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Methods of fertilizer

Methods of fertilizer application

 Since most of the soils do not provide the requisite nutrients necessary
for the growth and health of plants, they have to be fed with fertilizers to
overcome the deficiency.
 Also, fertilizers are not one-time materials which once provided do not
have to be re-supplied.
 In fact, every time you harvest your plants, they remove some nutrients
along with them.
 Thus, regular supply of fertilizers to plants is a must to ensure their
regular growth and yield. Find out more about the significance of
fertilizers in the following lines.
Methods of fertilizer application

• The fertilizer scheduling must be based on soil test.

• Selection of fertilizers should be done according to the soil

reaction viz., acidic fertilizers for alkaline soils and basic
fertilizers for acidic soil reactions.

• Surface application through broadcasting should not be

adopted but the fertilizers should be placed about 3-4 cms by
the side or below the seed.
Methods of fertilizer application

• The Phosphotic and Potassic fertilizers should be basal

placed, because their poor mobility restricts them to the
place of application. Therefore, they must be placed in the
root zone.

• Home mixing of fertilizers should be in accordance with the

fertilizer-mixing guide and such fertilizers mixture must be
applied as soon as possible.
Methods of fertilizer application

 In case of heavy soil type, half of the nitrogenous fertilizers

should be basal placed and rest should be top-dressed in one
split only.

 But in case of light soils, nitrogen should be applied in three

equal splits i.e 1/3 as basal, 1/3 after 30 days of sowing and
the balance 1/3 about 50-60 days after sowing.
Methods of fertilizer application

 For at least a week, flooding with too deep water or poor

drainage should be avoided after application of the fertilizers.

 Top dressing should be done after draining out the water and
weeding so that the loss of nutrient is minimum. Paddy fields,
used for transplanting, should be puddled and fertilizers should
be applied at the time of puddling. This will help fertilizers to
penetrate and get stored in the soil.
Methods of fertilizer application

 The acidic soils should be treated with liming materials as and

when required.
 Deep placement of fertilizers, along with foliar feeding of
nitrogen (i.e., urea) through spraying of nitrogenous fertilizers
in place of top dressing should be done in case of dry lands.
 Addition of organic manures or green manuring should be
done at least once in 3-5 years. Weed growth should not be
permitted in cropped areas, during any part of the year.
Methods of fertilizer application

• In case of flooded fields or calcareous soils, use of slow release

nitrogenous fertilizers like Sulphur coated urea, urea super
granules, Neem coated or Neem blended urea's should be used
so that loss of nitrogen can be minimized.

• Mud bolls, contain urea and should be used in case of

deepwater crops because they help in proper placement and
also reduce the loss of nitrogen from the field.
Methods of fertilizer application

Fertilizers application based on

The relative efficiencies of the various methods depends on many

 Broadcast application may be less effective than banded or
seed row application under some conditions.
 Fertilizer placed in the seed row can delay or severely reduce
crop emergence.
Methods of fertilizer application

 The maximum rate that can be safely placed in the seed row depends
• Crop type
• Soil moisture
• Soil type (clay and organic matter content)
• Type of fertilizer
• Row spacing and
• Spread of seed and fertilizer (type of opener)
Methods of fertilizer application

Nitrogen fertilizers application based on leaf color chart

 The leaf color chart (LCC) is an innovative cost effective tool
for real-time or crop-need-based N management.

 LCC is a visual and subjective indicator of plant nitrogen

deficiency and is an inexpensive, easy to use and simple
alternative to chlorophyll meter /SPAD meter (soil plant
analysis development) .

 It measures leaf color intensity that is related to leaf N status.

Methods of fertilizer application

 LCC is an ideal tool to optimize N use at high yield levels,

irrespective of the source of N applied, viz., organic manure,
biologically fixed N, or chemical fertilizers.
 Thus, it is an eco-friendly tool in the hands of farmers. Now, it is
manufactured with 4 colors called Four Panel LCC & 6 colors
called Six Panel LCC.
 Moreover, LCC is provided with water-proof laminated instruction
sticker in the required regional language.
Methods of fertilizer application
Methods of fertilizer application

• Purpose of using LCC is to apply adequate amount of nitrogen

and avoid application of fertilizer more than required.

• Use of LCC helps to determine nitrogen demand of the crop

and guide right time of fertilizer nitrogen application so as to
prevent unwanted nitrogen losses and their serious impacts on
the ecosystem.
Methods of fertilizer application

 More Crop
 Less Cost
 Avoid Disease
 Reduction of GHG Emission
Methods of fertilizer application
Methods of fertilizer application

a) Broadcasting
In generally banana crops broad casting methods are not followed .
b) Placement
It refers to the placement of fertilizers in soil at a specific place with or without
reference to the position of the seed.
Placement of fertilizers is normally recommended when the quantity of fertilizers to
apply is small, development of the root system is poor, soil have a low level of
fertility and to apply phosphatic and potassic fertilizer.
Methods of fertilizer application

i) Plough sole placement

In this method, fertilizer is
placed at the bottom of the
plough furrow in a
continuous band during
the process of ploughing.
Methods of fertilizer application

ii) Deep placement

 It is the placement of ammoniacal nitrogenous fertilizers in
the reduction zone of soil particularly in paddy fields, where
ammoniacal nitrogen remains available to the crop.

 This method ensures better distribution of fertilizer in the

root zone soil and prevents loss of nutrients by run-off.
Methods of fertilizer application

iii) Localized placement

It refers to the application of fertilizers into the soil close to the seed
or plant in order to supply the nutrients in adequate amounts to the
roots of growing plants.

