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Plant Nutrients definition, classification importance in agriculture

Discovery of essential elements





Priestly (1800)
Theodore De saussure (1804)
Von Liebig (1844)
Carl sprengel (1839)
Carl sprengel (1839)
Carl sprengel (1839)
Carl sprengel (1839)
Sommer and Lipman (1926)
Sommer, Lipman and Mc Kenny(1931)
J.S. Hargue (1922)
Sommer, Lipman and Mc Kenny(1931)
Arnon and Stout (1939)
Brownell and wood (1957)
Ahamed and Evans (1959)
Warring ton (1923)
Broyer (1954)

Essential elements
Mostly from air and water :

Carbon (CO2) Hydrogen (H2O), Oxygen (O2 , H2O)

Mostly from soil solids :

Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium Calcium Magnesium

Micronutrients from soil solids :

Iron, Manganese, Boron, Zinc, Copper, Chlorine

Cobalt, Molybdenum, Nickel

Criteria of essentiality Arnon and stout 1939
In order to distinguish the elements which are essential from those which may be
taken by the plant but are not essential.
The plant must be unable to grow normally or complete its life cycle in the
absence of the particular element.
The element is specific and cannot be replaced by other.
The element plays a direct role in the metabolism of the plant.

Functions of N:
1. N is an essential constituent of proteins and is present in many other
compounds of great physiological importance in plant metabolism.
2. N is an integral part of chlorophyll, which is primary observer of light
energy needed for photosynthesis.
3. N also imparts vigorous vegetative growth and dark green colour to plants.
4. It produces early green and delay in maturity to plants
5. It governs the utilization of K, P and other elements
Deficiency of N:
1. Loss of normal dark green colour due to insufficient chlorophyll synthesis.
2. Formation of pale yellowish leaves and premature defoliation.
3. Scorching of leaves starting from the tip.
4. Formation of slender stalks and branches.
5. Slow growth and poor development resulting in stunted growth.
6. Low yields.
Excess of Nitrogen (Toxicity)
When the N is present in excess the following conditions will be observed.
1. The re will be too much vegetative growth of the crop resulting in lodging.
2. The plants may be highly susceptible to pests and diseases.
3. The maturity will be delayed considerably.
4. The plants will be abnormally dark green in colour.
Forms of soil nitrogen
Inorganic forms and Organic forms of soil N
1. Ammonium NH4+ Amide form (NH2)
2. Plant absorbs N as both NH4, , NO3

3. Elemental N (No)
N transformations in soils
N Mineralisation
Conversation of urea

N Immobilization.
N factor
Organic fixation
Elemental N loss.
Nitrogen cycle.
The element was discovered in 1669 and was found to be widely distributed in the lithosphere as
phosphates. It occurs in most plants in concentrations between 0.1 and 0.4%. Plants absorb either
H2PO4 - or H PO4 2- ortho PO4 ions . Absorption of H2PO4- is greatest at low pH values, whereas
uptake of HPO42- is greater at higher values of soil pH, plant uptake of HPO4- is much slower than
a. Mineral deposit: Apatite.
b. Soil organic matter
Loss of P in soil
Loss by crop removal
Loss by grazing animal
Loss by erosion
Functions of Phosphorus
It has a greater role in energy storage and transfer.
It is a constituent of nucleic acid, phytin and phospholipids
It is essential for cell division and development
P compounds act as energy currency within plants. The most common P energy currency is
that found in ADP and ATP. Transfer of the energy rich PO4
molecules from
ATP to energy requiring substances in the plant is known as Phosphorylation
It stimulates early root development and growth and there by helps to establish

seedlings quickly.
It gives rapid and vigorous start to plants strengthens straw and decreases lodging
It is essential for seed formation because larger quantities of P are found in seed
and fruit-phytic acid is the principle storage from of phosphorus in seeds.
It increases the activity of Rhizobia and increases the formation of root nodules.
Deficiency symptoms
Stunted growth of both shoots and roots.
Spindled or twisted growth of plants.
Premature defoliation of the older leaves.
Poor formation of lateral shoots and lateral buds which remain dormant.
Flowering is reduced and opening of buds and leaves delayed.
The leaves will turn to purple or bronze colour.
The leaves will have bluish green colour.
Leaf margins will show brown scorching.
Disease resistance is found to be decreased.
Toxicity of phosphorus
Profuse root growth i.e. laterals and fibrous root lets.
It develops normal growth having green leaf colour.
It may cause in some cases trace elements deficiencies i.e. Zinc and Iron.
1. Mineral deposits
2. Industrial by-products and
3. Synthetic potassium salts.
Losses of K
1. Loss by crop removal
2. Loss due to grazing animals
3. Loss by way of leaching and

4. Loss due to erosion

Functions of potassium
1. It plays a vital role in the uptake of other nutrient elements such as Ca, N and P.
2. It essential for photosynthesis, development of chlorophyll.
3. It is necessary for the formation of protein. It plays a role in the reduction of
nitrate to ammonia and finally to amino acids.
4. It improves vigour of the plants to enable to with stand adverse climatic
5. Reduces lodging in cereal crops.
6. It regulates stomata opening and closing.
7. It regulates the movement of ions with in the plants and hence it is called traffic
policeman of the plant.
8. Activation of enzymes, enzyme synthesis, and peptide bonds synthesis.
9. It regulates H2O mechanism of plants.
Deficiency symptoms
1. Plant becomes stunted in growth with shortening of internodes and busy in
2. K deficiency in plants show reduced rate of photosynthesis.
3. Chlorosis, yellowing of leafs and leaf scorch in case of fruits trees.
Forms of potassium in soils
a. Insoluble K.
b. Exchangeable K.
c. Solution K.
d. Lattice or increases reserve K.
Potassium equilibrium
The K equilibrium concept was proposed by Bray and DeTurk (1938). The problem of
quantifying the available K in soil or deficiency of K in soil is difficult. This equilibrium of K is
only on orbitary distinction and the boundary between these different forms is diffused.
Potassium fixation

K fixation refers to the phenomenon of the conversion of water soluble form/ available form of K
into an insoluble / unavailable form. It is in soils governed by:
1. Type of clay minerals
2. Soil moisture conditions
3. Soil pH
4. Base saturation %
5. Organic matter content
Available K in soils:
1. Readily available (exchangeable and water soluble K)
2. Slowly available (fixed K)
3. Unavailable (lattice mineral K).
Luxury consumption of K
Luxury consumption is defined as the nutrient concentration range in which added nutrient will
not increases yield but can increases nutrient concentration. The indiscriminate absorption of K
by the crops over and above their requirements is called as luxury /excessive consumption of K.
It results in and accumulation of the element in plant without a corresponding increases in
growth leading to inefficient and uneconomical use of that particular element.
Factors affecting uptake of K by plants
Soil moisture
Soil CEC
Interaction of exchangeable cations
Soil pH
Soil aeration
The calcium content of the soil ranges from 0.5 -5.0 %. It found in soil in three dominant forms.
1. Insoluble Ca
2. Exchangeable Ca
3. Soluble Ca.
Sources of soil calcium

Earth crust contains about 3.64%. The important source of calcium is anorthite (Ca Al2 Si2O3).
Generally arid region soils contain high amount of Ca regard less of texture, low rainfall and
little leaching. In arid and semiarid regions Calcite (CaCo3)Dolomite (Ca Mg(Co3)2),Gypsum
(CaSo4, 2H2O) are the main sources of Ca.In humid regions, even the soils formed from lime
stone are frequently acid in the surface layers because of the removal of Ca and other cations by
Functions of calcium
It is a constituent of cell wall. As such it increases the stiffness of straw/stem in plants.
Promotes early root development and growth
It is immobile in plants and hence the deficiency is observed in younger leaves.
It is a constituent of cell wall and increases in stiffness of plants.
Helps to translocate the sugar in the plants.
It involves chromosome stability and that it is a constituent of chromosome structure.
Affects translocation of CHO in plants.
Encourages seed production.
Activates enzyme phosphate and kinease.
Accumulated protein during respiration by mitochondria and it increases their protein
It involved in cellular organization by regulating the permeability of cell membranes.
Deficiency of calcium
Leaves with irregular margin, often shown brown scorching or spotting effects.
Thin chlorotic marginal bands in leaves will appear.
Root may become short, stubby and brown.
Causes acidity of soil.
Cell may become rigid and brittle.
Young leaves of cereals remain folded.
Factors affecting Ca2+ availability
oTotal Ca supply: Sandy acidic soils with low CEC have less Ca.
oSoil pH: In acid soils Ca is not readily available to plants
oHigh Ca2+ saturation indicates favourable pH for plant growth and microbial activity.

oType of soil colloid: 2: 1 type requires higher Ca saturation than 1: 1 type.

