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Green Manure

Context:

The Punjab state agriculture department is promoting the cultivation of green manure these days as Punjab Agro is providing subsidy on the seed at the rate of Rs 2,000 per quintal, which costs Rs 6,300 per quintal without subsidy.

Relevance:

GS III- Agriculture

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is green manure?
  2. How does it benefit the soil and crop?

What is green manure?

  • Green manures are crops grown specifically for maintaining soil fertility and structure.
  • They are normally incorporated back into the soil, either directly, or after removal and composting.
  • There are three main varieties of green manure, including Dhaincha, Cowpea, Sunhemp.
  • Also some crops such as summer moong, mash pulses and guar act as green manure.
  • Green manure varieties are incorporated into the soil when the crop is 42-56 days old.
  • Pulses crops are incorporated in soil after plucking of beans after 60 days.
  • Green manure must be leguminous in nature, bear maximum nodules on its roots to fix large amount of atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.

How does it benefit the soil and crop?

  • It helps in enhancing the organic matter in the soil, meets the deficiency of the micronutrients and reduces the consumption of the inorganic fertilisers etc.
  • It is a good alternative to the organic manure and it conserves the nutrients, adds nitrogen and stabilises the soil structure.
  • It decomposes rapidly and liberates large quantities of carbon dioxide and weak acids, which act on insoluble soil minerals to release nutrients for plant growth.
  • Also, it contains 15 to 18 quintals of dry matter, which also contains phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, iron and manganese, per acre and 20 to 40kg per acre of nitrogen.

Source: Indian Express

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