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Prepared By: Umair Shabbir Class: BS (Hons.) 1 st Year Course: Field Crop Production Department: Agriculture & Agribusiness Management Submitted to: Sir Anwar Araien & Sir Mujeeb Akram
University of Karachi
Introduction to Soil Fertility:
Soil fertility is the status of a soil with respect to its ability to supply elements essential for the plant growth without a toxic concentration of any element. Fertile soils have an adequate and balanced supply of elements sufficiently liable or available to satisfy the needs of plants. Soil fertility refers to the amount of nutrients in the soil, which is sufficient to support plant life. To be fertile, soil needs macronutrients, which include nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous; micronutrients, which include sulfur, chlorine, copper, manganese, molybdenum, boron, iron, cobalt, magnesium, zinc and chlorine. It must contain organic matter and a relatively low pH value. The soil must also contain micro- and macro-organisms and it must be well drained. In desert gardens, particularly those in arid regions, chances are that most native soils do not contain all (or in some cases any) of the above characteristics. Arid soils are characteristically low in organic matter and have high pH values, making them highly alkaline and unsuitable for growing many plants. There are few micro- or macroorganisms living in the soil, helping to break down substances, and the soil is generally too well drained and incapable of retaining much moisture. While these conditions are fine for xeric plants, and those that are adapted to such conditions, they are harsh for more temperate climate plants.
Desert soils can be amended by adding organic or synthetic fertilizers, organic material, compost, and topsoil to the mixture. Water-soluble fertilizers tend to pollute over time by adding unwanted salts to the soil and through runoff. Slow release fertilizers or organic fertilizers are much less harmful to the soil and to the environment.
Fertile soil has the following properties:
It is rich in nutrients necessary for basic plant nutrition, including nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It contains sufficient minerals (trace elements) for plant nutrition, including boron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, sulfur, and zinc. It contains soil organic matter that improves soil structure and soil moisture retention. Soil pH is in the range 6.0 to 6.8. Good soil structure, creating well drained soil. A range of microorganisms that support plant growth. It often contains large amounts of topsoil.
y y y y
S oil F ertilization:
Nitrogen is the element in the soil that is most often lacking. Phosphorus and potassium are also needed in substantial amounts. For this reason these three elements are always included in commercial fertilizers and the content of each of these items is included on the bags of fertilizer. For example a 10-10-15 fertilizer has 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent (P2O5) available phosphorus and 15 percent (K2O) water soluble potassium. Inorganic fertilizers are
generally less expensive and have higher concentrations of nutrients than organic fertilizers. Some have criticized the use of inorganic fertilizers claiming that the water-soluble nitrogen doesn't provide for the long-term needs of the plant and creates water pollution. Slowrelease fertilizer, however, is less soluble and eliminates the biggest negative of fertilization fertilizer burn. Additionally, most soluble fertilizers are coated, such as sulfur-coated urea. Soil can be revitalized through physical means such as soil steaming as well. Superheated steam is induced into the soil in order to kill pest and unblock nutrients.
What is Recycling?
The re-using the used products through different methods or by turning them into new products, to save energy usage, money, and environment, is called Recycling. It involves processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from land filling) by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production. Recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" waste hierarchy.
Why is Recycling Important?
Recycling benefits everyone and everything. Here are a few reasons why:
Conserves natural resources such as wood, water and minerals Saves energy because less energy is used to manufacture brand new products Produces less greenhouse gases because industries burn fewer fossil fuels Recycling programs cost less than waste disposal programs You can receive money for turning in certain recyclable products Recycling centers create 4 jobs for every 1 job in the waste disposal industry Recycling programs keep 70 tons of waste from being deposited into landfills every year Prevents the destruction of natural habitats Decreases soil erosion associated with mining and logging
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Importance of Recycling on an agricultural land:
The recycling of different products on agricultural land can help a farmer in many ways. It helps in maintaining the fertility of soil through different methods. Also, in reducing over all cost from bed preparation to harvesting of crop. The energy is also conserved by adopting the recycling
methods. Hence, the good yield is achieved with minimal expenditures, resulting in more sustainable agriculture.
