Document Type : Research Article

Authors

Department of Agronomy, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar 263145, India

Abstract

An enormous portion of nutrient (crop residue) is taken out from soil on account of its competitive use and considerably less residue returning to soil leading to negative balance, prompts lower crop productivity, poor economic return and low nutrient use efficiency prompting large environmental footprint. In many situations, blanket fertilizer application resulted in under-fertilization, while in others, it resulted in over-fertilization. Near the Indo Gangetic Plains (IGP), farming communities frequently apply greater doses of nutrients, particularly nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), but largely ignore the optimal dosages of potassium and other secondary and micronutrients. Such unbalanced and insufficient nutrient use can reduce nutrient use efficiency and profitability, as well as increasing environmental risks connected with nutrient loss through emission or leaching. Decision support tools (DST) are being utilized increasingly to help farmers implement better fertilizer management methods in their crops. Nutrient Expert for Wheat and Maize, a recently developed DST, integrated on-farm research data into a simple delivery system that allows growers to quickly adopt nutrient management site specific for their own fields. The decision support tool was created in 2010-11 as a simple, interactive computer-based tool that can quickly offer nutrient recommendations for farmers' fields, independent of weather with no soil testing required. This tool is useful in determining the nutrient balance replenished in the cropping system based on fertilizer/manure and yield provided in the previous harvest, as well as measure the attainable yield for any field based on growing conditions. These were all combined to provide a location-specific nutrient prescription for cereals by estimating expected N, P, and potassium (K) responses in the concerned field. Nutrient Expert has the ability to move the focus away from conventional agriculture and toward farming that is more sustainable, efficient, and productive.

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