Sunday, June 3, 2012

Farm Practices : Soil, Water and Fertilizers

Agricultural production in India has increased through Green Revolution, growing high-yielding varieties of crops and adopting scientifically improved soil fertility management and water management over the past few decades. Yet, Dr Kumaraswamy of TNAU, Coimbatore has a word of caution for the agri community in our pursuit of maximizing our yields.

Integrated approach
Because of adoption of an integrated approach, we have been able to increase the agricultural production manifold, particularly in case of food grain crops from 50 million tones in 1950 to more than 220 million tones, which in turn has ensured near self-sufficiency in food for our ever-growing population.

However, the production has reached a plateau during the past few years for certain obvious reasons. Although we continue to grow high yielding varieties, we are unable to increase the crop production during the past few years as significantly as we did during the last three decades. Why has it been so?

Maximum potential
The high-yield & high-quality varieties of crops can perform to their maximum genetic potentials, only if they are grown in optimum conditions : Fertile, Healthy and Productive Soils with appropriate Water Management and Crop Protection measures. We must avoid not only under-fertilization but also over or distorted fertilization to realize the full benefits from the crops.

Balanced soil fertility management through integrated nutrient management involving judicious combinations of manures, fertilizers and bio-fertilizers must be done to ensure normal growth and high productivity of crops.
Next to soil management is water conservation. We should harvest and conserve the rain water received during the monsoons for farming at commercial scales throughout the year.

Future scope
Scope for extending the area for agriculture is limited due to diversion of more lands every year for non-agricultural purposes. However, we have very good varieties and hybrids with high–yield and high-quality potentials in almost all crops already on hand.There is not much scope to make further significant break-through in the genetic potentials of the varieties of the crops in near future. So, the only possible scope to maximize crop production with the available varieties is to enhance and sustain the productivity through integrated and balanced soil fertility and water management practices.

Feel free to share your stories (successes or lessons learned) around soil management, water harvesting and fertilizer conversations.


  1. Friend is it possibal to take off-seasion mango production? I read in net, in thiland many farmer induce thair mango trees for flower right after harvesting main seasion crop? Do you have any idea about that? is it possibal in india with our mango tree?

    1. Yes, I think I read about the same person in Thailand. I have not looked into the details yet.

    2. This time after harvest in our farm we are thinking to do this experiment. so friend please collect the information from your source. Question in my mind is 1.> how much percentage solution required for our indian mango trees? 2.> In which time interval this spray apply? 3.> which is the best time after harvest to apply its first spray?. So please if you have any idea about this please share it with me. If this experiment goes success in our area it change our life.

    3. Which solution are you referring to?
      I would recommend getting in touch with your local Agri University about specific cultivation practices since they can vary from variety to variety, cliamatic conditions, soil and water conditions etc.