oRatio of Ca2+ to other cations: Increasing the Al concentration in soil solution reduces Ca

uptake in plant.
Magnesium occurs as carbonates fairly similar to that of Ca and held in soil as exchangeable Mg.
It occurs in soil as mineral Mg in the form of CO3, chlorides, sulphates, etc. The primary
minerals of mg include mica, hornblende, dolomite, serpentine and the secondary minerals are
chlorite, vermiculite, etc.
Losses of Mg
It is leached by soils and it depends on the Mg content, rate of weathering, intensity of
weathering and uptake of plants.
Availability of Mg in the soil
1. It occurs predominately as exchangeable and solution Mg.
2. Coarse text soil exhibits the greatest potential for Mg deficiencies.
3. Competition bet NH4 + and Mg2+ also lower the Mg2+ availability to crops.
Functions of Mg
oMg is an important component of chlorophyll in plants helps to maintain dark green colour in
oImports dark green colour in leaves.
oIt serves as structural components in ribosomes and stabilizing the ribosome configuration for
protein synthesis.
oIt involves numbers of physiological and biochemical function.
oIt activates phosphorylating enzymes in CHO metabolism.
oIt acts as a cofactor for certain enzymes other than Po4 transfer enzyme.
oIncreases in the oil content of oil seed crops.
oIt regulates the uptake of other nutrients.
Deficiency of Magnesium
1. Appearance of chlorosis in between veins
2. Stiff brittle, twisted leaves, wrinkled and distortion of leaves.

3. In cotton lower leaves may develop a reddish purple finally necrotic spots (Reddening of
4. In brassica, Chlorosis with interregnal mottling uniformly distributed in older leaves while the
other vascular tissues remain green. This condition is called Puckering.
5. It causes Grey speck in oats, marsh spot in peas speckled yellow of sugar beet.
Forms of Mg in soil
Mg in primary and secondary minerals.
Exchangeable Mg
Solution Mg
Sulphur is an anionic secondary nutrient. Lithosphere contains 0.06 % S and the soil contains on
an average 0.05 % S. The available S in Indian soils was reported to be 5-100 ppm. More than
70-90% of soil sulphur is in the organic form (as that of N) in combination with C and N. The
inorganic sulphur (10-30%) is present as sulphates/sulphides form. Sulphates can be consumed
by the plants directly. The optimum ratio of C: N: S ratio is found to be 120:10:1 and the soil has
a stabilized ratio of 100: 10:1.
Three major sources of S in soil include
Soil minerals: Sulphides of Fe, Ni, Cu, etc.
Sulphur gases in atmosphere- SO2, H2S, and Carbonyl sulfide.
Organically bound sulphur - ester sulphates , Carbon bonded S fractions
Plants absorb S as SO3 -- and SO4-- anions.
The soluble sulphates contribute largely to the readily available form of sulphur to plants.
Functions of sulphur
1. It essential for synthesis of sulphur containing amino acids cystine, cysteine and methionine.
2. It is an essential constituent for synthesis of other metabolites including Coenzyme A., Biotin,
and Thiamin of vitamin B and Glutothione.
3. It necessary for chlorophyll formation.
4. It is a vital part of ferredoxins i.e. Fe S protein occurring in the chloroplasts.
5. Responsible for the characteristic smell or odor and taste of mustard, onion and Garlic
(Punchy smell)

6. Enhances the oil formation in crops

7. Increasing root growth.
8. Stimulate seed formation.
9. Promote nodule formation Leguminous species.
Deficiency of sulphur
Interveinal chlorosis appear in young leaves first and then spread to older leaves.
The stem and petiole become brittle
Poor seed set in rapeseed.
Sclerenchyma, xyllum and collenchymatous tissues formation get increased
Factors affecting transformation of Sulphur
Microbial activity
Soil properties
Effect of Rhizosphere
Soil moisture
Micronutrient elements are found in the host of naturally occurring minerals in soils. Hence, the
distribution of micronutrients in soils depends on the composition of rocks from which the soils
have originated. They are present as part of mineral complexes or in the exchangeable complex
or in solution.
The list of micronutrients includes the non metals (Bo, Cl), light metals (Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn) as
well as heavy metal (Mo). Based on the form in which the micronutrient elements are present in
soil, they are classified as
1. Lithopile elements: elements present in silicate form
2. Calcopile elements: elements present in sulphate & sulphide form
3. Sideraphile elements: elements present in metal ore form
Zinc is found to exist as oxides and carbonates in the soil as its mineral forms. The average Zn
content of the soils is 10-330 ppm and that of the available Zn is <1.0 to 50 ppm. It behaves

differently in different soil pH conditions viz., behaving both as an acid and alkali metals and
hence it is said to be amphoteric in nature. It also as a cation as well as anion and hence its
behaviour in soil is unpredictable.
Zn is present in soil in divalent form and released as Zn 2+ ion during weathering. It is a faster
moving element in the soil profile in all directions in nature. The Zn containing soil minerals are
Sphalerite (oxide) and smithsonite (carbonate).
Functions of Zn
It is a constituent of L-lactate dehydrogenase, triosephosphate dehydrogenase and carbonic
anhydrase in which Zn is bound in ionic form and those of D- 2 + hydroxyaacid dehydrogenase
and D-lactate dehydrogenase in which Zn is bound to flavin, forming the prothetic group of the
It is required for the photosynthetic and N metabolism of plants
It helps in reproduction of plants.
Stabilise ribosomal fractions.
It is essential for the synthesis of Tyyptophan, a precursor of IAA.
Influence the activity of dehydrogenase enzymes
Involves in auxin metabolism like tryptophan synthetase.
Deficiency of Zn
Retardation of growth of plants due to it requirement to produce the growth
hormone IAA (auxin).
Light yellow or white areas bet the veins of leaves particularly older leaves.
Death of tissue, discolored and mal formation of fruits
Reduced growth hormone production.
Common symptoms in plants:
1. Cotton : White bud (or) little leaf
2. Citrus : Mottle leaf
3. Potato : Fern leaf
4. Fruit trees : Rosette
5. Paddy : Khaira

a. Soil application of ZnSO4 @25-50 kg/ha or Zinc chelates (Zn-EDTA, etc) @ 5kg /ha.
b. Foliar spray of 0.2 to 0.5% ZnSO4 twice or thrice.
c. Root dipping of seedlings (eg. Rice) in 1-2 % ZnO suspension.
d. Use of zincated fertilizers viz., zincated PO4, zinc ammonium phosphate, etc.
Factors affecting Zn availability
1. Soil pH: Available Zn decrease with increase in soil pH. Zn def occur in neutral
and calcareous soil.
2. Organic matter: it promotes the availability of Zn.
3. CaCO3: More common in calcareous soils due to it adsorption.
4. Soil P level: Zn deficiency in high PO4 soils have been observed frequently.
5. Clay minerals /type of other accompanying cations
Fe is one of the commonest elements in the earth crust and also in soils. It absorbed by plants
roots as Fe2+, Fe3+ and chelated irons. Sufficiency range of Fe in plant tissue is 50-250 ppm.
Sources of iron
Earth crust contains about 5%
Primary and secondary minerals such as
1. Olivine, 2. Pyrite 3. Hematite, 4. Goethite, 5. Magrulite and 6. limestone
Functions of Iron
It helps in the synthesis of chlorophyll.
It acts as a catalyst in the production of chlorophyll
It is structural component of porphyrin molecules like cytochromes, hematin, hemes,
ferrichrome and hemoglobin. These substances are involved in oxidation-reduction reactors in
respiration and photosynthesis.
It acts as a co - factor for many of the enzyme.
It is essential for protein formation.
Constituent of enzyme systems eg. cytochrome oxidase, catalase, nitrogenase reaction in

Component of flavoprotein like FMN ( Flavin mono nucleotides) and FAD (Flavin
Adenosine Dinudeotide).
Deficiency symptoms
Deficiency symptoms occur in younger leaves since Fe is immobile element in plant.
It occurs in soils of calcareous or alkaline soils and poorly drained water logged soils.
Younger leaves develop interveinal chlorosis with progresses rapidly over the entire leaf.
Severe cases entire leaf turns yellow colour.
Forms of iron
Fe occurs in four major forms in soil.
1. Primary and secondary minerals of Al & Fe
2. Adsorbed Fe
3. Organic Fe and
4. Solution Fe.
Factors affecting the availability of iron in soils
1. Soil pH
2. Presence of carbonate, bicarbonate, phosphate, Ca & K in soils.
3. Organic matter content of soils
4. Soil texture
5. Water logging or Submergence
6. Ionic imbalance in soils
Correction of Fe deficiency
Correction of soil pH and decreasing the carbonate content by the use of acidifying materials.
Application of Fe compounds to soil
Foliar spray of Fe compounds.
Manganese has been found to exist in soils as water soluble, exchangeable and insoluble oxides
of Mn and these forms of Mn are in equilibrium in soils. The average Mn content of Indian soils
is 300-1600 ppm and the available Mn content is traces to 200 ppm. The Mn equilibrium in soils
in represented as follows:
Divalent Mn prevalent in acid soils

