Maintenance of Soil Fertility

Nutrients are continuously removed from the soil by crops in addition to losses by leaching and erosion. It is therefore, essential that sound soil and crop management practices are adopted to improve and maintain soil fertility and soil physical conditions for the purpose of sustained crop production. The management practices that play an important role in the maintenance and improvement of soil fertility are given below:

Crop Rotation

The benefits of a good crop rotation are – increased organic matter, better nitrogen supply and improved soil structure These are applicable especially, for deep rooted legumes or crops e.g. cereals-legumes, capable of feeding themselves efficiently at various soil depth. Deep rooted crops increase permeability of soil at lower depths to air and water. The other benefits of crop rotation are keeping soil under crop, control of run off, soil erosion and efficient use of fertilizers.

Manures and Fertilisers

Soil fertility and agricultural production can be maintained only by efficient and judicious management of nutrient addition to the soil from external sources. Application of organic manures and chemical fertilizers help to:

  • Improve and maintain soil fertility
  • Soil productivity
  • Soil physical conditions