Soil -A Major Natural resource in Watershed Management
The Consumer awareness on food safety is an important and significant issue both for consumers and Producers. Chemical pesticides are causing much of heath related problems. Consumers demand for safe food is calling for replacement of chemical pesticide with bio pesticides. Sustainable soil heath is the need for hour. The Organic agriculture is vital in improving soil health.
Role of Organics in Soil Management
1.Basics principle of Organics:
To have optimum and judicious utilization of the locally available natural resources basically the organics in a sustainable way .
2.Beauty of Organics :
It combines tradition, innovation and science thereby maintain the culture with an innovations and use of science , thereby improves the quality of life .
3.Basics of Organics:
Original type of Agriculture that has been practiced for thousands of years
4.What is required :
Let’s Visualize the present soil status . In most of the areas, the soil is in fact dead soil i.e soil fertility and its productivity is deteriorated. The inherent capacity of soil to supply nutrients to plants in adequate amounts and in suitable proportions is no more becoming possible. The use of chemical Pesticides , though have controlled the attack of harmful insect pest of crops but at the same time its uncontrolled use results in death of most of beneficial insects & microorganisms. As a result the soils in most of the areas are not capable enough to produce better crops .
The need of the hour is to convert the dead soil in to living soil . A living soil with all sorts of microorganism is much required. This way the soil sustainability to produce the crop in long run can be strengthened .The use of Chemical pesticides, of course helped in production but their sustainability is good only in short run profits.
Understanding the long term benefits and biasness for short term gains
We understand the fact that it is the soil fertility that governs the crop productivity. But we hardly are serious enough in this matter. We understand the long run concept but biased for short term gains . Not unknowingly, we postponed our current thought for future . By the time ,we start thinking in future , we will be having our soil devoid of any significant factor left for better production .We will left with nothing to think & discuss about soil.
Proper understanding and right execution:
We reap the rich benefits of cow as milch animal with its utmost care. Likewise, Reaping the rich benefits of soil in crop production with its utmost care through maintaining its fertility is must.
Let’s put life to our deadly soil , and here comes the concept of living soil
Just as we human beings thinks for basic amenities of life ,in the same way we human beings has to seriously think for basic environment of soil . We have to go for providing a natural basic environment for soil with all sorts of Microbial activity, fungi, nematodes and other tiny insects.
A rely on natural methods is required to provide a natural environment in and around the soil .Hence , a right execution of understanding the concept of living soil has to be carried forward.
After providing the basic environment , we have to understand the unwritten constitution of environment and to go for the fundamental duty for enrichment of soil. So, here comes the concept of Soil enrichment .
Soil enrichment should be done through several different natural methods, such as green Manuring, Composting, Vermi composting and Bio fertilizers. The production has to increased with increasing the sustainability of the soil. This two process will initiate and build up the soil properties like Pore space , Bulk density , Particle density , Water holding capacity(WHC),Cation exchange capacity(CAC), Nutrient availability etc . After completing the task of providing much needed quality to the soil ,We have to think for maintaining the same. So ,here comes the concept of Soil management & maintenance of its inherent properties.
The soil has to keep managed with its inherent Physical, biological and chemical properties i.e the Sustainability for soil fertility has to be critically analyzed.
For this to achieve, an interactions among st; Soil , Microorganisms and the standing crops is required .For maintaining the soil properties , an optimum and balance use of inputs has to be seriously considered. So, here comes the concept of Inter cropping, Mixed cropping and Crop rotation.
The mixed farming /Inter-cropping utilizes an optimum and balance use of the soil nutrients . In mixed cropping the seeds of the crops are mixed and then sown , whereas in inter-cropping separate line of crops are planted in between the rows of main crop. In both the methods, planting deep rooted crops with shallow rooted crops, the crop ensure the extraction the nutrients from different layers of the soil and hence maintain a balance uptake of nutrients . Planting more height crops(sun loving crops like okra) with less height crops(shade loving crops like turmeric) prevents the soil erosion along with optimum use of sun light . Mixed farming prevents the entry of any particular pest and presence of different crops helps each other to reduce the crop damage and hence reduces the dependency on pesticides .This way a reduction in use of pesticides will helps in maintaining the soil properties. Planting different crops will take up different types of nutrient from soil and obviously will not exhaust a particular nutrient from the soil .Likewise, with different crops in a field there will be varying demands for irrigation frequencies and soil will avail an opportunity to have evenly distribution of water .This way water balance in the soil and its pore spaces can be better maintained.
Crop rotations acts as an important tool in maintating the soil health. A legumes crop followed by non legume crop will help in atmospheric nitrogen fixation that can be utilized by succeeding non legumes crops.
This way the load of external supply of nitrogen can be reduced. The soil, hence get escape from adverse effects of excessive use of Nitrogenous fertilizers. This facilitates in maintating the soil inherent properties
c )Natural Pest Control:
Use of hand picking methods to destroy the eggs and larvae of insects pest along with creating barrier in its further reproduction by using pheromone traps , Light traps is much useful. Use of neem based product and Gomutr are effective steps. Likewise ,Use of Trap crops to discourage the insect pest , all of these prevented the soil from bearing the unwanted load of pesticides. This way, the soil is facilitated in maintaining the inherent properties of the soil .
The mulching is an effective method of preserving and hence maintaining the soil properties. By reducing the evaporation losses, the mulch helps in maintaining the soil moisture and hence maintains the soil properties.
In second part of this discussion , we will be having other factors that plays vital role in Sustainability of Soil- A Major Natural resource in Watershed Management .