Trivalent Mn prevalent in near neutral soils

Tetravalent Mn prevalent in soils of high pH.
Functions of Mn
It helps/supports the movement of Fe in plants.
It helps in the chlorophyll formation
Involves in photosynthesis, particularly in evolution of O2.
Involves in oxidation - reduction - process in decarboxylation and hydrolysis reactions.
Involves in enzyme systems and various enzyme reactions in the citric acid cycle.
It is a substitute for Mg2+ in many of the phosphorylating and group transfer reactions.
Deficiency of Mn
Immobile in plant and def. starts in the younger leaves.
Interveinal chlorosis occur
Oats - Gray specks / streaks
Peas - Marsh spot
Sugarbeet - speckled yellow
Sugar cane - Pahala blight - midrib pale green and white.
Deficiency increases aspartic acid and decreases glutamine
Increases respiration
Accumulation N compounds mainly as amines.
Factors affecting Mn availability
1. Soil pH: Lower soil pH (<5.5) favours more of water soluble and exchangeable Mn in soils
due to the increased solubility of minerals of Mn. Hence, the problem of Mn deficiency is more
severe in alkaline soils.
2. Effect of CaCO3
Presence of higher CaCO3 in soils result in lower availability of Mn in soils due to adsorption
/precipitation reactions and hence calcareous soils will always show Mn deficiency.
3. Excessive H2O and poor aeration
H2O logging will reduce O2 and lower redox potential will increase soluble Mn . Poor aeration

increases Mn availability.

4. Soil Organic matter

Increases solution and exchangeable Mn.
5. Climatic factor
Increases soil temp during the growing season improves Mn uptake, because of greater plant
growth and root activity.
6. Texture and type of clay minerals: Fine textured soils have higher quantity of exchangeable
and active Mn than coarse texture soils.
Correction of Mn deficiency
Soil application: Inorgnic salts like MnSO4 or MnO2 @ 30-50 kg /ha to soils as basal application.
Foliar spray: Spraying of 0.5 -1.0 % solution of MnSO4 to plants grown in Mn deficient soils.
This is more effective in calcareous and alkaline soils.
Copper is absorbed by plants as cupric ion Cu2+. Normal concentration in plants 5- 20 ppm.
Sources of copper
1. Igneous rock 10-100 ppm of Cu.
2. Sedimentary rock 4 - 45 ppm
3. Primary minerals contains
1. Chalcopyrite
2. Chalcocite
3. Bornite
4. Sedimentary minerals
Oxides, Carbonates, Silicates, Sulphates and Chlorides.
Functions of copper
1. It is the constituent part of several enzymes participating in the electron transport form
chlorophyll to NADP or water to chlorophyll during photosynthesis.
2. Essential for the synthesis of vitamin A.
3. It act as a catalyst in respiration
4. Act as an electron carrier in enzyme which brings about oxidation reduction reactions in
5. It is a co-factor of terminal aerobic respiration.
Deficiency of copper

1. Chlorosis, withering and distortion of terminal buds.

2. Dead tissue appears along the tips and edges of leaves.
3. Multiple bud formation in the leaf axils and mal formation of leaves.
4. Guava - cracking of fruits and terminal bud die back.
5. Heavy liming, excessive application of N and P - induces Cu deficiency
Forms of soil copper
1. Soil solution - ionic and completed
2. Cation exchange sites of clay and organic matter
3. Occluded and co-precipitated in soil oxide material.
4. Specific adsorption sites
5. Inorganic matter and living organisms
Factors affecting Cu availability
1. Soil texture
2. pH
3. CEC
4. Org matter content
5. Hydrous oxides
Correction of Copper deficiency
Soil application: Application of Cu in the form of CuSO4 or copper ammonium phosphate or
copper frits to soil @ 10-50 kg/ha can be practiced.
Foliar application of soluble salts of Cu viz. CuSO4 or Cu- chelates @ 0.25 - 0.5 % solution
neutralized with lime.
Boron occurs in most soils in extremely small quantities, ranging generally from about 20-200
Sources of boron
The primary source of boron in soils is the silicate mineral of boron called tourmaline which in
quite insoluble and resistant to weathering. The total boron content of Indian soils ranged form 7
to 630 pm and that of the available boron traces to 12 ppm.
Functions of boron
1. It concerned with Ca metabolism of plants. Ca uptake and its utilization in plants

2. New cell development in meristematic tissue.

3. It promotes growth hormones and starch formation.
4. Pollination, fruit / seed set.
5. Translocation of sugars, starches, N and P
6. Synthesis of proteins and amino acids.
7. Nodule formation in legumes
8. Regulation of CHO metabolism.
Deficiencies of Boron
1. Since it is immobile, deficiency Symptoms occurs in terminal bud growth.
2. Flowering and fruit development are restricted.
3. Sterility and mal formation of reproductive organs.
4. Thickened and curled leaves.
5. Discoloration, cracking or rotting of fruit, tubers or roots
Apple - Internal cracking.
Break down of internal tissue in root crops given rise to darkened areas referred to Brown
heart / black heart : cotton - weeping disease.
Correction of Boron deficiency
Soil application
Application of borax, calcium borate, solubar or boron frits @ 10-25 kg/ha.
Foliar spray
Boric acid or borax solutions can be sprayed on plants @ 0.1-0.25 % to correct the deficiency. In
irrigation water contains about 0.5 ppm of boron and it by itself act as a source of boron to crop
Non metal anion absorbed as molybdate (MoO4). It is weak acid and form complex polyanions
such as phosphomdybdate. Plant contains <1 ppm Mo.
Sources of Mo
The soil contains Mo in
1. mineral form
2. salt and organic complexes
3. exchangeable Mo and

4. Water soluble /solution form.

Functions of Mo
1. Essential component of enzyme NO3 reductase, which catalyses NO3 to NO2.
2. Structural component of nitrogenase enzyme - involved in N fixation.
3. Essential for absorption and translocation of Fe in plants.
Deficiency of Mo
1. Inhibits flower formation
2. Imbalances various Amino Acids in plants.
3. Reduce activity of symbiotic and non symbiotic N fixation.
4. Cauliflower - Whip tail.
Forms of Mo
Earth crust 2 ppm: and range from 0.2 to 5 ppm.
1. Non exchangeable Mo in primary and secondary minerals.
2. Exchangeable Mo held by Fe and Al oxides.
3. Organically bound Mo.
4. Mo in soil solution .Mo in solution occurs mainly as Mo4
Factors affecting Mo availability
1. Soil pH and liming
Mo availability increases with increasing pH. Liming to correct acidity will increase Mo
availability. Mo avail decrease with application of acid forming fertilizers like (NH4)2 SO4.
2. Reaction with Fe and Al
Strongly absorbed by Fe and Al oxides.
3. Interaction with other nutrients
Mg and P enhance Mo absorption by plants. High level SO 4 decrease Mo absorption by plants.
Cu and Mn decrease Mo uptake by plants.NO 3-N encourages Mo uptake. NH4-N reduces Mo
uptake. The beneficial effect of NO3 nutrition is related to the release of OH ions.
Chloride occurs in sol as chloride salts. All chloride salts are highly soluble and mobile in the
soil very freely. The ionic form of chloride (Cl-) is absorbed by plants. Soil gets chloride from the
parent materials or from the sea by wind and rain. Normal concentration in plant is about 0.2-2.0

Functions of chloride
1. Essential for biochemical reactions Osmotic cation neutralization reactors.
2. Act as a counter ion during rapid K fluxes.
3. Involves in the evaluation of O2 in photosynthesis.
4. It creates disease resistant by increase osmotic pressure in cell sap.
Deficiency of Cl
1. Partial wilting and loss of turgidity.
2. Necrosis, leaf bronzing and reduction in growth.
Sources of Cl
i. Igneous and metamorphic rocks
ii. Soluble salts such as NaCl, CaCl2 and MgCl2.
iii. Earth crust 0.02-0.05%.
It is mobile with in the plant it can be rapidly recycled through soil systems.
Normal concentration of Co in dry matter - 0.02 - 0.5 ppm.
Functions of cobalt
Essential for microorganisms that fixes atmospheric nitrogen.
Improves growth, transpiration and photosynthesis.
Low concentration of Vanadium is beneficial for growth of microorganisms.
Vanadium acts as substitute for Mo in N fixation by Rhizobia.
Involves in Biological - oxidation reduction reactions.
Nickel content in pt 0.1 - 1.0 ppm dry matter basis.
Taken by plant as Ni


High levels of Ni may induce Zn or Fe deficiency

1. Ni - metal component of urease that catalyse reaction.
2. Essential for N metabolism.
3. Stimulates nodule weight and yield of crops.

