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Cover Crop

Cover Crop

A Cover Crop is a specific plant crop, which is mainly grown for the benefit of soil rather than the crop yield. Cover crops are commonly used to help suppress weeds, manage soil erosion and improve soil fertility and quality, and control diseases and pests. Cover crops are usually grasses or legumes but may be include of other green plants.

Cover crops are plants grown outdoors for the purpose of increasing the quality of the  soil. They help make regulate water, increase biodiversity, and improve farming as a whole.  These types of crops are also used in landscaping to enhance the look of a property.

Cover crops stay low or less to  land, are cheap to plant, and they do not require much maintenance. The popular options for cover crops are wheat, clover, rye, mustard, peas, and sudangrass. Cover crops are mainly used in large farms or land in-ground  garden rather than raised beds.

Why grow cover crops: –

Cover crops are plants grown  to save or improve the soil for future crops. Covering the soil in winter protects it from erosion and helps support all the beneficial life associated with it. This gives weed less opportunity to establish, meaning cleaner bed for sowing or planting in spring. At the end of winter, dig the covered crop into the ground and it will rot down to add valuable organic material in the soil, which will helping to feed the plants  that follow.

Benefits of Cover Crop: –

1. Cover crops improve biodiversity by increasing the variety of species in a given area. They also can help in reduce the amount of water that drain off an area, and prevents waterways and downstream ecosystem from erosion. Because roots of the cover crop make holes in the soil, cover crops help allow water to filter deep into the ground. As a result, cover crops help conserve water in many ways.

2. Cover crops can help break disease cycles by reducing the amount of bacteria and fungal diseases in the soil. If you have a soil that is infected, then you can plant a cover crop in that area as a means of eradicate the disease.

3. Cover crops are sometimes called “green manure” because they provide nutrients to the soil, as it manure does. They are also called “living mulches” because they can prevent soil erosion. A mulch is a layer of organic material, such as crop residue, which is left on the surface of the soil to prevent the drainage of water and protect the soil from the harmful effects of heavy rainfall.

Poonam Singh

Poonam Singh

Poonam Singh

Poonam Singh, M.Sc.(Bio-Chemistry), Content writer, Self Shiksha, Lcoatips, Candidviews, Quikpills and Former Research Director at NEEW

Rapid Rice Straw Composting

Rapid Rice Straw Composting

Rapid Rice Straw Composting-Rice straw manure is an ordinary manure, which requires three months for complete decomposition. This is a very slow process for those farmers who grow rice crops two or three times a year. The IBS is a rapid composting method, speed up the process with a compost fungus activator, Trichoderma harzianum. The activator is supplemented by soil microbes as a source of waste cellulose decomposers. The number of decomposers and the rate of decomposition so that farmers can use the compost sooner.

For carbon composting for early composting, such as: – rice husk, nitrogen -rich content such as animal manure and the activator Trichoderma harzianum are required. A combination one part of nitrogen substrate to three part carbon is best. If animal manure is getting difficult, it can be replaced with leguminous plants such as azolla and sesbania.

Preparation Method: –

  • At the time of harvesting, rice straw is kept on one side of paddy. It later saves labour to have one compost pile for each paddy instead of  central heap.
  • Rice straw is soaked overnight in irrigation water or moisture in the rain until saturated.
  • A simple platform is made in the middle of the paddy ( size is relative to the size of the paddy).
  • A layer of saturated rice straw 10-15 centimetre thick is loosely  of rice on the platform.
  • Above the layer, one or two handful activator is spread out (25 kg / ha).
  • Straw is alternatively layered with the activator.
  • Until all the straw has been used.
  • On the layers of straw, fertilizers and nitrogenous plants are planted. The nitrogen substrate is 15-25% of total composition.
  • Compost is covered (with plastic, banana leaves, or coconut husks) and it gets heated within 25 hours.
  • The manure should be repeated repeatedly to compensate for evaporation,.
  • Manure is left unturned and ready within a month.
  • When the pile gets cold, then it is ready to use.
  • It is 30% of its original size.

Benefit:-

The benefit of income gains from a healthy crop is the most immediate return. But more importantly, the soil is benefits from continuous use of compost in the long term. Results include improved soil texture and ploughing, better aeration and water-holding capacity, increased fertility and low acidity. Because rice husk is made compost and it is not burnt. It releases less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Compost reduces the need for chemical fertilizers. Which contaminate surrounding waters  and  encourages algae bloom that compete with fish for oxygen. Additionally, as  farmer gain self-reliance they becomes less dependent on off-farm inputs.

Possible Drawbacks

  • Rapid composting like composting in general.
  • Often means more work for the farmer.
  • Labor inputs can be reduced by composting in the paddy and in small piles that are easily transportable.
  • A reliable supply of T. harzianum is important for facilitate the rapid decomposition process.
  • Contaminants reduce the effectiveness of the activator, and can cause skin irritation.
  • limited manure supply may result in compost with low N content.

Poonam Singh

 

Poonam Singh

Poonam Singh

Poonam Singh, M.Sc.(Bio-Chemistry), Content writer, Self Shiksha, Lcoatips, Candidviews, Quikpills and Former Research Director at NEEW

Manures and Fertilizers

Manures and Fertilizers

Manures and Fertilizers – The plants need food / nutrients / elements for their growth and development, which are absorbed through the soil. The sources of nutrient supply are manure and fertilizer. Application of manure and fertilizers to the soil is one of the important factors, which help in increasing the crop yield and maintain the soil fertility. N, P and K are the 3 essential elements required for the crop growth.

Manures and Fertilizers

1. Manure:

It is a well disintegrated. All the excreta left by the animals and the straw, the litter, which is in the Stable, the barn or yard, all of it are included in it.

The term manure is used with the exception of water to any material,  when combined into soil and it becomes productive and promotes growth of the plant.

2. Fertilizer

These are industrially manufactured chemicals containing nutrients of plants. Or

It is an artificial product, which contains nutrients of the plant. Those who increase productivity when put into the soil, and also promotes plant growth along with them.

Difference between Manures and Fertilizers:-

Sr NoCharacteristicsManuresFertilizer
1OriginPlant or animal originChemical synthesized or manufactured
2NatureOrganic in natureInorganic in nature
3TypeNatural productartificial product
4Conc. Of nutrientsless concentratedMore concentrated
5MaterialSupply organic matterSupply inorganic matter
6Nutrient availabilityslowly availableMay or may not be readily  available
7NutrientsSupply all the primary nutrients including MicronutrientSupply specific type of nutrients one, two or three. micro nutrients may or may not be present
8Effect on Soil HealthImproves physical condition of soilDo not improve the physical condition of soil
9Effect on plant growthNo bad effect when applied in large quantities.Adverse effect on plant whenever there is deficiency or excessive application

Poonam singh

Poonam Singh

Poonam Singh

Poonam Singh, M.Sc.(Bio-Chemistry), Content writer, Self Shiksha, Lcoatips, Candidviews, Quikpills and Former Research Director at NEEW

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