The common methods to place fertilizers close to the seed or plant

are as follows:
Methods of fertilizer application

a) Drilling
• In this method, the fertilizer is applied at the time of sowing by
means of a seed-cum-fertilizer drill.
• This places fertilizer and the seed in the same row but at different
• Although this method has been found suitable for the application
of Phosphotic and Potassic fertilizers in cereal crops, but sometimes
germination of seeds and young plants may get damaged due to
higher concentration of soluble salts.
Methods of fertilizer application

b) Side dressing
 It refers to the spread of fertilizer in between the rows and around
the plants. The common methods of side-dressing are
 Placement of nitrogenous fertilizers by hand in between the rows
of crops like maize, sugarcane, cotton etc., to apply additional
doses of nitrogen to the growing crops and
 Placement of fertilizers around the trees like mango, apple,
grapes, papaya etc.
Methods of fertilizer application

c) Band placement
• If refers to the placement of fertilizer in bands.
• Band placement is of two types.
i) Hill placement
 It is practiced for the application of fertilizers in orchards.
In this method, fertilizers are placed close to the plant in
bands on one or both sides of the plant.
 The length and depth of the band varies with the nature
of the crop.
Methods of fertilizer application

ii) Row placement

 When the crops like sugarcane, potato, maize, cereals etc., are sown
close together in rows, the fertilizer is applied in continuous bands on one
or both sides of the row, which is known as row placement.
d) Pellet application
 It refers to the placement of nitrogenous fertilizer in the form of pellets
2.5 to 5 cm deep between the rows of the paddy crop.
 The fertilizer is mixed with the soil in the ratio of 1:10 and made small
pellets of convenient size to deposit in the mud of paddy fields.
Methods of fertilizer application

 When the fertilizer is placed, there is minimum contact between the

soil and the fertilizer, and thus fixation of nutrients is greatly reduced.
 The weeds all over the field can not make use of the fertilizers.
 Residual response of fertilizers is usually higher.
 Utilization of fertilizers by the plants is higher.
 Loss of nitrogen by leaching is reduced
 Being immobile, phosphates are better utilized when placed.
Methods of fertilizer application
Methods of fertilizer application

a) Starter solutions
It refers to the application of solution of N, P2O5 and K2O in the ratio
of 1:2:1 and 1:1:2 to young plants at the time of transplanting,
particularly for vegetables.
Starter solution helps in rapid establishment and quick growth of
The disadvantages of starter solutions are
• Extra labour is required, and
• the fixation of phosphate is higher
Methods of fertilizer application

b) Foliar application
 It refers to the spraying of fertilizer solutions containing one or more nutrients
on the foliage of growing plants.
 Several nutrient elements are readily absorbed by leaves when they are
dissolved in water and sprayed on them.
 The concentration of the spray solution has to be controlled, otherwise serious
damage may result due to scorching of the leaves.
 Foliar application is effective for the application of minor nutrients like iron,
copper, boron, zinc and manganese. Sometimes insecticides are also applied
along with fertilizers.
Methods of fertilizer application

c) Application through irrigation water (Fertigation)

• It refers to the application of water soluble fertilizers through
irrigation water.
• The nutrients are thus carried into the soil in solution.

• Generally nitrogenous fertilizers are applied through irrigation

Methods of fertilizer application

d) Injection into soil

 Liquid fertilizers for injection into the soil may be of either pressure
or non-pressure types.

 Non-pressure solutions may be applied either on the surface or in

furrows without appreciable loss of plant nutrients under most

 Anhydrous ammonia must be placed in narrow furrows at a depth

of 12-15 cm and covered immediately to prevent loss of ammonia
Methods of fertilizer application

e) Aerial application
 In areas where ground application is not practicable, the fertilizer
solutions are applied by aircraft particularly in hilly areas, in forest lands,
in grass lands or in sugarcane fields etc.
Methods of fertilizer application

There are three ways of using these N

fixing/P.S.M. bacteria.

Methods of fertilizer application

Sl.No. Method of Crops Dose/ Water Ratio Soil

Application packets BF
/Acre water
1 Root dip All crops 200g 400 ml 1:2 ***
application bio-
2 sucker /set Sets of 1 or 2kg 50 or 1:50 ***
treatment sugarcane 100
base of litres
3 Soil All crops 2 kg for *** 40-
application wetting 50kg
Methods of fertilizer application

Sucker treatment
• Sucker treatment is a most common method adopted for all types of
• The sucker treatment is effective and economic.
• The coating can be done in a plastic bucket . For this purposes, a plastic
bucket or big can be used.
• Solutions can be used as sticker add @15-25 ml/kg
• The bucket have to filled with 10% sugar solution or 40% Gum Arabic or
synthetic glue or glues of vegetable or animal origin or honey or mineral oil or
peanut oil or soybean oil or 10% molasses or tice starch etc.
• The use of sticker is in view of to increase the amount of inoculants that will
adhere to sucker so that number of rhizobia on the each sucker must retain
higher population i.e. 103 to 106.
Methods of fertilizer application

Root Dipping
• The required quantity of Azospirillum has to be mixed with 5-10 ltr of water
at one corner of the field and all the plants have to kept for minimum ½ an
hour before plating.

Soil Application
 Mix 4 kg each of biofertilizers in 200 kg of compost and leave it overnight.
Apply this mixture in the soil at the time of sowing or planting.
 In plantation crops apply this mixture near root zone and cover with soil.