Sources of Na
Earth crust (2.8%) and minerals.
1. Essential for maintaining turgor and growth of Plants.
2. Helps oxalic acid accumulation in Plants.
3. Helps in stomatal opening and regulate NO3- reductase activity.
Forms of Na in soil
Solution, exchangeable Na and in silicate minerals.
In arid and semi arid soils Na exist in silicates, NaCl, Na2SO4
Na salts accumulating in poorly drained soils of wild and semi arid regions and causes
soil salinity and sodicity.
Effect of Na on soil properties
Dispersing action of Na+ on clay and organic matter reduces soil aggregation,
permeability to air and H2O, germination and root growth.
Functions of silica
1. Contributes structure of cell wall.
2. Contributes drought tolerance to crops.
3. Regulates photosynthesis.
4. De activates invertase enzyme activity in sugarcane resulting grater sucrose production. Larger
amounts of Si are accumulated in intracellular deposits known as plant opals.
5. Increased available P.
6. Responsible for plant disease resistance.
Sources of silicon
Earth crust: 27.6% most abundant element in earth crust. In soils it accounts 23-35%. Its major
source from primary and secondary minerals and quartz.Quartz is the most common mineral in
soil, comprising 90-95% of all sand and silt tractions.
Factors affecting Si availability
1. High H2O content encourages Si uptake
2. Heavy application of N decreases Si concentration
3. Liming decreases Si uptake in plants.

4. Acidification increases Si uptake

5. Fe and Al oxides influence Uptake of Si by plants.
Si fertilizers
1. Calcium silicate slag (CaAl2 Si2O4) - 18.21% Si
2. Calcium silicate (CaSiO3) - 31% Si.
3. Sodium metasilicate NaSiO3 - 23% Si.

Lecture II
Manures- Types-composition and value - sources
Manures can be defined as any materials which are organic in origin, bulky or concentrated in
nature, containing plant nutrients in relatively low concentration. They are derived from plant,
animal and human residues. Manures may be called as low analysis organic fertilizers.
Manures may be classified as
The term bulky organic manure generally includes those materials of natural
origin, organic in composition having greater volume per unit content of nutrients and
being used to increase the nutrient status of the soils as well as organic matter
content of soils. They are obtained mainly as natural products. The materials included
in this group are farmyard manure, compost, sewage sludge and green manure. Of
these FYM, compost and green manure are the most important and widely used bulky
organic manures.

Farm yard manure

Consists of decomposed or partly decomposed mixture of dung, urine and the litter. It is
a mixture of vegetative refuse from the farm and it mostly consist of the nutrient elements
required by the plant.
It is very good source of manure to repliance the deficient of nutrient.
Composition of dung
75 80 % is made up of moisture.
20 25% is insoluble materials of fodder or food. Chief components of insoluble
materials cd be woody fibre, starch, fats, bile pigments, mucus. In addition to this it also may
contain skatole and Indole by product derived from the digestion of food material. It also
contain Fatty acids, Ca, Mg PO4, Alkaline soap etc.
Nutrient content of dung %
Organic Mater
Mineral matter







Lime (CaO)






Poultry manure is very rich in nutrient content compare to others. Next to poultry sheep
manure is fairly rich, cattle and buffaloe dung is poor in nutrient content.
It contains 96% H2O and A% is made up of dissolved substances primarily urea derived
from the protein catabolism in the blood and partly from leucine and tyrosine as a result of
tryptic digestion in the intestine. It is also derived as a by product of disintegration in the
various organs of the animal body. Other was to subs in urine in addition to urea are uric and
Hyppuric acid.
Inorganic salts

a. sodium chloride 1%.


Sodium hydrogen Po4


Ca and Mg Po4


K and Na So4

in varying proportions.

Nearly 50% of N content of FYM comes form Urine.

Composition of Urine
Organic Mater
Mineral matter
Lime (CaO)






It is used as a bedding material in foreign country. In Indian condition it refuse to rejects
and waste materials. It includes straws of cereals, stalks of sunflower etc. If is used to conserve
the loss of NH3 from urine. If urine is treated with soil (or) soil is soaked with urine (or) matured
straws of sorghum, Cumbu, there is a wide range of C : N ratio.

Eg. Sorghum 50 : 1
Factors affecting the composition of manures
1. Kind of animal
2. Age and condition of animal
3. Kind of food or fodder.
4. Litter use and its composition.
5. Handling and storage
6. Products derived from the animal.
Young animals poor in nutrient.
Old animal rich in nutrient.
More food rice in nutrient.
50% of the dung is used as fuel. Urine is not properly utilized.
Milch animals and laying hens poor in nutrient.
Sick animal- more nutrient, working animal poor in nutrient.
Amount of manures obtained from different animals
Tan Manure / year / 1000 1b of body wt.
Weight of excrement
Horse :





Sheep :






Heidev in Germany arrived a formula to derive the total amount of manure

Total amount of manure = Dry matter in fed + Dry matter used as bedding


where 3 = 2/3 of dry matter is lossed during digestion I is body and 1/3 is excreted in
the from of dung, urine.
4 = Final manure will have 75% of moisture. Remaining 25% have manure i.e.
dry matter.
Characteristics of Farm yard manure

a. Moisture :
75% is made up of moisture. In general moisture content is 50-80% and dry matter 2050%
b. It is low analysis manure :
one lone of FYM will supply 5 kg N, 2.5 kg P2O5 , 5 kg K2O.
c. Residual effect of FYM
In FYM nutrients are present in complex form as proteins or microbial tissues. During
the process of decomposition the microbial tissues are decomposed and farm a source of N. In
well decomposed FYM about N, K, 1/6 P readily available to first crop.
Remaining part will left in the soil for the succeeding crops. In well decomposed FYM
the C:N ration is 12-15 : Partly decomposed FYM the C:N ration is 20 :. IN such case the
residual effect is more for 2 or 3 succeeding crops.
d. Nutrient is unbalanced.
FYM is poor in NPK content is particularly P2O5. So it is considered as unbalanced.
FYM is mixed with super (or) Rock PO4 before addition not the field, P2O5 content can be
FYM + super Rein forked. So it is considered us complete manure. It also supplied
secondary and micronutrients.
Chemical changes that are taking place during the process of decomposition
FYM consist of 1. Liquid material - Urine and H2O
2. Solid material - Undigested material, bedding material, Farm
sweeping, weeds and leaves.
Liquid material
Urine Urea, Uric, Hippuric acid.
Uro bacteria

Co(NH2)2 + H2O (NH4)2 CO3

Urobacteria involved in the conversion of urea into simple cpd. Urobacillus duclauxii
is capable of decomposing 4000 times by weight of its body.
(NH4)2 CO3 is unstable cpd, easily decomposed into
(NH4)2 CO3 2 NH4 + CO3=
2 NH3 + C02 + H2O.
The conversation of urea into ammonium Co3 is a continuous process. Normally it
should be completed with in 4 5 days.
Uric Acid is converted into Urea and Ammonium cpd.
Hippuric acid is converted into Benzoic acid, amino acetic acid and finally in to
ammonium compounds.
Solid portions
It consists of complex nitrogen compounds namely protein. This complex from is broken
into simple forms.
Protein Protose Peptose Poly petides Aminoacid Ammonia Nitrate.
a. Aminisation
Process in which most complex N compounds are converted into Amino compound (or)
protein to Amino Acid.
b. Ammonification
The simple organic amino compounds converted into ammonia. The organisms involved
in this process is called Ammonifier.
R + NH2

R OH + NH3 + Energy

c. Nitrification
Process in which Ammonium compounds are converted into Nitrite and Nitrates.

First stage

2NO2- + H+ + energy + 2 H2O.

2NH3 + 3O2

It is brought out by Nitrosso monas and Nitrosso coccus.

Second stage
NO3- + energy.

NO2 + O2

It is brought out by Nitrobacter.

Factors influencing the nitrification
1. Adequate temperature

: Optimum temperature for enchancing nitrification


2. Moisture content

: Moisture content is less nitrification is low.

3. Aeration

: If excess moisture, aeration is limited. So the

nitrification process is inhibited.

4. pH

: Neutral or slightly alkaline pH is necessary for

nitrification. Under acidic condition bacterial
growth is affected.

5. Bases

: In the process of nitrification, librates H2, combines

with NO3 to from HNo3 acid. It should be
neutralized by presence of some basic substances
like Ca, Mg salts.

