Crop production is a very lucrative enterprise in agriculture. It is a promising investment provided all the factors to aid its success are in good condition. Sowing and harvest are the two memorable moments in crop production; during any of these moments, the farmer is always full of joy and hope. Especially during harvesting, when the yield is very fulsome.
Repairing and maintaining the farmland are very important activities in crop production; as farming activities increase on a farmland, the quality of the soil depletes. In terms of nutrients and soil organisms, everything depreciates.
However, the soil nutrients and living organisms have to be maintained and repaired to facilitate increase in productivity. It is very important farmers know how to repair or replenish the soil when it depletes and how to maintain the soil to conserve its nutrients and organisms, thus, increasing productivity.
Fervent planting makes the soil to worn out; this is observed as the yield from the farm decreases as production continues, this is uneconomical for commercial crop production. There are ways you can replenish or repair a farmland to boost its productivity; these ways are:
• Planting legumes on the farm
One of the most important nutrient elements in crop production is the nitrogen. Nitrogen is essential for plant growth; with decrease in the nitrogen level of the soil, the yield from such farm is always going to be decreased.
The nitrogen level of any soil must be properly maintained to aid the productivity of such soil. To maintain and increase the nitrogen level of a soil, legumes should be planted. Naturally, legumes fix nitrogen into the soil when planted; this improves the nitrogen level of the soil. Examples of legumes are; groundnut, soybeans, cowpea, etc.; these crops can be inter-cropped with the main crop or planted solely on a farm, especially when a crop rotation system is practiced.
When included in crop rotation schedule, they are mostly used to replenish the soil nutrients and as well harvested for economic development, thus, serving two purposes.
• Addition of organic manure
Organic manures play a vital role in soil nutrients replenishment and amelioration. They are rich is essential nutrients for plant growth; they play great role in soil management and conservation. When applied to soil, they do not only increase the nutrient level of the soil; they also improve the soil structure and conserve the soil moisture, thus, proving a very conducive environment for plant growth.
Examples of organic manure are: farmyard manure, green manure and compost manure. They are best applied to the soil, freshly, two weeks before planting to aid good utilization of the nutrients as the nutrients are released to the soil during these period.
Also, they should not be dried, because drying manure leads to loss of the nutrients through the air. They should be added fresh and earlier before planting. Organic manures are cheap and very long acting in the soil.
• Shift cultivation
Shift cultivation is a system of farming where the production of crops is alternated with periods of fallow. This means that, after successful planting and harvesting of a crop on a particular farm; the farm is allowed to stay fallow for a long period, at least 5 years, before planting is done again on the land.
During this period of fallow, the soil regains its nutrients and vigor. It becomes rejuvenated as the essential nutrients are naturally fixed back to the soil. Planting on such soil is like planting on a virgin soil, your yield would be massive even without adding fertilizer.
These are ways you can repair and maintain your farmland to increase its productivity. The more you cultivate on a particular farmland the more the nutrient level depreciates; but with these measures, you can repair and maintain the nutrient composition of your soil, thus, having a reasonable output.
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