater via leaching or runoff if not properly managed.
  • This has the potential to contaminate surface and groundwater, as well as on-farm drinking water, community wells, and other drinking water sources.
  • Important nutrients could be lost, resulting in lower crop yields or higher commercial fertilizer costs.

Important facts about nutrient management 

  • Increase soil fertility and plant productivity.
  • Crops receive balanced nutrition, and the cost of chemical fertilizers is reduced.
  • Promotes carbon sequestration and prevents soil, water, and environmental degradation, as well as nutrient leaching from the soil.
  • Nutrient management aids in reducing plant nutrient contamination of waterways.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Mention the advantages of fertilizer in nutrient management. 


  • Because of its nutrient specificity, we can choose a specific fertilizer to supply a specific nutrient.
  • They are simple to transport, store, and use.
  • They are consistent and dependable.
  • They are water-soluble and dissolve easily in soil. 

Question 2: What are the advantages of manure in nutrient management? 


  • It is easily transportable and improves the soil’s water and nutrient holding capacity. These are an excellent source of macronutrients.
  • Methane gas is produced as a byproduct of manure and can be used for cooking and heating.
  • Improves soil’s physical properties and aerates the soil.
  • Soil erosion and leaching are reduced.
  • Crops grown on manure-treated land produce healthy crops.

Question 3: What exactly is a nutrient? 


Plant nutrients are elements that are necessary for plant growth and reproduction and can be obtained from the soil (e.g., nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), as well as from air or water (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen).

When existing soil nutrients are insufficient to produce adequate crop yields, additional nutrients must be added. Commercial fertilizers or organic sources such as manure, compost, or biosolids are used to add nutrients to the soil.

Question 4: Explain nutrient management planning. 


This plan will detail how nutrients are managed based on land base characteristics, crops grown, nutrient type, proximity to water, and application methods.

The goal of nutrient management planning is to avoid the over-application of nutrients in order to protect water quality and minimize environmental impact while still providing optimal yield for economic benefit.

It entails accounting for and recording all of your nutrients, determining which nutrients you will require, and planning how, how much, when, and where you will apply them to your cropland.

Question 5: What exactly is nutrient management? 


This includes a variety of methods for increasing the nutrient level in the soil. This is accomplished through the use of manures and fertilizers in the field. Nutrients are inorganic elements found in air, water, and soil. The roots of plants absorb the majority of the nutrients supplied by the soil. Air and water provide some nutrients such as carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

Question 6: What is contained in a nutrient management plan?


The nutrient management plan documents all crop nutrient needs, soil test results, and fertilizer application to the fields (including manure). Soil testing and keeping records of everything that goes onto and comes off the fields are critical activities related to this part of the plan.

Question 7: What are micronutrients?


Plant-based nutrients are required in very small amounts and are primarily responsible for repairing damaged cells and tissues, and preventing infectious diseases by fighting disease-causing pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and so on.

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Last Updated : 17 Aug, 2022
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