6. Darkness

: Nitrification is a dark process. If too much light

reduces the nitrification.

7. C:N ratio

: If under C:N ratio nitrification will be affected. So

enhance the nitrification process low C/N ratio is

8. Micro nutrient

: Need small amounts for microbial action.

9. Ammonia

: Unless Ammonia we would not get NO3 from.


Denitrification is the reverse process of nitrification.

NO3 No2 Various oxides of N, NO, N2O N2 NH3
It takes place under unaerobic condition. The organism that are responsible for
denitrification is called as Denitirfiers.
In paddy field 1- 2 cm top soil is considered as oxidized zone. Below that it is called
reduced zone. If No3 is present in the oxidized zone nitrification process takes place. (NH3
NO3). In reduced zone NO3 No2 which is toxic to the crop. So NO3 from nitrogenous
fertilizers are not recommended to the paddy crop.
Decomposition of Non nitrogenous compounds of manures.
It includes (a) Fates and waxes, (b) cellulose and hemi cellulose (c) sugars, starch, gum
(d) Mineral matter P, K, Ca, Mg, compounds.
a. Fats and waxes
Fats and waxes are hydrolysed into fatty acid and Glycerol. Glycerol is very easily
converted into methyl alcohol, Butyric acid, Acetic acid and formic acid. This changes are
brought out by aerobic organisms.
b. Cellulose and Hemi cellulose
About 60-70% is destroyed in alimentary canal of the animal. Remaining is recovered in
the form of excretes.
Under aerobic condition

Produce CO2, H2O, energy

Fast reaction

Unaerobic condition

Methane, CO2, various organic acids.

Slow reaction.

c. Sugars, Starches and Gum

Aerobic condition Lactic acid, Butyric acid, Hydroxides, CO2 and H2O.
Unaerobic condition Butyric acid, Ethyl alcohol
When the decomposition is complete, the C:N ratio is 12 : 1 to 10:1. this is the criteria
for judging the material completely decomposed.

d. Mineral compounds
P is present either in organic or inorganic from it is simply converted into inorganic
K : Higher proportion of K is excreted through urine. It is H2O soluble. Acidity is
produced during decomposition.
Ca<Mg Insoluble compounds of ca<mg are converted into soluble compounds during
Factors affecting decomposition
1. Temperature

2. Aeration

3. Moisture

6. Basic material

7. composition of refuse.

4. pH

5. Supply of N

Advantages of farm yard manure

1. It is a complete manure. It supplies major, micro and trace elements.
2. It improves soil fertility.
3. It improves physical, Chemical, Biological and Properties of soils.
Green Manures
Green manure :
Growing the plants i.e. sun hemp and ploughing insitu (or) adding green matter obtained
from the field.
Green leaf manure
Addition of green or plant tissues obtained from trees, herbs, shrubs pruning and
unwanted weeds.
Green manure
Pelli pesera
Cluster bean
Cow pea




Green leaf manure





Benefit of Green manure or Green leaf manures

a. Addition of organic matter.
b. Adds Nutrient Macro, Secondary and micro elements.
c. It improves physical condition of soil.
d. It is useful for the reclamation of problem soils.
e. It act as a cover or catch crop prevent soil erosion, conserves moisture, prevent
nutrients, Leaching.
f. When leguminous GM is grown they fix the atmospheric N by the roots and
improves N status of the soil.
Characteristics of Green manure
1. It should have rapid growth.
Farmers can fit the GM in the crop rotation because of shorter duration sun
hemp grown very faster than other GM crops with in 45 days it attains 4-5 ht.
2. It should be abundant and succulent.
GM should be heavy yielder and succulent. It contains more of H2O and less dry
matter, decomposition will be rapid and easy.
3. It should have ability to grow poor soils.
Alkaline soil will able to grow Danicha
Factor affecting decomposition
a. Organisms present

Bacteria, Fungi, Actinomycetes


Rapid decomposition


Slow decomposition.

b. Temperature :

Optimum temperature for decomposition is 30-35C under

this condition the growth of organism will be more.

c. Aeration

Multiplication of organism is more, aerobic condition

decomposition is fast.

d. Moisture

Proper decomposition and growth of organism H2O is


e. Soil factors

Physical chemical and biological clay soil decomposition is


f. Nature of GM :

If it is succulent
Non- succulent

quick decomposition

slow decomposition

Changes taking place when GM is added to the soil

Aerobic condition
1. CHO, Starch and Cellulose
C6H12O6 + 602

6 CO2 + 6 H2O + energy.

2. Protein Polypeptides peptides peptone AA NH2 NO3.

3. Mineral compounds Complex subs simple inorganic substances
Under anaerobia condition
1. CHO

Acetic acid
Lactic acid


2. Protein

= No nitrification but Ammonification and Amminisation taken place.

3. Mineral compounds. = Less soluble into more double cpd.


Agricultural wastes
Sugarcane Begass
Sugarcane Begass compost
Sugarcane Begass Press mud
Press mud compost
Saw dust
Tobacco waste
Tabacco seed cake
Tea waste
Cotton dust
Textile waste

1 1.5
0.5 1.0
4 4.5
2.8 3.6
1 1.5
1 1.5

0.2 - 0.25
7 15
03. 0.4

5 5.5

Concentrated organics

Oil cakes


Various meals is Blood meal, Fish meal, Bone meal, Salughter house.



: It contains waste waters received from. Bath room and kitchen

H2O only.

: Night soil with water.


: Solid portions of Night soil. It is allowed for fermentation.

Oil cakes
In India about 2m.t. of oil cakes are produced / year. Out of this only 85% is edible and
15% is non edible portion. The nutrient present in the oil cakes are insoluble in H 2O but which
are readily available to the plants. (with in 10 days). The Mahuva cake takes 1- 1 month
time for perfect mineralization. The nutrient content of the oil cake.

2.5 - 8.0 %


1.0 - 3.0%


1.0 - 2.0%
Nutrient content of different concentration Organic.


Oil cake
Groundnut cake (Decordicated)
Lin seed cake
Mustard cake
Neem cake
Niger cake
Pungam cake
Safflower (decordicated)
Slaughter House wastes
Blood meal
10 12
Meat meal
Fish meal
4 -10
Horn Hoff meal
Leather - waste
Hair and wool waste
Sewage water
1.5 3.5
Sewage is produced @ 6600 million lit/ day.

1.5 1.9


5 ppm
0.75 4

0.3 1.5
15 ppm
0.3 0.6

This will able to supply 0.6 MT N

0.12 MT P2O5


0.36 MT K2O

Benefits of organic manures

1. It increases the yield of crop through the supply of nutrient.
2. It improves soil fertility through promoting the physical chemical and biological
3. It corrects the deficiency of secondary and micro elements.
4. Oil cakes and various meals are equally or slightly even better than inorganic
5. Slow acting. It may not be completely decomposed state. So the loss of nutrients are
6. Quality of crops are improved particularly fruit and vegetable.

Factors affecting the efficient use of fertilizers and manures


Soil factors
Total nutrient content
Availability of nutrient
Soil reaction
Soil Erosion
Soil texture
Soil drainage
Soil management practices
Presence of impermeable layers


Climatic and environmental factors

Length of growing season
Intensity of sunlight
Duration of sunlight.


Crop factor
Nutrient requirement of crops
Crop sequence
Crop adaptability to soil factors
Crop production practices
Crop residues

IV. Systems of farming

V. Fertilizer characters

Compost (or) Artificial FYM

(or) Synthetic FYM
Dark coloured powdered material derived from decomposition of plant refuse by the
microbes in the presence of little amount of soluble nitrogen.
During 1921, Rotham Stead, Hutchinson and Richards they produce the material called
as synthetic FYM from straws. They mix the straw with soluble N, P, Ash and allow to
decompose under aerobic condition.

The Organism which is responsible is Cytophaga

hutchinsoni. Finally they got a manure which is closely resemble to FYM which is called
Artificial or synthetic FYM.

Lecture 4. Composting Techniques Coir composting, vermin composting and sugarcane

trash composting
Composting is a process of biological decomposition and stabilization of organic material;ls in
wastes under conditions that allow development of thermophilic temperatures for a minimum
duration of 3-4 weeks. The biologically produced heat in this process sanitizes the material and
minimizes the generation of odourous compounds and leachates. It leads to a final product of
pre determined quality that is stable, free of pathogens and plant seeds and can be beneficially
applied to land. Different types of microorganisms are active at different times and sites in the
composting mixture depending on the food availability , oxygen supply and moisture content.
Principles in compost making
a. Composition of refuse material
It consists of (a) Cellulose or Hemi cellulose :

60 80%

(b) Lignin

15 20%

(c) H2O soluble material

5 12%

(d) Protein

2 -3 %

b. Mechanism of the decomposition brought out by micro organic.

c. The knowledge of the metabolism of the micro organic involved.
Factors affecting the compost
1. Refuse materials

Obtained from farm, straw leaves, Garbage, street

sweeping materials.