Recycling Waste Products on Agricultural Lands:
Managing municipal and industrial waste is a major challenge for modern society. The environmental problems and economic costs associated with landfilling have led to current approaches that emphasize viewing waste products in terms of the potentially useful constituents they contain. From this perspective, waste management is transformed from a problem of waste disposal to a challenge for resource re-utilization without adverse environmental effects. Many waste products have beneficial effects on soil chemical and physical properties. Application of these waste materials to agricultural land presents an opportunity for recovery of essential plant nutrients, can provide low-cost liming amendments, and may have positive effects on infiltration, drainage, and water-holding capacity by improving soil structure. Land spreading also has the potential for negative effects on plant growth and environmental quality, due to problems such as the high soluble salt and trace metal content of some waste products. There are many different types of wastes and recycling them through soil-plant systems requires careful evaluation of individual materials. Waste products can be classified according to their source (e.g. sewage sludge, byproduct gypsum), their method of processing (e.g. composting, incineration), or a combination of the two (e.g. composted sewage sludge). The properties of waste products are affected both by their
source and any further processing. A generalized classification of the properties of different types of waste products is further complicated by the fact that similar types of waste materials will vary by location.
Methods of Waste Recycling to
increase the Fertility of Soil:
There are many ways to increase the fertility of soil through recycling of waste products. Waste products are rubbish, trash, garbage, or junk etc. or unusable materials or a by product that is discharged from a living body. Following are the different recycling methods which can be adopted to increase the fertility of soil. Recycling methods can be divided into two categories: 1. Organic waste recycling. 2. Inorganic waste recycling.
Organic Waste Recycling:
Organic waste is the term used to describe those wastes that are readily biodegradable, or easily breakdown with the assistance of microorganisms. Organic waste is derived from animals, plants and human waste materials. Agriculture produces vast quantities of organic waste such as rice husk, straw and manure. It is the most important component of recycling the waste products as without it; the soil cannot be used to grow the crops and will be useless. By recycling these products either by manipulating into
soil or by other methods, the fertility of soil increases to a large extent. Following are the recycling methods:
Composting is the purposeful biodegradation of organic matter, such as yard and food waste. The decomposition is performed by microorganisms, mostly bacteria, but also yeasts and fungi. In low temperature phases a number of macro-organisms, such as springtails, ants, nematodes, isopods and red wigglers also contribute to the process, as well as soldier fly, fruit flies and fungus gnats. There are a wide range of organisms in the decomposer community. y A biodegradable material is capable of being broken down under the action of microorganisms into carbon dioxide, water and biomass. It may take a very long time for some material to biodegrade depending on its environment. y A compostable material biodegrades substantially under specific composting conditions. It is metabolized by the microorganisms, being incorporated into the organisms or converted into humus. In an open environment, compost can happen by itself. Through natural processes, grass leaves, and animal waste and other garbage to rot over time because of the cooperation between the microorganisms and the weather. The process can be accelerated by human treatment, to produce good quality compost, within a period not too long. For if at anytime, that we need compost quickly, we can not wait for the compost from the process that takes style a long period it.
Composting organisms require four equally important things to work effectively:
Carbon ("C" or carbohydrates), for energy - the microbial oxidation of carbon produces the heat.
High carbon materials tend to be brown and dry.
Nitrogen ("N" or protein), to grow and reproduce more organisms to oxidize the carbon.
High nitrogen materials tend to be green (or colorful, like fruits and vegetables) and wet.
Oxygen, for oxidizing the carbon, the decomposition process. Water, in the right amounts to maintain activity without causing anaerobic conditions
Compost is an important source of nutrients commonly used in modern agriculture. Through steaming, compost can be sanitized and prepared for further use.
Manure is organic matter used as organic fertilizer in agriculture. Manures contribute to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients, such as nitrogen that is trapped by bacteria in the soil. Higher organisms then feed on the fungi and bacteria in a chain of life that comprises the soil food web. There are three main classes of manures used in soil management: 1. Animal manures. 2. Plant manures. 3. Compost.
Animal dung has been used for centuries as a fertilizer for farming, as it improves the soil structure (aggregation), so that it holds more nutrients and water, and becomes more fertile. Animal manure also encourages soil microbial activity which promotes the soil's trace mineral supply, improving plant nutrition. It also contains some nitrogen and other nutrients itself which assist the growth of plants. Manure is commercially composted and bagged and sold retail as a soil amendment.
Humanure is a neologism designating human excrement that is recycled via composting for agricultural or other purposes. The term was popularized by a 1994 book by Joseph Jenkins that advocates the use of this organic soil amendment. Humanure is not traditional sewage that has been processed by waste-treatment facilities, which may include waste from industrial and other sources; rather, it is the combination of feces and urine with paper and additional carbon material (such as sawdust). A humanure system, such as a composting toilet does not require water or electricity, and when properly managed does not smell. Humanure may be deemed safe for humans to use on crops if handled in accordance with local health regulations, and composted properly. This means that thermophilic decomposition of the humanure must heat it sufficiently to destroy harmful pathogens, or enough time must have elapsed since fresh material was added that biological activity has killed any pathogens. To be safe for crops, a curing stage is often needed to allow a second mesophilic phase to reduce potential phytotoxins. Humanure is different from night soil, which is raw human waste spread on crops. While aiding the return of nutrients in fecal matter to the
soil, it can carry and spread a vast number of human pathogens. Humanure kills these pathogens both by the extreme heat of the composting and the extended amount of time (1 to 2 years) that it is allowed to decompose.
