Water Soluble Fertilizer - Boon to Farmer

Water Soluble Fertilizer - Boon to Farmer

The current age agriculture has evolved a lot from using Slash and Burn method to use of modern day complex fertilizers applied through fertigation. This shift in practices from conventional to precision agriculture happened because of growing demand for supply of food for rapidly growing population followed by demand for increase in productivity and income of farmers.

Fertigation in plants Depiction of Nutrient supply to plants

With Increased Industrialization, Post world War there has been a series of new launches of different types of bulk fertilizers like Urea, DAP, SSP, MOP etc, however, they had their own limitations like bulky packaging, Difficulty in transport, leaching out of nutrients when applied In soil. These all limitations have led to the modern era of agriculture with the development of new age fertilizers called Water Soluble Fertilizer (WSF) I.e. fertilizer which can be easily dissolved in water.

Procedure for using water soluble fertilizer

Water Soluble Fertilizers are fertilizers which are completely soluble in the water and are readily available for absorption by plants. They are easy to apply with minimum effort through Fertigation for all the crops and are the most essential aspect of new-age agricultural systems such as hydroponic, aquaponics and drip irrigation systems.

Hydroponic setup for growing vegetables

The Journey of Water Soluble Fertilizer In India

Although, Water soluble fertilizers (WSFs) were first introduced in India during the late 1990s usage was restricted to Maharashtra state until 2005. Initially, it was promoted for Horticulture cops like Banana, Papaya, Grapes, Oranges, Pomegranates etc. However in last two decades the farmers understood the real value of WSFs and now, these are being widely used in almost all crops across all geographies.

colleague of various fruit crops

Growth Driving Factor for WSF

Issues like water table depletion, scarcity of bulk fertilizer and labour unavailability in the rural area as result in lower yield per acre. A thorough analysis of injudicious farmers' water use has inspired agricultural scientists to develop new, more effective ways to use irrigation water. This led to genesis of drip irrigation models which has not only reduced the burden on poor farmer but also facilitated him to manage resources in a precise manner. This model backed up by central and state governments has helped reach the nook and corner of the country. Increased use of WSF in India is positively correlated with increased use of drip irrigation.

Fertigation and foliar spray of water soluble fertilizer

Why WSF’s is becoming first Choice of Farmers?

  • The Major advantage of using WSF’s are when applied through fertigation, water and nutrients are supplied easily to the active root zone which increases not only the absorption but also minimizes the leaching out of the nutrients.
  • Another advantage being it eliminates the additional cost of buying fertilizer in bulk, saving transportation costs and labour cost for application of the same in fields, a major hindrance with traditional fertilizers.
  • WSF also have low salt index, thus reducing the probability of plant tissue burn. Thus it becomes the ideal choice for both foliar and fertigation applications
  • Addressing Micronutrient Deficiency – The mono farming and Increased dependence on application of  Straight fertilizers like Urea, DAP and MOP has failed to address the balance nutrition requirement for plants. WSFs containing a mixture of Secondary and micronutrients meet the plant’s balanced nutritional needs during all the critical stages of the crop life cycle.
  • Fertigation with water-soluble fertilizer has not only proven to have reduced the fertilizer cost by 20-30 per cent but also supply nutrients uniformly to all the plants.
  • Since, WSF are supplied directly to root zone in available form in optimum quantity has Improved in yield and quality of the produce.
  • WSFs are compatible with pesticides and fungicides thus they can be mixed and applied together, increasing the efficacy and saving labour cost for spraying. 

In India, WSFs can be broadly classified into two categories:

1) 100% Water Soluble Complex Fertilizers – These are water soluble fertilizers with two or three primary plant nutrients in combination. This includes grades like calcium nitrate, boronated calcium nitrate, mono ammonium phosphate (12-61-00), mono potassium phosphate (00-52-34),potassium nitrate (13-00-45), NPK 19 all (19-19-19) and urea phosphate(17-44-00).

Water soluble complex fertilizer

2) 100% Water Soluble Mixture of Fertilizers - According to FCO guidelines (2015) soluble mixtures of fertilizers are the combination of nutrients that fall within one of the following categories a) Contains primary and secondary nutrients and/or b) contain Micronutrient combinations.

Water soluble mixture of fertilizers

Ever growing population and increasing demand for food have led farmers to switch over from sustainable farming to precise farming. With evolving era of technology, machines and innovative farming techniques, water soluble fertilizer supplied through fertigation was a life saver for several farmers in the world and India in particular. WSF has had a long and successful journey in terms of farmer acceptance due to its many advantages, which range from site-specific nutrient supply to a reduction in the hustle for fertiliser application to a reduction in cultivation costs to improving the yield and income.

 

Presented by 

Technical Team Agriplex India