2. Suitable starter / inoculum's


Which will provided fungi or bacteria for efficient


3. Soluble N

4. Aeration
5. Moisture
6. Temperature
Methods of compost making

Which increases the bacterial activity.

a. ADCO process

Hutchin son and Richards

b. Activated process

Fowler and Rege.

c. Indore Process

Howard and ward.

d. Bangalore Method

C.N. Acharya.

e. Coimbatore Method

AC & RI.

a. ADCO process

Development Company ADCO.

They use ADCO powder for rapid

decomposition. The plant refuse (or) which can not fed to cattle is used. The refuse material is
spread uniformly on the floor to a thickness of 9 12. Then the adco powder is sprinkled @
7% ie. 7kg/ 100 kg of material.
Adco powder contains soluble N, AM SO 4, AM CO3 certain amounts of P2 K, lime,
rock PO4, Ash, KCl. This material is moistened. This can be repeated normally 6 layers.
Periodically moistened for quick decomposition. It can be allowed for 3 4 months. It is
aerobic and Heap method. For proper decomposition this material is turned or moistened and
restate in the form of heap.

b. Activated process
In this method, instead of adco powder, we use some inoculum or activator to decompose
the material quickly. It is a heap system and turning is given. The starter should be dung urine,
Urine mixed earth, sewage and sludge etc. The straw is uniformly spread and moistened and
added sewage sludge. This can start the reaction. This must be respected and after moistened,
the level was maintained and periodical turning is given. After 3 4 months, the entire mass is
converted into Brown colour. They called it as Starter. 1/3 of it is used for compost making.
c. Indore Process
Materials Cattle dung, wood ash, H2O and urine soaked earth.
- It is aerobic method. The composting is made in trenches of suitable size 33
x 14 x 2. Spread the refuse materials uniformly to a thickness of 9 12 and after moistening
3 dung slurry or urine earth along with wood ash is spread over the refuse material. This can be

repeated till the heap raise to 1-2 above the ground level. This is allowed to undisturbed
condition for 15 days.
First turning was given 14 days after filling.
Second turning was given 14 days after first turning.
Third turning was given 2 months after filling.
All the mass is removed from the trenches and rebuilt in the earth in the form of Heap. It
is ready after a month.

d. Bangalore Method
In this method the starter used is Night soil.
Composting is done in trenches
Refuse materials are Garbage and Street sewage.
The size of the trenches various depending upon the availability of Night soil and refuse
material. The depth of the trench is 3. But length and breadth varies. Garbage is uniformly
spread to a thickness of 9 12. Later on Night soil is spread or float on the garbage to a
thickness of 3. This can be repeated upto 1 1 above the ground level. During filling certain
amount of aeration is there. For about a week it cannot be plastered. After one week time, the
top layer of the garbage is covered with earth to athasim of 3 to eliminate the fly breeding.
High temperature is developed that will kill the pathogens and destroy the viability of weed
seeds. At the end of 7th day the whole heap is completely plastered. The sides of the walls are
also covered with garbage to avoid contact of Night soil with the walls. High temperature is
maintained inside the trench which facilitate the destroying of weed seeds and pathogen. About
4 5 months it is ready for application.
No turning is given
e. Coimbatore Method

- First week aerobic Afterwards anaerobic.

This is similar to Bangalore method of composting. Composting is done in trenches.

The waste materials are from farm refuse, dung slurry a long with urine soaked earth. Some
times super Po4, Rock Po4 are also used. The trenches is filled up above the ground level to a
height of 1 1 . After two months it is mixed and restate on the surface on the surface of the
earth and allowed for one month. First it is aerobic and in trenches anaerobic. In this method
mixing and restating is done. It should ensure more homogenous manure and decomposition is
also enhanced. After 3 months the manure is ready for application.
Comparison of Inorganic and Organic fertilizers / manures.

Definite and fixed Varied
Volume of material, unit kg Low


of nutrient
Response to crops
Residual effect
Nutrient added
Organic matter addition

Simple salts
1 or 2 or 3

Compound / complex
Longer time
All nutrients elements
It adds organic matter
to soil

Differences between Heap method and Trench methods


Heap method
Yield of manure
N content
Carbon content
C/N ratio
H2O requirement
Labour charge
Time required
Materials drying
Uniformity of manure

Composting of sugar cane Thrash

Raw materials

Trench method
1 : 10 - 12
Less homogenous

1 : 15
Do not dry up
More homogenous.

1. Trash

: 100 kg / one tonne

2. Pleurotus

: 3 bottles

3. Trichoderma viridi

: 20 grams

4. Urea

: 5Kg

Final compost contains


= 0.70 %


= 0.25%


= 0.70%
20 kg dugongs 60 lit H2O
100 kg S. trash
100 g Trash derma
100 g S. trash
1 kg urea
100 kg S. trash
1 bottle pleurotus
S. Trash - 100 kg
Composting is done in trenches. The size of the trench will be 5 x 3


S. trash was cut into small spices and spread uniformly on the floor

under shade.

As in figure.

Like wise 10 layers may prepared and finally covered with 250 Kg
of clay soil or Red soil for compacting the beds Sprinkle the H2O once in a week.

Limitations in compost making and usage

The detrashed material should be shredded into small pieces for quicker composting.
If the detrashed materials are put as such for composting cannot be obtained.
Many farmers dont have separate land for composting the sugarcane trash. In that case
shredding and in-situ composting inside the sugarcane field is the only option
Composition of sugarcane trash compost

Per cent composition

Nitrogen (N)
Phosphorus (P)
Potassium (K)
Calcium (Ca)
Magnesium (Mg)
Sulphur (S)
C:N ratio

2710 ppm
80 ppm

Preparation of sugarcane trash compost using Yeast sludge

Sugarcane trash collected from sugarcane field has to be cut into small bits using chaff
cutter or shredder to a size of 1-2 cm. For every tone of sugarcane trash 200 kg of pressmud and
10 kg of yeast sludge and 10kg of rock phosphate are added and mixed thoroughly. Moisture is
maintained at 60%. Te heap is formed to a height of 1-1.5m. Within 45-50 days sugarcane trash
will be ready for application to crops. The sugarcane trash compost consists of N-1.2%, P-0.7%,
K-1.5% and considerable quantities of micronutrients. This compost can be applied at the rate of
5 t/ha.

Composting of sunflower stalk

100 kg sunflower stalk.
1000/g urea + 1 bottle bacillus 50 lit H2O.
100 Kg sunflower stalk.
pleurotus 1 bottle
100 kg s. stalk
1kg urea + 1 lit bacillus in 50 lit H2O.
100 kg s. stalk
pleurotus 1 bottle
100 kg s. stalk

On last uniformly spread dung slurry (20 kg dung in 60 lit H2O).

Finally plaster it with 250 kg of clay or sand soil.

Final compost contains N = 1.03 % ; P 2O5 = 0.2% ; K2O =

0.50% C:N ration = 18 : 1 ; C: B ratio = 1: 5
Coir pith Composting
100 kg coir pith
1 bottle pleurotus
100 kg coir pith
1kg urea
100 kg coir pith
1 bottle pleurotus
Coir pith 100 kg

Nutrient content of Raw and Composted coir pith

Sl. No.

C : N Ratio
Iron (PPM)
Manganese (PPM)
Zinc (PPM)
Copper (PPM)

112 : 1

24 : 1

Vermi composting
The term vermin composting had recently been coined to mean the use of earthworms
for composting organic residues. Earthworms can consume practically all kinds of organic matter
and they can eat their own body weight per day; thus, for example, one kilogram of worms can
consume one kilogram of residues every day. The excreta or castings of the worms are rich in
nitrate, available forms of phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. The passage of soil
through earthworms promotes bacterial and actinomycetes growth; actinomycetes thrive well in
the presence of worms and their content in worm casts is over six times more than in the original
Vermiculture in India
Preparing vermicompost

Materials - breeder worms, a wooden bed and organic wastes.

The bed should be 2.5 ft. high x 4 ft. wide x any length desired. Apply worms for every
part of waste.

Sieving and shredding- Decomposition can be accelerated by shredding raw materials

into small pieces.

Blending- Carbonaceous substances like sawdust, paper and straw can be mixed with
nitrogen rich materials such as sewage sludge, biogas slurry and fish scraps to obtain a

near optimum C/N ratio of 30:1 / 40:1. A varied mixture of substances produces good
quality compost, rich in major and micro nutrients.

