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Current Affairs

Green manure

Date: 12 May 2022 Tags: Agriculture

Issue

The Punjab government’s agriculture department is providing subsidy on green manure cultivation.

 

Background

The seeds of green manure are costly and hence the government is providing subsidy to promote green manure.

 

Details

  • Green manure refers to certain crops that are grown especially to maintain soil fertility and structure. 

  • The plants are normally added back to soil either directly, or after removal and composting to increase fertility.

  • Dhaincha, Cowpea and Sunhemp are the main varieties of green manure. Other crops such as summer moong, mash pulses and guar act as green manure. 

 

Actions

The green manure crops are added back to soil after 42-60 days when beans are harvested from the plants.

 

Requirements of green manure

  • Crops must be leguminous in nature.

  • They should bear maximum nodules on its roots to fix large amount of atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.

  • The seeds of green manure should be easily available to the farmers at a low price.

 

Sowing time

  • Green manure is sown immediately after wheat harvest. During the period between wheat harvest and rice cultivation, the fields are usually empty.

  • The green manure can be added to soil just before puddling during the course of rice cultivation. It saves nitrogen fertilizer.

 

Importance for farming

  • Punjab has one of the highest per acre consumption of fertilizer.  Growing green manure can curtail this consumption to a large extent.

  • Farmers can save a significant amount as input cost by reducing usage of fertilizer.

  • Green manure can help improve soil health and enhance the productivity of the crops by managing micronutrients.

  • Green manure has the potential to maintain pH at the required level which is 7. In many places it has gone up.

 

Benefits for soil

Green manure conserves the nutrients, adds nitrogen and stabilises the soil structure.

It decomposes very fast, releasing nutrients for plant growth.