IMPORTANT steps a farmer should follow before applying chemical fertilizer on a farm
Your are a farmer who want to increase your yields. Using organic materials maybe good but it takes times and involve a lot f practical work to achieve success, using chemical fertilizers may be the best option for you. Although may health practitioners has raise their voices on the negative effect it has on human health if it not use properly.. I am going to educate our readers today on how to use chemical fertilizers properly and to get the best results.
1. the first thing to do as a farmer is to test the soil on your farm land, this test are done by the soil scientist like soil care and other agriculture research centers and institutions. This step will help you know what nutrient your farm land is lacking and the percentages of the nutrients available. The test can also be done specifically for the kind of crop you want to grow. Failure to do this will affect your crop growth because you will be applying too little or too much of fertilizer.
2. secondly to learn about the nutrient requirement of the crop you want to grow. Read or ask extension officers in your area or the fertilizers distributor kind of fertilizers you need for the crop you want to grow. Some plants use less of one element, and more of another or you have to blend them.
3. After doing all this then go to a fertilizers distributor shop and buy your fertilizers fr your plants. When you are buying a fertilizers make sure the contents are listed on the bag of containers with their percentages written attach to them eg N:P:K 20:30:10
This means that the fertilizer contain 20% of nitrogen (N), nitrogen is good for leaf growth so it use in high proportions where large plant and lots of foliage are needed. P which is stand for Phosphate means the fertilizer contain 30% of it. Plants needs Phosphate for good health. 10% of K which is Potash it is the third chemical in the fertilizer description. Potash is necessary for good bloom production and healthy fruiting of the plant.
Also look for secondary nutrients and micro nutrients, secondary nutrients are needed in lower proportions than the basic three chemicals noted above, and help maintain the soil quality and contribute to healthy plants. Examples of secondary nutrients are Calcium, Magnesium and Sulfur. Also micro nutrients may or may not be considered it depends on your preference, Iron. Copper, Zinc, Manganese.
4. Calculate the amount of fertilizer you need. This can be done by measuring the area you plan to farm, then multiply the pounds per unit of area (X thousands of square foot, or acres) of the chemicals your soil analysis recommends.
5. Apply the fertilizer, there are various method in applying fertilizers it depends amount of fertilizer to be applied, the size of area it is to be applied on, and the size of the plants you are fertilizing. These methods are
- direct application by hand– this can be done by pouring the fertilizer in a bucket and waling around in the farm and dropping the fertilizer next to the plant.
- broadcast application– is good for bigger areas where you will use your hands to spread the fertilizer all over the farm, then you will then till the farm. This is method is done before planting.
- dilution application – In this method dilute the fertilizer with water and use the solution to water the plants, after watering it with the fertilizer solution, water it again with normal water to wash the fertilizer off the leaves of the plants. This method help the plants to absorb the nutrient easily
- using mechanical equipment– with this method you attach your tractor or machines with other farm implements that helps in applying fertilizers
6. Till the fertilizer into the soil around the plants to make it available to the plant’s roots, to accelerate absorption, and to prevent run-off in case of rain. You can do this using a hoe or a cultivator.
7. Now study your plants and watch them closely to see whether they are over fertilize or under fertilize.. With over fertilization you might notice the overproduction of foliage without fruit production but with under fertilization the plants becomes weak and undersized. Note that some disease may cause you plants to look under fertilize. When you see these anomalies then make sure you address them quick.
8. Repeat the application of fertilizer as needed to maintain good plant growth/ crop production. Using smaller amounts of fertilizer at frequent intervals may be more beneficial than applying single applications at a high rate, as some of the fertilizer can be lost by leaching or in run-off if heavy rains occur after it is applied.
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