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Properties of organic fertilizers

Properties of organic fertilizers

Organic nutrient sources are highly heterogeneous and vary in quality and quantity. The quality aspect is important in determining the nutrient release potential of the organic fertilizer. Micro organisms that decompose organic fertilizers use the carbon in such materials as an energy source for growth. Required in even bigger quantities by microorganisms for growth and reproduction is nitrogen (N). Commonly available materials are often particularly low in N content. For organic fertilizers with low N contents (such as cereal straw and most smallholder farmyard manures), microorganisms themselves will consume much of the available N for their own growth. Consequently, insignificant amounts of N will be released for the crop. Thus, on their own, poor quality materials have limited potential to enhance productivity. The effectiveness of such materials can be improved by combining them with mineral N fertilizers such as ammonium-nitrate or urea. Mineral fertilizers may be used more efficiently by crops growing on soils with adequate amounts of soil organic matter supplied by organic fertilizers.

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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.