Organic farming is found to be more favorable for farmer. Production of crops without use of the chemical fertilizer and pesticide is called organic farming. In this method of cropping anything which is naturally available can be utilized other then chemical fertilizer and toxins e.g. (farm yard manure, green manure, natural salt without any chemical reaction). We can achieve our production goal if we use organic farming on scientific basis. It is also a wrong perception that organic farming decreases the yield. The worth of crop grown by organic method is more than that of chemical fertilizer and cost of production is also lesser. Positive effect is shown on the crops cultivated organically for a long period of time. Organic farming improves the physical, chemical and biological properties of the soil. Our soil health has been declined due to the prolonged usage of chemical fertilizers. Use of chemical pesticides resulted in killing of many beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms; on the other hand they have harmful effect on human beings and environment as well. Keeping all these factors under consideration organic farming is beneficial. Whereas, this idea is totally wrong that it can be done in developed and rich countries only.
Generally people have a misconception that organic farming only means application of Farm Yard Manure to the soil. Though in reality it is just a part of organic farming and constitutes only 10% of the organic farming while the rest 90% comes from other sources. For example decomposition of FYM is absolutely necessary because carbon and nitrogen content in fresh manure are not in dissolved form and therefore cannot be utilized. Manure contains 60-90% carbon and 0.5-5% of nitrogen. In addition there is phosphorus along with other macro- and micronutrients.
A mixture of organic matter, as from leaves and manure, that has decayed or has been digested by organisms, used to improve soil structure and provide nutrients. Apart from manure, sugar cane straw and crop residues can also be used to prepare compost. Nothing can replace the uniqueness of compost, 25% of the applied chemical fertilizer would be taken up by plants and rest would be lost to either air through volatilization or to the soil through leaching and the remaining will be denitrified anaerobically by soil microbes. This means there is no reservoir of chemical fertilizer in the soil. In contrast, plants utilize 30-40% of compost in the form of humus and rest would be stored in the soil for the next cropping season this will eventually increase the soil fertility and productivity.
Method for preparation of compost
In order to prepare compost mix 25% of domestic manure, 25% poultry manure add bagasse or press mud and make it to 50%. We can also use kitchen organic waste, fallen leaves from trees, residues of vegetable and fruit. Next prepare a solution of yeast by dissolving 400 grams of yeast in 500L of water and shake it thoroughly. Spray it on 10 ton mixture of FYM/ poultry manure and press mud then mix it and cover it with plastic sheet .This 10 ton fertilizer will ready within three weeks Effective Microbial Mixture can also be used instead of yeast.
To make this compost more effective we can add 15 kg dry blood, 150 kg rock phosphate, 150 kg gypsum and mix them with yeast/EM solution and cover it with plastic sheet. After 3 weeks pack this grounded organic fertilizer into 50 kg bags. 250 kg /acre is the recommended dose of organic fertilizer which contains 15 kg N, 20 kg P, and 10 kg K, and 30 kg micronutrient.
Effect of organic fertilizer on crops
Crop produced from organic forming is tastes better and is rich in nutrients. Bacteria and other microorganism present in the organic fertilizer are the cause of increase in organic content and nutrient availability to the crop. Sometimes organic production is not up to mark but it is not exposed to toxic chemicals.
Advantages of organic fertilizer application
- Improve soil health
Organic matter is essential for having healthy soil. Organic fertilizer is composed of only natural material, which makes it an excellent additive for soil that are nutrient deficient. The organic matter in the fertilizer also helps the soil to retain moisture and increase its workability. Farmer depends on a soil that is plough able but the soil that is too hard or soft will not support plants effectively. Another great benefit of organic fertilizer is that it increases air flow through the soil which allow plant root to breathe. In some cases chemical fertilizer change the pH of soil due to excess nutrients which are not effectively absorbed by plants. Organic fertilizer do not have this problem because they slowly break down and release nutrients at a rate, which allows plants to absorb them naturally and completely with no waste and excess.
- Improve plant growth
The basic purpose of organic fertilizer is to improve the soil quality amending it with nutrients it may lack. The international fertilizer industry association defines fertilizer as material containing 5% of more of the three essential plant nutrients; N, P and K. Nitrogen is vital for plant growth earth’s atmosphere contain about 78% nitrogen. However this atmospheric form is not feasible for plant.
Organic fertilizer provide nitrogen, in a utilizable form which will help improve plant growth while neither burning roots nor destroying beneficial microorganism in the soil
- Disease prevention
A healthy plant has the biological capacity to fend off some cases of disease. When plant is stressed due to lack of nutrients, its growth slows, its defense against disease –carrying bacteria and fungi weakens. Organic fertilizer help prevent diseases by meeting the plant nutritional needs. This action removes the serious source of stress.
- Parasite prevention
Fertilizer can help plants resist parasitic infestation by insects and other agents. Parasite may attack plants at site of injury. A healthy plant has the ability to rapidly recover from such injuries and restore homeostasis, setting up a barrier against parasites. In addition to healthy growth organic fertilizer play another role in parasite prevention. A vegetable planted with organic fertilizer attracts less insect pests.
Muhammad Mohsin Raza, Samiullah, Farman wale, Hafiz Muhammad Bilal , Muhammad Hasan
The authors of this article are associated with institute of soil and environmental sciences and Department of Agronomy University of agriculture Faisalabad Pakistan. They can be reached at <[email protected]>