Balanced Fertilization : Important for Desired Food Quality and Premium Price

Balanced fertilization improve the quality of the produce and attracts a premium price. Balanced fertilization can bring prosperity to farmers and to rural communities. On a national scale, higher agricultural production can reduce the need for imports, may increase export earnings and, by encouraging a thriving rural economy, help to stem the flow of young people seeking their fortune in major towns and cities. When farmers incomes rise, they spend their extra money on non agricultural items, bringing, on average, more than double the value to the national economy, So balanced use of fertilizers brings benefits to the nation as a whole.

In India, people often say that the food quality has deteriorated due to increasing use of fertilizers. The old taste of the local varieties is being compared with changed taste of the high yielding/hybrids of cereals, pulses, vegetable and fruits and innocently and ignorantly, fertiliser is being considered as the main culprit for this change, People saying this fail to understand that they can't have the same taste of wheat and rice in high yielding varieties as to local varieties, similarly of local varieties of tomato and other vegetable crops in hybrids of these crops. If one plants Dashehari mango, can he get the taste of Deshi Mango. So where is the fault of fertilizers, is it not the effect of high yielding varieties and hybrids which they are growing in their own interest and also in the interest of the nation to have higher yield and profits and also to meet increasing demand of food and other commodities? Balanced fertilization, undoubtedly, makes nutrient use more efficient Leading to increased proteins, vitamins and mineral contents and also the taste. But this should always be compared with the produce of the same variety grown under two different nutrient management practices i.e. with imbalanced balanced fertilization.

Balance fertilization Reduces the Risks and Bad Weather: Certain yields are reduced in "Bad years''. That fact has to be recognized. As important as yields are to profitable production, the opportunity for reducing risk in those unpredictable years is even more important to the farms financial health. Good fertilizer management strategies minimize the drastic consequences of 'bad' year effects. Adequate potassium helps in two ways: it offsets severe yield reduction caused by high stress conditions; and, it minimizes the cash flow and income problems which result with lower than anticipated yields. Better yet, adequate plant nutrients put everything in place for top yields in the years with excellent growing conditions. The important role of potassium in mitigating abiotic and biotic stress is well established. Unfortunately, in the entire history of Indian agriculture use of potash never exceeded 10% of the total nutrient supply through fertilizers with the result mining of soils, potassium reserves is continuing at an alarming rate. The estimated share of potassium in total nutrient mining in Indian agriculture is about 55%.

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