A whopping amount of 800 crore, that is being spent by the farmers on phosphatic fertilisers as repeated applications on various crops, can be saved, said experts.
According to the experts, phosphatic fertilisers are not required to be applied repeatedly to paddy, basmati or cotton crops if they have been already applied according to recommendations to preceding crops like wheat or others.
“Farmers are applying these fertilisers without need to paddy and other crops everytime because phosphatic fertilisers applied before the sowing of wheat or last-season crops are sufficient and can meet the need of succeeding crops. Only about 33% of the fertilisers is consumed by wheat and most part of it remains there in the soil which can be further utilised by next-season crops,” said Beant Singh, chief agriculture officer Muktsar.
But still, many farmers apply these fertilisers to paddy, basmati and cotton unnecessarily, that is only a waste of money.
“Some farmers apply superphosphate and some use diammonium phosphate (DAP) in the paddy crop again after applying it to wheat. They think it could lead to more yield,” said Sukhdeep Singh, a farmer from Surghuri village.
According to Sukhdeep, many farmers apply about 25 kg (half bag) of DAP (diammonium phosphate) or one bag of superphosphate to paddy crop only leading to financial loss, environmental pollution and sometimes shortage of it.
“I have not used any phosphate fertiliser for paddy after wheat for ten years, but the yield remains unaffected,” he said.
“There is no loss of yield of the crop, particularly paddy, if phosphatic fertilisers have already been applied to rabi crops or ‘hari dian faslan’, the crops that mature in March or April and are usually sown in October and November.
But, some farmers continue to apply these fertilisers and some other micro nutrients unnecessarily to the ‘ sauni dian faslan’ (the crops sown in May or June, mainly paddy, basmati or cotton),” said Jagjeet Singh Sekhon, chief agriculture officer, Faridkot.
“The farmers must get the soil tested to make economical use of fertilisers. They can find out deficiency of the shortage of a particular fertiliser or micronutrient in their fields, because requirement of fertilisers varies from field to field and areas depending upon the quality and type of the soil,” said Jagjeet Singh.
However, the rising prices of phosphatic fertilisers have led to a decline of their misuse. A bag of DAP now comes at 1,125, double the price a few years ago.
“We advise the farmers at least not to apply phosphatic fertilisers on 25% of their area to see the results themselves. About 800 crore is being spent on these fertilisers unnecessarily in Punjab that needs to be saved,” said Beant Singh.