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Fertilizers ......

Index

    Chemical fertilizers are an essential part of modern agriculture.These fertilizers are broadly of three types:

N - Nitrogen (urea)
P - Phosphorous - (various phosphates like DAP etc.)
K - Potassium (potassium sulphate etc.)
  • There are usually several combinations called complexes in the market. DAP contains both N and P. While buying a fertilizer, the farmers should calculate the price and the quantity of N, P and K in it. Please remember, as long as the quality is good, you should buy the largest quantity for the lowest price. Any complex which gives low quantities for high price should be avoided. The agricultural extension workers and farmers' societies can help you get reliable information.

  • Prices of nitrogenous fertilizers are controlled. The price of urea, the most common nitrogen fertiliser, is Rs.188.50 Ps per bag.

  • The prices of other fertilizers P&K, are not controlled. Therefore you will have to pay the price charged by the company or dealer. Please buy from reputed companies and reliable dealers to get a good price.

  • Farmers tend to overuse N- fertilizers like urea for the following reasons:

  • N -fertilizers like urea have price control and are subsidized. The low price makes it attractive.

  • N - fertilizers give luxuriant growth to the plant and make the crop look good.

  • However, excessive use of N is a waste, and is sometimes harmful. Farmers should use a good mix of N, P and K for proper yields and good crop. While buying fertilizers, depend on N P and K separately, because they tend to be cheaper than complexes.

  • Often crops need other micronutrients in small quantities. For example many paddy fields in our state are believed to be zinc-deficient. Unless such micronutrieats are applied, mere use of N P K in large quantities does not help the crop.

  • It is best to get the soil tested once in a few years to determine fertilizer requirements. Needs also vary with the type of crops. There are soil testing laboratories throughout the state, almost one in every district.

  • Once in every few crops soil building measures are also required. These can be of the following types:

  • Frequent rotation of crops, instead of raising the same crop every year.

  • Use of gypsum or other chemicals for a proper balance of soil.

  • Application of organic manure for building soil.

  • Raising certain special crops and mixing them in the soil through ploughing without harvesting, thus retaining the fertility in the soil.

  • Raising pulse crops for nitrogen building in the soil.

(Farmers should get good advice from progressive farmers, scientists or extension officials)

  • Sometimes, fertilizers are adulterated or diluted to dupe the farmers. There are rules to regulate and control the production and sale of fertilizers to protect the farmers as follows:
  • Fixation of prices - now applicable only to N fertilizers.

  • Registration, regulation and control of fertilizer dealers.

  • Regulation and control of manufacture, processing, mixing and labeling of fertilizers.

  • There are more than 16000 fertilizer dealers licensed in the State. The licences are issued by the officers of agriculture department. The dealer must:

    • Have a certificate issued by the government

    • Exhibit stocks and prices

    • Maintain records showing details of the fertilizers on sale manufacturer, lot number, time and place of production, contents, price etc.

  • The common malpractices by dealers are as follows:

    • Black marketing in case of N fertilizer like urea--selling above controlled price, in case of other fertilizers selling at prices above those permitted by the company.

    • Adulteration with useless substances to increase weights and cheat the farmers.

  • In case of doubt about the quality of fertilizer or complaint of black marketing, the following steps should be taken:

    • Farmers should complain to Mandal Agricultural Officers.

    • A sample of the fertilizer purchased can be sent to the testing laboratories at the following places:

- Rajendranagar (Rangareddy dist)
- Bapatla (Guntur dist)
- Tadepalligudem (West Godavari dist)
- Ananthapur
    • The local Agricultural Officer will help farmers in sending samples to the testing labs.

    • Agricultural Officers can inspect and draw samples and send them for tests at anytime with or without complaint.

    • If there is black marketing or if the samples show sub- standard material, the stocks can be seized and later confiscated.

    • The licences can be suspended and cancelled

    • The dealers can be prosecuted in a court.

  • Please buy fertilizers from only reputed local dealers. It is best to buy from farmers' societies, and reputed cooperatives. All other services like soil testing, advice on the required fertilizers and practices can be provided by such societies.

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