The state agriculture department is promoting the cultivation of green manure these days as Punjab Agro is providing subsidy on the seed at the rate of Rs 2,000 per quintal, which costs Rs 6,300 per quintal without subsidy.
What is green manure?
- Green manures are crops grown specifically for maintaining soil fertility and structure. They are normally incorporated back into the soil, either directly, or after removal and composting.
- There are three main varieties of green manure, including Dhaincha, Cowpea, Sunhemp. Also some crops such as summer moong, mash pulses and guar act as green manure.
- Green manure varieties are incorporated into the soil when the crop is 42-56 days old. Pulses crops are incorporated in soil after plucking of beans after 60 days.
- Experts said that green manure must be leguminous in nature, bear maximum nodules on its roots to fix large amount of atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.
- Experts have also said that seeds of green manure should be easily available to the farmers at a low price.
Why is sowing of green manure important in Punjab?
- Punjab’s per hectare fertiliser consumption, which is around 244 kg, is one of the highest in the country and is also higher than the national average. Growing green manure can curtail this consumption to a large extent by 25 to 30% and can save huge input cost for the farmers. Green manuring helps improve soil health and enhance the productivity of the crops.
- Also, even the PH level of the soil in several parts of the state is more than 8.5 and 9 and green manure is beneficial to maintain it at the required level which is 7.