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Food is essential for our growth, development and well-being.

Food is essential for our growth, development and well-being. Just like all living organisms, plants also require nutrients. These nutrients are provided by water, air, sunlight and soil.

Plants require some nutrients in large quantities called macronutrients while some in smaller quantities known as micronutrients. Gases such as carbon dioxide and oxygen are provided through the air while hydrogen is provided by water. Soil supplies thirteen additional micronutrients(Iron, copper, zinc, chlorine, boron, manganese) and macronutrients (calcium, magnesium, potassium, nitrogen, phosphorous).

Deficiency of these nutrients inhibits the growth of plants, affects their life cycle, processes and decreases their immunity against diseases. Soil’s fertility can be increased by providing nutrients in the form of manure and fertilizers.

Nutrient management refers to the efficient use of crops to improve productivity. It is necessary to balance the soil nutrient input with the crop requirement. If the nutrients are applied at the right time and in adequate quantities, optimum crop yield is obtained. If applied in huge amounts, it will harm the crop, and if applied in small quantities it limits the yield. The nutrients that are not utilized by the crops leach into groundwater or nearby surface water.

Integrated nutrient management is the combined application of chemical  fertilizers  and organic manures for crop production. Its main aim is the maintenance of soil fertility and the supply of plant nutrients in adequate amounts. It is ecologically, socially and economically viable.

Manure can be classified into two types based on the kind of biological material used: Compost and vermicompost Composting is carried out using farm wastes. Vermicompost is prepared using earthworms. Green manure : Some green plants are mulched into the soil while sowing seeds, which helps enrich the soil with nitrogen and phosphorous.

Nutrient management is important for the following facts:

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