soil fertility importence

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The overall ability of a soil to support vigorous crop growth by ensuring adequate plant nutrients in balanced proportion and suitable conditions for water uptake, and by providing favorable conditions for root growth and development. SOIL FERTILITY

3SOIL FERTILITYA fertile soil is essential for optimum productivity, profitability, protection of ground water quality and soil from erosion .Soil fertility is divided into 3 groups, i.e. Physical , Chemical and Biological Soil Fertility. It is inherent capacity of soil is called soil fertility

Biological soil fertility: The capacity of organisms living in soil to contribute to the nutritional requirements of plants and foraging animals for productivity, reproduction and quality while maintaining biological processes that contribute positively to the physical and chemical state of the soil.

Chemical soil fertility: The capacity of soil to provide a suitable chemical and nutritional environment for the plants and foraging animals for productivity, reproduction and quality in a way that supports beneficial soil physical and biological processes, including those involved in nutrient cycling.

Physical soil fertility: The capacity of soil to provide physical conditions that support plant productivity, reproduction and quality without leading to loss of soil structure or erosion and supporting soil biological and chemical processes.

Components of soil fertilitySoil depth (determining the volume of soil accessible to the root system). Most arable crops prefer about one meter without any obstructing layer.

Soil structure (based on size distribution and aggregation of particles). This determines the distribution of pore sizes which is decisive for the supply of air and water to the roots. 5

International size units used to classify soil particles in terms of their mean diameter are:Gravel (> 2.0 mm);coarse sand (2.00.2 mm);fine sand (0.20.02 mm);Silt (0.020.002 mm);clay (< 0.002 mm).

It designates the proportion of different particle size fractions in the soilof special importance to soil fertility is the percentage of soil particles of less than 2 mm in diameter, which constitute the fine soil.

Fine soil is composed of particles in three size groups: sand, silt and clay. Soil texture

8Content of nutrients with different degrees of availability.Storage capacity for soluble nutrients from the soil and fertilizers. Soil pH/ reaction (an indicator and regulator of chemical processes and equilibria).

Picture shows the availability of nutrients at different soil pH

2017/1/29Content of detrimental or toxic substances, either naturally occurring (e.g. salts in saline soils, aluminum in extremely acid soils) or man-made (e.g. from pollution).

Quantity and activity of soil organisms as agents of transformation processes. COMPONENTS OF SOIL FERTILITY

COMPONENTS OF SOIL FERTILITY Nutrient gain as a result of N fixation from the air. It influences promotion or retardation of growth through growth hormones. Soil organic matter It promotes soil structure improvement by plant residues and humic substances leading to higher WHC, better soil aeration and protection of soil against erosion. Helps in keeping the nutrients in available forms and protecting them against losses.Nutrient mobilization from decomposed organic nutrient sources and mineral reserves: N, P, S, Zn, etc.

11IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTESoil productivity is the crop yielding ability of a soil from a unit area.

Soil fertility is vital to a productive soil but, a fertile soil is not always a productive one. Poor drainage, weeds, insects, disease, drought and other factors can limit productivity even when fertility is adequate.

Fertile soils are not always highly productive, but the productive soils are always fertile.

Very fertile and productive soils are rarely found in nature

A highly productive soils with high fertilitymobilize soil nutrients from the reserves;

transform fertilizer nutrients into easily available forms;

store water-soluble nutrients in easily available forms, thus preventing leaching;

offer the plants a balanced nutrient supply due to its self-regulating system;

store and supply sufficient water; 2017/1/212

A highly productive soils with high fertilitymaintain good soil aeration for the oxygen requirements of roots;

not 'fix' nutrients, i.e. convert them into unavailable form;

Improve crop use efficiency of nutrients and resources such as water and light; and

Provide nutrients throughout the growing season and especially during critical peak periods of plant development




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