Protect Soil to "Protect Agriculture"

A plant is standing with full courage and phenotypically looks healthy, the reason behind this is what, that is soil, which support the plants. It stands so strongly that a strong flood will lose its velocity of speed just because of those plants that are supported by soil.

The unconsolidated material or upper layer of earth where nutrients are present known as soil. Soil provides physical support to the plants. It is complex mixture of minerals such as water (25%), air (25%), organic matters (5%)and minerals (gravel, sand, silt, clay) 45%. The percentage of each particle shows the soils ability to drain and hold water for long time.

From agricultural point of view, the best soils are those with balanced texture, containing a mixture of all three fractions (sand, slit and clay) which is known as loamy soil. Loamy soil is best for agricultural crops. It retains moisture (moisture remains in the soil for long time to meet the needs of the plants) and are not subject to undue leaching.

Because of mismanagement and less information, farmers use agricultural machineries (mouldboard plough, chisel plough, disc plough) without planning to disturb the soil. Tillage practices are being applied in fallow lands that eroded the upper layer of the soil where nutrient are present in large quantity.Soil structure strongly affects crop growth. Minimum plough should be used to save soil from destroying its structure.

Micronutrients play a key role to decompose the organic matter, soil microbes are also important to returning the nutrients in mineral form, this process is known as mineralization. Some microbes excrete polysaccharides and glycoprotein, which may help to form the basis for soil structure. Soil structure is very important for plant growth. Cultivation of crops in the fieldhighly depends on the ability of certain microbes such as bacteria that convert atmospheric nitrogen (N2 gas) to ammonia (NH3), this conversion process is known as nitrogen fixation.

Agriculturists(people those are linked with agriculture) mostly soil scientists, agriculture extension officers and agronomists can help the farmer to educate them how to use machineries and other manual plows. The access use of equipment(plows) may destroy the soil and weakenthe structure of the soil that cause soil erosion and runoff. If the structure of the soilis poor, plants do not grow well. Poor soil structure also affects farm finances.

Now a days, agriculture lands are being converted into colonies and factories,sewage water is being used for agriculture, use of inorganic fertilizers, increased use ofchemicals and pesticides, all these factors are included to make the soil structure poor. Cultivation of exhaustive crops (tobacco, sorghum, sunflower) are more without crop rotation that may decrease the fertility of the soil. With the passage of time this will cause nutrientdeficiency for overall population.

The first thing is to find out and identify the reason for the poor soil structure. Soil aggregation can be improved by soil management practices that decrease the disturbance of the soil. Zero tillage practices are used, maintain soil fertility by the practice of crop rotation method. Growing of leguminous crops that belong to the family of leguminaceae likesoybean, pea etc. Use of organic inputs maintain the fertility of the soil and make soil healthy. The amount of organic matter should be increased, farm yard manure (FYM)is also used to increase the fertility of the soil, which is cheapest way for most of the farmers. Leaving plant residues in the field to decrease the rate of evapotranspiration and increase the fertility of the soil.

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