Agriculture Bytes | VOL.12, ISSUE 73 JULY-AUGUST 2012

Facts of Soil

An average soil sample is 45 per cent minerals, 25 per cent water, 25 per cent air, and 5 per cent organic matter. Different-sized mineral particles, such as sand, silt, and clay, give soil its texture. Soil is approximately 46 per cent oxygen, 28 per cent silicone, 8 per cent aluminum, 5 per cent iron, and 4 per cent calcium. (CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 77th Edition). The most important plant nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K). In one gram of soil,...

Agriculture Bytes | VOL.12, ISSUE 73 JULY-AUGUST 2012

Land Degradation

Land is said to be degraded when the soil suffers from decline or loss in its productive capacity. It is estimated that one-sixth of the world’s soils has already been degraded by water and wind erosion. This has two important consequences: a) the reduced ability of society to produce sufficient food due to loss of quality and depth of soils and b) pollution associated with erosion. Siltation of dams, pollution of water courses by agricultural chemicals and damage to property by soil laden runoff...

Agriculture Bytes | VOL. 13, ISSUE 80, SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2013

Organic farming: Vermicompost

Earthworms feed on decaying organic material and deposit castings—a natural fertiliser. The process by which these earthworms can be cultured or used in composting pits, crates, tanks, concrete rings or any containers is commonly known as vermicompost. About 2500 species of earthworms have been identified world over of which more than 500 species are found in India. Diversity of earthworm species varies with different types of soils and hence choosing a local or native species of earthworm for vermicomposting...

Agriculture Bytes | VOL. 9, ISSUE 56, September-October 2009

Climate Change: Crop Insurance

The frequency and severity of risks in agriculture particularly in last few decades have increased with climate variability and change. Rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, increase in the severity of droughts, floods and cyclones have caused huge losses in agricultural production and livestock population. The recent Planning Commission Report, titled ‘Risk Management in Agriculture’ has made recommendations to develop response mechanisms for primary (crop failures) and to some extent secondary...

Agriculture Bytes | Vol.9, Issue 52 January-February 2009

Land Degradation

Land is degraded when it suffers a decline in its capabilities or loses its productive capacity. Soil is the non renewable natural resource which supports life on earth. It is estimated that one-sixth of the world’s soils have already been degraded by water and wind erosion. This has two important consequences: the reduced ability of society to produce sufficient food due to loss of quality and depth of soils; and pollution associated with erosion.

Agriculture Bytes | Vol.9, Issue 52 January-February 2009

Genetic Use Restriction Technologies

GURT, also called terminator technology, is a biotech based strategy that prevents seeds from germinating in the next growing season unless treated chemically by the seed company prior to planting.