Here is an essay on the ‘Fertigation of Crops’ for class 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on the ‘Fertigation of Crops’ especially written for school and college students.
Essay on Fertigation of Crops
- Essay on the Meaning of Fertigation of Crops
- Essay on the Advantages and Limitations of Fertigation of Crops
- Essay on the Equipment Used for Fertigation
- Essay on the Methods of Fertigation
- Essay on the Crops Suited for Fertigation
- Essay on Fertigation Schedule
Essay # 1. Meaning of Fertigation of Crops:
Productivity of crops is based on effective utilisation of water and fertilisers (nutrients) along with other inputs. Provision of optimum quantity of water and fertiliser in most cost efficient manner is the challenge facing the farmer for profitable farming. The answer to the challenge is fertigation, where both water and fertilisers are delivered to crops simultaneously through a micro irrigation system.
Application of fertilisers/nutrients through irrigation systems is referred to as nutrigation or fertigation.
Fertigation = Fertiliser + Irrigation water or Nutrigation = Nutrients + Irrigation:
Nutrients and water are delivered simultaneously through the irrigation system in precise combination and timing.
Incorporation of soluble fertilisers into irrigation water facilitated the integration and harmonisation between the application of water and plant nutrients. Using fertigation/nutrigation, an adequate supply of nutrients and water can be directed towards the plant root zone to satisfy plant demands during various growth stages.
Daily application rate of nutrients through nutrigation is changing during the growing season and is planned to follow plant daily demand according to its nutrients uptake pattern. Nutrigation, in any irrigation system, requires the injection of soluble fertiliser solutions into the irrigation water by dosing devices-injectors. High quality, fully water soluble fertilisers are required for the preparation of appropriate nutrient solutions.
It has become an attractive method of fertilisation in modern intensive agriculture. This has assumed additional importance after the introduction of micro-irrigation system like drip irrigated agriculture.
Essay # 2. Advantages and Limitations of Fertigation of Crops:
1. In fertigation, fertiliser application is synchronised with plant need which varies from crop to crop. The amount and form of nutrient supply is regulated as per the need of the critical stages of crop growth
2. Saving in the amount of fertiliser applied due to better fertiliser use efficiency and reduction in leaching
3. Optimisation of nutrient balance in soil by supplying the nutrients directly into the effective root zone as per the requirement
4. Reduction in labour and energy cost by making use of water distribution systems for nutrient applications
5. Better yield and quality of the produce obtained
6. Timely application of small but precise amounts of fertilisers directly root zone which improves fertiliser use efficiency and reduces nutrient leaching below root zone
7. Ensures uniform flow of water and nutrients
8. Improves availability of nutrients and their uptake by crop
9. Safer application method, as it eliminates the danger affecting the roots due to higher dose.
1. Both the components (drip and water soluble fertilisers) are costly
2. Maintenance of drip irrigation system is difficult
3. Good quality irrigation water is a must
4. Clogging of emitters is a serious problem
5. It needs water soluble fertilisers, the availability of which may be a problem
6. Adjustment of fertiliser to suit the need is not easy
7. If the subsidy for micro-irrigation is withdrawn, the fate of fertigation is questionable
8. Application of higher than the recommended dose of fertiliser due to saving in fertiliser cost leads to crop lodging.
Essay # 3. Equipment Used for Fertigation:
Fertilisers can be injected into drip irrigation system with appropriate equipment. Commonly used fertigation equipment include: venturi pump (injector), fertiliser tank and fertiliser pump (Fig 8.28).
Fertiliser requirements depend on leaf analysis. Choice of fertilisers depends on the price and the results of the analysis of irrigation water. Fertiliser products which can be used are limited to those that are readily soluble.
Solubility, pH and other characteristics of commonly used fertilisers are given in the Table 8.9:
Essay # 4. Methods of Fertigation:
Modern fertigation should be able to regulate:
1. Quantity applied
2. Duration of applications
3. Proportion of fertilisers
4. Starting and finishing time.
Four systems are generally used:
1. Continuous application:
Fertiliser is applied at a constant rate from irrigation start to finish. Total amount is injected regardless of water discharge rate.