Half digestion- The raw materials should be kept in piles and the temperature allowed to
reach 50-55oC. The piles should remain at this temperature for 7 to 10 days.

Moisture, temperature and pH- The optimum moisture level for maintaining aerobic
conditions is 50-60%. Proper moisture and aeration can be maintained by mixing fibrous
with nitrogen rich materials. The temperature of the piles should be within 20-30 oC.
Higher or lower temperatures will reduce the activity of micro flora and earthworms. The
height of the bed can help control the rise in temperature. The pH of the raw material
should not exceed 6.5 to 7.
After about a month the compost is ready. It will be black, granular, lightweight and

humus-rich. To facilitate separating the worms from the compost, stop watering two to three days
before emptying the beds. This will force about 80% of the worms to the bottom of the bed. The
rest of the worms can be removed by hand. The vermicompost is then ready for application.
Earthworms have been on the earth for over 120 million years. Their purpose is simple
but very important. They are natures way of recycling organic nutrients from dead tissues back
to living organisms. Referring to an earthworms Darwin said, it may doubted whether there are
many other animals in the world which have played sop important a port in the history of the
world as have these lowly organized creatures. Earthworms play a key role in soil biology by
serving as versatile natural bioreactor to effectively harness the beneficial soil micro flora and
destroy soil pathogens, thus converting organic wastes into valuable products such as
biofertilizers, biopesticides, vitamins, enzymes, antibiotics and proteinaceous worm biomass.
Earthworm often called Ecosystem engineers because they are actively redesigns the physical
structure of the soil environment.
Vermicomposting is the process of degradation of organic wastes by earthworms to
achieve three objectives:

To upgrade the value of organic waste material so that it can be reused


To produce upgraded materials in situ


To obtain a final product free of chemical or biological pollutants.

Benefits of Earthworms
Earthworms help in the preparation of compost maintaining soil health as follows :

Improvement in fertility of soil.


Amelioration of physical condition of soil.


Mixing of sub-soil and top soil.


Correction of undetermined deficiencies in plants.


Use of earthworms in recycling of city and rural wastes, sewage waste waters and sludge,

and industrial wastes eg. paper, food and wood industries.


Supplementing traditional feeds

Characters of earthworm suited for vermicomposting


Capable of inhabiting in high percentage of organic material


Adaptability with respect to environment factors


High fecundity rate with low incubation period


Smallest period of interval from hatching to maturity


High growth rate, consumption, digestion and assimilation rates


Least vermistabilisation time (period of inactivity after initial inoculation organic wastes)
Epigeic earthworm like Eudrilus eugeniae, Eisenia foetida and Perionyx excavatus are

some of the popularly used worms for vermicomposting (Kale et al ., 1982). Eudrilus eugeniae a
tropical earthworm commonly called African night crawler is large in size grows rapidly breeds
fast and is capable of decomposing large quantities of organic material into valuable
Rearing of earthworms
The worms are reared and multiplied from a commercially obtained breeder stock in
shallow wooden boxes of 45 cm x 60 cm, provided with drainage holes and stored on shelves
and tiers. A bedding material is compounded from miscellaneous organic residues saw dust,
cereal straw, rice husks, sugarcane trash, bagasse, paper, cardboard, coir waste, grasses etc. and is
moistened well with water. The wet mixture is stored for 30 days covered with a damp sack and
is thoroughly mixed several times. When fermentation is complete, chicken manure and green
matter eg. Leucaena leaves or water hyacinth is added. The material is placed in the boxes in
sufficiently loose for the worms to burrow and should be able to retain moisture. The proportion
of the different materials will vary according to the nature of the material but a final nitrogen

content of about 2.4% should be aimed at. A pH value as near neutral as possible is necessary
and the boxes should be kept at temperatures between 20 0C and 300C. At higher temperatures the
worms will aestivate and at lower temperatures they hibernate. for each 0.1 m 2 of surface area
100 g of breeder worms are added to the boxes. In spite of their being able to eat the bedding
material, the worm at this stage are regularly fed @ 1 kg of feed a day for every kg of worms.
The feed stuffs used are again various types of organic matter and include partially digested cow
dung, chicken manure, Leucaena leaves, vegetable waste and water hyacinth. Some form of
protection against predators like birds, vats, ants, frogs, leeches and centipede is provided to the
Methods of vermin composting
1) Solid waste materials are spread out over the soil surface, for incorporation directly into
the soil by earthworms for burial and decomposition.
2) Wastes are sacked into heaps or placed in pins, where they are treated like compost heaps
and earthworms are released. Earthworm activity results in the production of large quantities of
earthworm casts, which are widely used as manure.
S. No

Source of waste generation

Agricultural waste


1.Agricultural fields


3.Animal waste
Urban slid waste

Utilizable waste for vermicomposting

Stubble, weeds, husk, straw, and farmyard
Stems, leaf matter, fruit, pulp and stubble
Dung, urine and biogas slurry
Kitchen waste from household and
restaurants, waste from market yards and
places of worship and sludge from sewage


Agro-industries waste

1. Food processing unit

2. Vegetable oil refineries
3. Sugar factories
4. Breweries and distillery
5. Seed production unit
6. Aromatic oil extraction
7.Coir industries

treatment plants
Peel, rind and unused pulp of fruits and
Press mud and seed milk
Press mud, fine baggase and boiler ash
Spent wash, barley waste, yeast sludge
Core of fruits, paper, and date expired seeds
Stems, leaves and flowers after extraction
Coir pith

Any type of containers can be used. The numbers of earth warms widened on the
container size. A volume of 0.3 m3 (1m x 1m x 0.3m) can accommodate 2000 warms. The can be
constructed in brick masonry and cement, wood or even plastic trough can be used. Composting
has to be done under a roof to avoid direct sunlight and rain.
Bedding material
Saw dust or husk or coir waste about 3 cm layers each of fine sand and garden soil is
provided as bedding material inside the container. The composting material added above the
bedding material. The material should be partially decomposition before introduce into
vermicompost bed. The warms feeding actively assimilate only 5-10% for their growth and is
excreted as loose granules mounds or worm cast. In general abed of 1m x1m x 0.3m requires 30
to 40 Kg of bedding and feeding materials. This can support 1000 to 1500 earthworms which
would multiply and compost the matter from upper layers the first lot of vermicompost is ready
in 30-40 days only. According to available extrapolative estimates 1Kg of earthworm (1000 adult
nos) would produce 10 Kg casts in 60-70 days.
Precautionary measures.
Moisture level should be maintained around 50-60%
Temperature should be maintained with the range of 20-30 C.
Handle the earthworms gently to avoid injury.
Protect from predators like ants, rats etc.
Use of decomposing cultures available like actinomycetes, phosphate solubilizing bacteria
for accelerating decomposition would speed up the operation.
Vermi composting in pits
A number of pits 2m x 1m with sloping sides are dug having suitable dimension. Vermi














Bamboo poles are laid in parallel row on the pits. Its floor is with a lattice of wood strips.
Necessary drainage is provided because worms can not survive in a waterlogged condition.
Alternatively to this and sand can be placed in the bottom of the pit to facilitate proper drainage.
Above this a thick layer (15-20 cm) of good loamy soil should be spread. The pit can now be
filled with available organic residues such as animal manure, leaves and green weeds, crop
residues etc. Moisture levels of the contents of pit is maintained through addition of required
amount of water. The worms from breeding boxes are introduced in the organic refuse, the









The compost pit is left for 60 days. It should be shaded from hot sunshine and it must be kept
moist. Within 60 days about 10 kg of castings would have been producer per kg of worms. The
pit is then excavated to an extent of about two-thirds to three-quarters and the bulk of the worms
removed by hand or by sieving. This leaves sufficient worms in the pit for further composting
and the pit can be refilled with fresh organic residues and continued. The compost can be sundried and sieve to give good quality compost. The average nutrient content of Vermicompost is N
0.6-1.20%, P2O5 1.34-2.20%, K2O 0.4-0.67%, CIO 0.44% and Mao 0.15%. The excess worms
that have been harvested from the pit can be used in the other pits, sold to other farmers for
compost inoculation, and may be used as animal and poultry feed or fish food.
Method of pit vermicomposting
Selection of earthworm: Earthworm which is native to the local soil and Vermicompost may be
used. Size of pit : Any convenient dimensions such as 2m * 1m *1m may be prepared. This can
hold 20,000-40,000 worms giving 1 tonne manure/month (30 days).
Preparation of vermibed : a 15-20 cm thick layer of good loamy soil above a thin layer (5cm) of
broken bricks and sand should be made. This layer is inhabited by earthworms.
Inoculation of earthworms : About 100 earthworms are introduced as an optimum inoculating
density into a compost pit of about 2m * 1m * 1m provided with a vermibed.
Organic layering : It is done on the vermibed with fresh cattle dung. The compost pit is then
layered to about 5 cm with dry leaves or hay. Moisture content of the pit without flooding is
maintained through the addition of water. Wet organic layering : It is done after 28 days with
moist/green organic waste which can be spread over it to a thickness of 5 cm. This practice can
be repeated every3-4 days. Mixing of wastes periodically without disturbing the vermibed
ensures proper vermi composting. Wet layering with organic waste can be repeated till the
compost pit is nearly full.
Harvesting of Vermicompost : At maturation, the moisture content is brought down by stopping
the addition of water for 3-4 days. This ensures drying of compost and migration of worms into
the vermibed. The mature compost, a fine loose granular mass is removed out from the pit, dried
and packed.