Sludge is a generic term for solids separated from suspension in a liquid. This 'soupy' material usually contains significant quantities of 'interstitial' water (between the solid particles). Commonly sludge refers to the residual, semi-solid material left from industrial wastewater, or sewage treatment processes. It can also refer to the settled suspension obtained from conventional drinking water treatment, and numerous other industrial processes. This is accomplished in one of two ways. In an Imhoff tank, fresh sludge is passed through a slot to the lower story or digestion chamber where it is decomposed by anaerobic bacteria, resulting in liquefaction and reduced volume of the sludge. After digesting for an extended period, the result is called "digested" sludge and may be disposed of by drying and then landfilling. More commonly with domestic sewage, the fresh sludge is continuously extracted from the tank mechanically and passed to separate sludge digestion tanks that operate at higher temperatures than the lower story of the Imhoff tank and, as a result, digest much more rapidly and efficiently. On a dry weight basis, digested sewage sludge commonly contains 3 to 6% N, 1 to 4% P, 0.2 to 1% K, and 50 to 60% organic matter. Sludge often can be used to meet the entire crop requirement for N and P. Supplemental K is frequently necessary, but sludge also supplies plant available Ca, Mg, and essential micronutrients.
Sludge organic matter is as effective as manure in improving soil structure, as measured by increases in total porosity and aggregate stability, and improved pore size distribution.
Inorganic Waste Recycling:
Waste material such as sand, salt, iron, calcium and other mineral materials that are only slightly affected by the action of organisms in wastewater treatment are called inorganic waste material. Inorganic wastes are chemical substances of mineral origin; whereas organic wastes are chemical substances usually of animal or plant origin. Inorganic waste is "trash" that cannot decompose and become a natural part of the soil again.
Large quantities of high-lime waste are produced during the water softening process at many municipal water treatment plants. Byproduct lime contains 25 to 30% Ca on a dry weight basis, has a calcium carbonate equivalence of about 50%, and has a low trace metal content. It can be an economical liming amendment for agricultural producers and there is little environmental risk associated with its use. Byproduct lime also has been combined with sewage sludge and sewage-sludge incinerator ash to improve the qualities of those waste products as agricultural soil amendments. The resulting mixtures raise soil pH and provide essential plant nutrients. At the higher pH, trace metals in sludge and sludge ash also are less available for plant uptake.
In the future, additional waste product combinations to maximize agricultural benefits can be expected as waste managers face continuing economic and environmental pressure to find beneficial uses for wastes.
Gypsum (CaSO4 2H2O) amendment can have beneficial effects on soil physical and chemical properties. These include increased soil aggregation, reduced surface crusting, increased water infiltration and permeability, reduced mechanical impedance to roots, alleviation of subsoil acidity problems, and an increased supply of Ca and S for plant growth. Potential problems include Ca induced P deficiency, excessive leaching of Mg and K, and an increase in soluble salts. An inexpensive source of gypsum, and the development of standardized guidelines to calculate optimum application rates, would be of great benefit to agricultural producers. Power plants that burn high-sulfur coal produce high-gypsum wastes as a byproduct of the sulfur-removal process. Agricultural utilization of this gypsum could recycle what is now a waste product and disposal problem into a use that would benefit agriculture, the power industry, and the Ohio coal industry. Depending on the sulfurremoval process used, byproduct gypsum may have high trace metal concentrations and high alkalinity, which limit the amount that can be applied to agricultural land. Further research and improvements in the generation and handling of this waste with a view toward end-product utilization in agriculture are required, but the potential benefits make the use of byproduct gypsum a very promising area in the recycling of waste products on agricultural land.
Recycling is that it helps in increasing an eco-friendly and greener environment. It is a very healthy solution to reduce pollution and promote healthy living. Recycling helps prevent global climate changes by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emissions can result from the manufacturing, use and disposal of products. In agriculture, recycling helps in following: y Maintains the fertility of soil through composing. y Reduces the cost of crop by natural fertilization. y Improves the overall yield by providing the crop with good growing conditions. y Helps in reducing energy consumption. y Helps in prevention of waste material being created. y Making the environment healthy and friendly. y Thus, helps in maintaining the sustainable agriculture for all.
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