2. Three-stage application:
Irrigation starts without fertilisers. Injection begins when the ground is wet. Injection cuts out before the irrigation cycle is completed. Remainder of the irrigation cycle allows the fertiliser to be flushed out of the system.
3. Proportional application:
The injection rate is proportional to the water discharge rate, e.g one l of solution to 1000 l of irrigation water. Fertiliser recommendation can also be expressed in terms of kg ha-1 day-1 (or week). This method has the advantage of being extremely simple and allows for increased fertigation during periods of high water demand when most nutrients are required.
4. Quantitative application:
Nutrient solution is applied in calculated amount to each irrigation block, e.g 20 l to block A, 40 l to block B. It can also be expressed in terms of concentration (g m-3 = ppm).This method is suited to automation and allows the placement of the nutrients to be accurately controlled.
Essay # 5. Crops Suited for Fertigation:
In India, fertigation is not common for food crops. To a limited extent, fertigation is used for cash crops like sugarcane and cotton.
Orchard crops, vegetables and flowers are the major crops under fertigation in other countries as indicated below:
i. Orchard crops:
Grapes, banana, pomegranate, orange, citrus, tamarind, mango, fig, lemon, custard apple, sapota, guava, pineapple, coconut, cashewnut, papaya, anola, litchi, watermelon, muskmelon etc.
Tomato, chilly, capsicum, cabbage, cauliflower, onion, okra, brinjal, bittergourd, bottlegourd, ridge gourd, cucumber, peas, spinach, pumpkin etc.
iii. Cash crops:
Sugarcane, cotton, arecanut, strawberry etc.
iv. Flower crops:
Rose, carnation, gerbera, anthurium, orchirds, jasmine, lily, mogra, tulip, dhalia, marigold etc.
Tea, rubber, coffee, coconut etc.
Turmeric, cloves, mint etc.
vii. Oilseed crops:
Groundnut, sunflower and oil palm.
viii. Forest crops:
Teak, bamboo, redsanders and rosewood.
Essay # 6. Fertigation Schedule:
As an example, fertigation schedule for sugarcane is given.
Fertigation schedule for seasonal (12 months) ratoon sugarcane:
Fertigation schedule for pre-seasonal (14 to 16 months) sugarcane:
As an example, fertiliser schedule calculation for tomato is given below:
Fertigation with vegetables:
1. Crop: Tomatoes
2. Concentration of NPK fertilisers: 180-50-250
3. Type of fertilisers available: ammonium nitrate (33.5-0-0) NH4NO3, di-ammonium phosphate DAP (16-48-0), (NH4)2HPO4, potassium chloride (0-0-60) KCl
4. System flow: 23 m3 h-1
5. Irrigation dosage: 18 m3
6. Duration of application: 1.5 h.
Phosphate and potassium are given in oxides; therefore they are converted into P and K elements by multiplying by 0.4364 and 0.8302 respectively.
Calculation of the amounts of fertilisers needed in grams per cubic meter of water:
This amount also provides 38 g of N.
Thus, for 18 m3 of water, which is the irrigation dosage, the exact quantities are:
0.502 kg × 18 = 9.036 kg K2O
0.239 kg × 18 = 4.30 kg (NH4) 2HPO4
0.424 kg × 18 = 7.63 kg NH4NO3
The amount of water needed for the dilution of the above quantity of fertilisers is estimated by taking into account the solubility of the fertilisers:
9.036 kg K2O × 3 l – 27.00 l
4.30 kg Ca (H2PO4) × 2.5 l – 10.75 l
7.63 kg NH4NO3 × 1 l – 7.63 l
Minimum amount of water needed – 45.00 l
If the fertilisers are diluted in 60 l of water and the duration of the irrigation is 1.5 h (1 h 30 min), then the injection rate should be about 40-45 l h-1 in order to complete the fertigation in approximately 1 h 25 minutes.