Synthetic Fertilizers for Sustainable Agriculture

Synthetic Fertilizers for Sustainable Agriculture
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Synthetic Fertilizers for Sustainable Agriculture

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Publisher: Agrobios Publications
ISBN: 9788177542516
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PREFACE One of the most impressive achievements in the latter half of the 20th century is the increase in food production in step with the increase in human population-from 2520 million people in 1950 to 6000 million presently. The size of human population is still increasing and fears are expressed that food supply may not be sufficient to satisfy the growing need. World food production depends on supplementing plant nutrients obtained from the soil with mineral fertilizers. These are now indispensable for ensuring sufficient food production and presenting declines in soil productivity through nutrient depletion. The rapid increase in the world population and the consequent rise in consumption have rendered fertilizers and integral part of the food supply chain. There is no alternative to mineral fertilizers in modern agriculture to succeed in feeding the world. India is the world s third largest producer and user of fertilizers. Fertilizer consumption in India has grown to 20 million tonnes of NPK per year. Fertilizers will continue to be in the forefront of materials used by man to improve soil fertility, level of crop nutrition and reducing malnutrition. When the history of human progress will be written, the use of fertilizer to fight against hunger should not be forgotten. When the soils become poor, fertilizers acts as additives that put back the agricultural system on its feet. The problem of soil fertility compromises not only the supply of a particular nutrient, but also its efficient management. Fertilizers being one of the costly inputs, the farmer would be interested in the use of optimum dose of fertilizers for maximum returns. The problem of fertilizer use needs a quantitative assessment of the
fertility status of soils and the amount of fertilizer to use for obtaining certain targeted yields consistent with maximum returns. Any indiscriminate use of nutrients can lead to numerous problems of nutrient interaction and antagonism. Soil fertility has been considered in the past in a restricted sense as a physico-chemical phenomenon or as an index of available nutrients for plants, but modern usage of term connotes the capacity of soil to produce crops of economic value to man and maintain health of the soil for future use. Several changes in the Indian fertilizer sector have taken place both qualitatively and quantitatively. Quantum jump has occurred in production and usage but there is high level of confusion concerning fertilizer policies of Government which are not palatable to both industry and farmers. Imbalanced fertilizer use prevailed after 1990 due to differential treatment of N, P and K. Balanced fertilization cannot be brushed aside because it is the root of sustainability of crop production. It is being realized that the future of Indian agriculture is closely related to scientific management of fertilizers for improving their use efficiency. This book has been written for a broad readership. It should be useful to fertilizer industry personnel engaged in planning, production, promotion marketing and students, teachers,