How to make soil fertile with Crop Residue Management?
How to make soil fertile with Crop Residue Management?

Agriculture sector accounts for 15.96 percent of the total GDP in India. In India, paddy is cultivated mainly in Kharif season and wheat in Rabi season.

Non-availability of labour at the time of harvesting, demand for more money and more time are many such reasons, as a result of which machines are being used in abundance by the farmers for harvesting.
Due to this, after harvesting, a large amount of crop residue remains in the fields in addition to the grain.

Annually 630-635 metric tonnes of crop residue is produced in our country. 58 percent of the total crop residue production is obtained from cereal crops, 17 percent from sugarcane, 20 percent from fibre crops and 5 percent from oilseed crops.
Burning of crop residue reduces the availability of the main nutrients present in the soil such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash. It also destroys the friendly insects present in the soil. Not only this, burning of crop residue also causes soil and air pollution.

Burning of crop residues increases soil temperature and hardens the soil surface. This increases the soil density and decreases the water holding capacity of the soil.

Benefits of Crop Residue Management -

Increase the availability of organic matter
Organic matter is the only source that makes available the nutrients present in the soil to the crops. If crop residues are not burnt after harvesting, they rot in the field and increase the amount of organic matter in the soil.

Improving the physical structure of the soil
The addition of crop residues to the soil reduces the hardness of the soil surface along with the increase of organic matter. Apart from this, the water holding capacity and air circulation increases.

Improve soil fertility
Addition of crop residues to soil improves the amount of available nutrients and pH value.

Increase in crop production
If the crop residue is mixed with the help of rotavator in the soil, then the productivity of the crops increases.

Also be used as mulching
By using crop residue as mulch, soil moisture can be conserved and nutrients and fertility can be increased. It also helps in weed control.

Author: Gopal Bhardwaj
Specialist in Horticulture