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Title: Judicious use of urea in crop production for better soil health and environmental quality
Authors: Kumar, Virendra
Issue Date: Jun-2017
Publisher: NISCAIR-CSIR, India
Abstract: Indiscriminate, excessive and imbalanced use of urea in crop production created several problems which deteriorated the soil health, causes health hazard, environmental pullution and insecurity of quality food. Of the applied urea only 35-40 percent is consumed by the plants and the rest either gets leached down with ground water or is evaporated and becomes part of the atmosphere due to faulty agricultural practices. Today India uses nearly 310 lakh tones of urea for agriculture of which 70 lakh tones come from import after paying huge amount of foreign exchange. On the other hand, it is estimated that by 2020, to achieve the targeted production of 321 Mt of food grain, the requirement of nutrient will be 28.8 Mt, while their availability will be only 21.6 Mt being a deficit of about 7.2 Mt (Anonymous, 2015). Hence, demand will be much higher than the availability leads to hike in the fertilizer prices. In this connection, non-chemical sources of plant nutrients like biofertilizers, FYM, composts, crop residues, inclusion of legumes in crop rotation etc may play important role to fulfill the gap of 7.2 million tones. In the present situation, to keep the soil fertility intact its further degradation needs to be checked hence soil health has attained utmost importance. For this, the imbalance, improper and unmindful use of urea should be curtailed drastically. This will lead to an adverse effect on the oxidation- reduction processes occurring in the soil due to poor activity of beneficial bacteria and other micro-organisms. After it a large chunk of plant nutrients and minerals will not be available to plants. Hence to achieve quality produce there should be proper use of urea in agriculture. Thus there are ample possibilities for the application of nutrients sources other than urea. Despite excessive urea intake our harvest is not increasing. The clear cause of this is over exploitation of nutrients from soil, intensive cropping system and reduction of crop residue as well as multiple deficiencies of the micro-nutrients. Inappropriate, excess and imbalanced use of Urea in agriculture has also become a big menace for the environment. Due to it the higher quantity of Green House Gases like Methane and Nitrous Oxide Gases are generated from the Paddy fields. This is the main causes of global warming which is ultimately affecting the health of human as well as living beings. We will have to rectify and improve environment friendly agricultural technology and will have to ensure judicious use of Urea in agriculture for which we need and adopt cost effective advance technology. Conservation agriculture, Neem coated Urea, water dissolvable mixed fertilizer, system of rice intensification (SRI) technique of Paddy production, Aerobic Method for Paddy cultivation, use of value added Nitrogen fertilizers, addition of crop residue and Bio-fertilizers could play an important role in this regard. These techniques need more popularization among farmers so that better environment and agriculture could be more beneficial by use of conservation technologies.
Page(s): 43-49
Appears in Collections:BVAAP Vol.25(1&2) [June-December 2017]

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