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.
GS III: Agriculture
Dimensions of the Article:
- Key Findings on the Efficacy of Liquid Nano Urea
- 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.
- 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