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  • Slide 1
  • Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 2
  • Soil fertility is a component of overall soil productivity that deals with its available nutrient status, and its ability to provide nutrients out of its own reserves and through external applications for crop production. Introduction
  • Slide 3
  • 1.Loss of top soil by erosion 2.Nutrient mining 3.Physical degradation of soil (poor structure, compaction, crusting and waterlogging etc. 4.Decrease in organic matter content and soil bioactivity 5.Loss of nutrients through various routes 6.Soil acidification, salinization and alkalinization 7.Inefficient soil management 8.Soil pollution Reasons for decline in soil fertility Causes of decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 4
  • 1.Loss of top soil by erosion The top soil is rich in nutrients and organic matter. Loss of the fertile topsoil components through erosion by water and wind results in decreased fertility. Soil erosion is very common in many parts of the country. The basic causes of soil erosion are the result of human activities such as deforestation, overgrazing and poor soil management. Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 5
  • 2. Nutrient mining Nutrient mining is accelerated by imbalanced fertilization. Removal of more nutrients by crops than added through manures or fertilizers is called as nutrient mining or depletion. It is a widespread problem in low- and medium input agriculture. At present, nutrient mining is a major threat to productive sustainable farming. Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 6
  • 3. Physical degradation of soil High disturbance of soils (tillage) often results in some structural deterioration, which can be reversed to different degrees. Physical degradation of soil (poor structure, compaction, crusting and waterlogging) reduces soil fertility. Soil structure is a variable soil property that, from an agronomic point of view, can improve or deteriorate. Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 7
  • 2. Nutrient mining The problem is more acute in areas where high yielding varieties of crops are being cultivated Reasons for decline in soil fertility It results in the exhaustion of any nutrient required in moderate to large amounts. Nutrient mining could be severe in the case of N, P, K and S depending on soil nutrient reserves and the amounts replenished.
  • Slide 8
  • 3. Physical degradation of soil Waterlogging causes loss of N through denitrification of nitrate. Figure (on the left) (a)Root growth in a soil with no mechanical impedance problems (b)Root growth in a soil with mechanical impedance problems Soil compaction decreases the number of large pores (> 100 m) and, as these are the ones through which roots grow most easily, compaction can have an adverse effect on root growth (see Figure). Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 9
  • 4. Decrease in organic matter content and soil bioactivity The microbial activities in soil decrease due to reduced levels of organic matter. These microbial activities play significant role in nutrient availability and recycling. The decreased levels of organic matter causes a strong reduction in soil fertility as it plays several roles in soil. Decreased organic matter levels results in poor physical, chemical and biological properties. Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 10
  • 5. Loss of nutrients through various routes Nutrient removal by crop products compared with external nutrient inputs can be similar, higher or lower. Negative nutrient balances result where nutrient removals exceed nutrient additions. Losses of nutrients from soil can be caused by soil erosion, leaching, crop removal or in the form of gases (as in case of N and to a lesser extent S). Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 11
  • 5. Loss of nutrients through various routes Ammonia volatilization from urea and some ammonium-containing fertilizers results in losses of nitrogen from soil. Excessive rainfall, or excessive irrigation, resulting in the passage of water through the soil profile through deep percolation will carry with it soluble nutrients, particularly nitrate, sulphate and boron, etc. Waterlogging causes loss of N through denitrification of nitrates. Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 12
  • Picture: Losses of nutrients through different routes from soil Source: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/12/fixing-the-nitrogen-cycle-in-climate-modeling/http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/12/fixing-the-nitrogen-cycle-in-climate-modeling/ Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 13
  • 6. Soil acidification, salinization and alkalinization Factors responsible for soil degradation are generally interrelated. Iron deficiency in rice at higher soil pH Acidification, salinization or alkalinization causes reduction in soil fertility, and eventually lead to problems of nutrient deficiencies, toxicities and imbalances. Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 14
  • 7. Inefficient soil management Excessive soil tillage leads to erosion of the soil, which leads to reduced soil fertility. Poor or inefficient soil management results in decreased soil fertility. Improper crop rotations followed may decrease the soil fertility tremendously. Reasons for decline in soil fertility
  • Slide 15
  • 8. Soil pollution The growth of useful soil organisms is adversely affected, which eventually causes a decline in biological soil fertility. Soil pollution caused by indiscriminate use of agro-chemicals and heavy metals reduces fertility of soil by affecting the soil biological properties. Reasons for decline in soil fertility

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