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Study on Liquid Nano Urea Efficacy

Context:

A two-year field experiment conducted by Punjab Agricultural University reveals a significant decrease in rice and wheat yields with Liquid Nano Urea compared to conventional nitrogen fertilizers. The findings underscore the importance of extended, long-term field evaluations spanning 5-7 years to determine nano urea’s equivalence to conventional urea and its sustainability in maintaining crop yields.

Relevance:

GS III: Agriculture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Findings on the Efficacy of Liquid Nano Urea
  2. What is liquid nano urea?

Key Findings on the Efficacy of Liquid Nano Urea

Decreased Crop Yields:

  • A notable reduction in crop yields was observed when using nano urea compared to traditional nitrogen fertilizers.
  • Specifically, there was a substantial 21.6% decrease in wheat yield and a 13% decrease in rice yield.

Grain Nitrogen Content Decline:

  • Application of nano urea resulted in a decline in grain nitrogen content for both rice and wheat crops.
  • A significant reduction of 17% and 11.5% was observed in the grain nitrogen content of rice and wheat, respectively.

Impact on Protein Levels:

  • Lowered grain nitrogen content suggests reduced protein levels in the harvested crops.
  • In a country like India, heavily reliant on rice and wheat as staple foods providing protein and carbohydrates, this reduction in protein content raises concerns about meeting the population’s protein energy requirements.

Cost Implications:

  • The cost of the nano urea formulation was found to be 10 times higher than that of granular urea.
  • This higher cost poses a financial burden on farmers, contributing to increased cultivation expenses.

Effect on Biomass and Root Volume:

  • Application of nano urea led to a reduction in above-ground biomass and root volume.
  • This decrease in root volume resulted in reduced root-surface area, impacting nutrient uptake processes by the roots.

What is liquid nano urea?

  • It is essentially urea in the form of a nanoparticle.
  • Urea is a chemical nitrogen fertiliser, white in colour, which artificially provides nitrogen, a major nutrient required by plants.
  • The product has been developed at IFFCO’s Nano Biotechnology Research Centre (NBRC) at Kalol.
Benefits of liquid nano urea:
  • This patented product is expected to not only substitute imported urea, but to also produce better results in farms.
  • Apart from reducing the country’s subsidy bill, it is aimed at reducing the unbalanced and indiscriminate use of conventional urea, increase crop productivity, and reduce soil, water, and air pollution.
  • While conventional urea has an efficiency of about 25 per cent, the efficiency of liquid nano urea can be as high as 85-90 per cent.
How does it work?
  • Conventional urea fails to have the desired impact on crops as it is often applied incorrectly, and the nitrogen in it is vaporised or lost as gas. A lot of nitrogen is also washed away during irrigation.
  • Liquid nano urea is sprayed directly on the leaves and gets absorbed by the plant.
  • Fertilisers in nano form provide a targeted supply of nutrients to crops, as they are absorbed by the stomata, pores found on the epidermis of leaves.
  • IFFCO advises that 2-4 ml of nano urea should be mixed a litre of water and sprayed on crop leaves at active growth stages.
  • Liquid nano urea has a shelf life of a year, and farmers need not be worried about “caking” when it comes in contact with moisture.

-Source: Down To Earth


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