Five (5) Tips To Know Before Applying Fertilizer Or Manure

Fertilizer application is one of the measures to enhance reasonable yield desired by a farmer on his farm. It is an important practice as it boosts crop output. There are certain hints a farmer must know before commencing the application of fertilizer. These tips are:


1. Type of soil

The nature of the soil must be known and considered before applying fertilizer or manure to it. The decomposition of manure and leaching of nutrients is faster in sandy soil than in other types of soil. Sandy soils are very porous; they have larger pore space which makes them vulnerable to erosion and have free movement of water within them.

To apply manure on such soil, the manure is added for a short period, like a week or less, before planting on sandy soil. However, for loamy soils, it should be added 2-3 weeks before planting because it can retain nutrients unless light soil.

2. Amount of soluble nutrients in the fertilizer

Soluble nutrients like sodium, potassium, calcium, etc. are easily lost through leaching. Those manures or fertilizers that contain readily available and soluble nutrients should be applied at the time of cropping so that the crops will utilize the nutrients before they are lost. Those containing insoluble nutrients should be applied long before planting to allow sufficient supply.

3.  Topography of the land:

The topography of a land is the slope of the land. On a sloppy highland, erosion may be intensive and any manure or fertilizer applied stands the chance of being washed off. It is therefore not advisable to apply manure or fertilizer on hilly soil for a long time before planting on the soil.

4. Type of manure to be applied

The time to apply manure depends on the maturity of the manure. If it is fibrous type, it must be applied a long time before cropping to attain a greater degree of decay.

Also, fresh manure like animal droppings should not be applied to the crops freshly, instead, it should be dried before applying to the soil. However, fresh droppings can be applied to the soil 2 weeks before planting.

5. Time of application

The best time to apply fertilizer is early in the morning or late in the evening, these periods enhance complete utilization of the manure or fertilizer. Manure or fertilizer should not be applied in the afternoon because the nutrients can be easily vaporized, rendering it useless.

Also, when applying synthetic fertilizer e.g. the N.P.Ks, ensure they are not retained on the leaves of the crop because this type of fertilizer is hygroscopic, they absorb water from the leaves making them scorch or dry off in severe cases. Watering immediately after fertilizer application is the best way to curb this occurrence.

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