Collection of vermi compost

When Vermicompost and vermicasting are ready for collection top layers appear somewhat dark brown,
granular as if used dry tea leaves have been spread over the layer. Watering should then be stopped for 2-3 days and
gently compost should be scrapped from top layers or to a depth it appears vermi composted. This should then be
removed to a side and left undisturbed for 6-24 hours. Collected Vermicompost and casts if in bulk can be stored on
ground under shade. For commercialization Vermicompost should be packed in plastic bags.

Application of Vermi compost

Vermicompost application is to be done in same manner as conventional Farmyard
manure application. For one hectare of land 5 ton of Vermicompost is recommended for field
application. For garden pot soil 10-40 parts Vermicompost can be mixed in soil before filling
pots for transporting seedlings. Some experts even opine that 20-30% recommended dose of
chemical fertilizers be substituted with vermi compost. In horticultural plants Vermicompost
application is preferred and is applied by mixing equal quantity of cow dung manure.
Application quantity depends upon the age and size of plant. Method involves the preparation of
a ring around plant base of to 1 feet depth and 1 to 2 feet wide. In this ring mixture of
Vermicompost and Farmyard manure or cow dung manure is filled. Over this thin layer of soil is
put and finally covered with organic matter comprising dry leaves, weeds, husk or coir. This
process completes important step of mulching and then watering should be done. Generally
application can be repeated every month or at conventional periodicity.
Rate of application : Mature vermicompost is recommended @ 5 tones/ha.
In-vitro vermicomposting
This is also called as bioconversion in soil. This involves the application of the basal dose (5
tones/ha) of vermicastings and covering with 2.5 cm. Layer of organic mater (cowdung or
pressmud) followed by 10 cm layer of sugarcane trash, crop residues or city wastes. The worms
hatch out within 10 days
To boost vermicompost production following suggestions should be followed :
(i) A mixture of cattle, sheep, horse dung with gram and wheat bran and vegetable wastes forms
the ideal feed for worms. (ii) Mixing of gram bran with dung mixture in 3:10 ratio increase the
biomass. (iii) Mixing of wheat bran to dung mixture in 3:10 ratio hastens the growth of worms.
Addition of kitchen waste in the same proportion increases the worm population. (iv) The biogas
sludge and poultry dropping in equal quantities enhance the worm population and the biomass

Inoculants for Composting

Many researchers and companies suggest they can determine the health of a compost product
and recommend inoculants to improve its quality or performance. However, there is no
conclusive evidence that the addition of any specific microorganism to cured compost will
improve any characteristic of compost. Native microorganisms may quickly dominate introduced
microorganisms. The introduced microorganisms may provide possibly nothing more than
additional nutrients to organisms already in the compost. Inoculants, if desired, can be added just
prior to application of the compost.
Efficient cellulolytic cultures, such as species of Trichoderma and Penicillium accelerate
composting for efficient recycling of dry crop residues with wide C/N ratio and to reduce the
composting period by about one month. Maximum decomposition of organic carbon in
sugarcane trash took place with the combined use of Penicillium sp., and Bacillus megatherium..
Composting with Mussorie rock phosphate and phosphorus solubilizers was found to increase
the available phosphorus content and this was further increased by inoculation with cellulolytic
fungi. Inoculation with Azotobacter also increased the nitrogen content in the compost.

Lecture 5. Fortified Organics, Enriched FYM, Zinc enriched organics Preparation and
Farm compost is poor in P content (0.4-0.8 percent). Addition of P makes the compost
more balanced, and supplies nutrient to micro-organisms for their multiplication and faster
decomposition. The addition of P also reduces N losses.
Preparation of P enriched FYM
In black soils and calcareous soils due to calcareousness, P applied through fertilizers not
readily available to crops due to high P fixation by Ca. Hence, in dry land farming P is supplied
through enriched FYM for easy availability to crops.
Mix recommended dose of P as SSP or Rock phosphate with 750 kg FYM, moisten and
keep it in an anaerobic condition for 45 days (Refer Crop Production Guide).
Sl. No.


SSP to be added to 750 kg of


Rainfed Groundnut
Rainfed Cotton
Rainfed Sorghum
Rainfed Cumbu
Rainfed Ragi

FYM (Kg/ha)

Zinc enriched organics

Farm compost is poor in micro nutrients content especially Zn content. Addition of Zn
makes the compost more balanced & supplies nutrient to micro organisms for their
multiplication & faster decomposition.
The addition of Zn also reduces other nutrient losses.
Zn enrichment coverts the Zn in the unavailable form into available form namely
chelated Zn & availability to a prolonged period of time to the crop.
The Zn occluded by free oxides is released by the dissolution of organic compounds
present in the organic residues & it will be transformed to residual Zn exchangeable Zn &

Mix recommended dose of Zn as Znso 4 with 1 tonne of FYM as per the corp.
requirement. Maize (12.5 kg Znso4) ; (Rice 25 kg/ha)
Moisten the compost till the heaps attain 50-60% moisture & keep it in an anaerobic
condition for 30 days.

Lecture 3. Manures industrial byproducts pressmud, bottom slag, ferrogypsum, flyash

and humic acid preparation and characteristics
Humic acid
Humic acid obtained from coal and lignite has assumed a greater importance. Humic acid
based fertilizers are quite popular in abroad and these fertilizers are being manufactured by USA,
South Africa, Greece and sold in trade names like Aactosol, Neogen, Fytomon, Phytormon,
Vetoliquid, Humotrel, and Anthormon. In India, the estimated lignite deposits are about 29,000
million tones. Out of these about 91 per cent is available in Tamil Nadu. The Neyveli lignite is
rich in humic acid and Neyveli Lignite corporation Pvt. Ltd is engaged in extraction of humic
acid from lignite and the test material is in the form of water soluble humate.
Humic acids were e~tracted from lignite in accordance with the classical fractionation
procedure of SteVenson (1982) making use of the properties of differential solubilities in alkali
and acid. The fine sieved lignite was dissolved in 0.5 M NaOH (lignite: NaOH = 1:10), the dark
brown coloured solution was filtered, the filtrate was collected in glass jars and acidified with
concentrated HCI to bring the pH of the solution to 1-2. The precipitate (Humic acids) was
allowed to settle and the supernatant liquid (Fulvic acid) was siphoned off. The precipitate was
purified by redissolving in 0.5 M NaOH and reprecipitating with conc. HCl. This process was
repeated several times. Finally, the humic acids were washed free of chloride, dried at low
temperature (40-45C) under vacuum and ground to fine powder. Most humic acids are insoluble
in water and are not in physiologically active form. To produce forms which are active in plant
metabolism, the HAs are usually brought into solution as Na or K salts and the pH of the
resulting media is adjusted with a mineral acid. Accordingly, the humic acids should more
accurately be referred to as Na- or K-humates. Hence, required quantities of lignite-HAs were
dissolved in minimum quantity of dilute solution of KOH and the pH of the K-humate solution
was adjusted to just below 7.0. The K-humate solution thus obtained was used for soil
application, foliar spray, root dipping / setts dipping etc. to find out its effect on various crops.

Table. Characteristics of lignite humic acid


Bulk density (Mg m )

Humic caid content
CEC (c mol (P+) kg-1)
EC (dsm-1)
Chemical properties
Total N (%)
Total P (%)
Total K (%)
Total Ca (%)
Total Mg (%)
Total S (%)
Total Fe (ppm)
Total Cu (ppm)
Total Mn (ppm)
Total Zn (ppm)
Exchangeable Ca (c mol (p+) kg-1)
Exchangeable Mg (c mol (p+) kg-1)
Exchangeable Na (c mol (p+) kg-1)


Benefits of humic acid

Improves soil physical properties
Holds exchangeable plant nutrients
Increases moisture holding capacity of the soil
Forms complexes with phosphorus and micronutrients which are easily assimilable by
the plants and thus increases the efficiency of mineral fertilizer utilization
Helps the plants to overcome the adverse pH condition of the problem soils
Increase the permeability of plasma membranes thereby enhancing the uptake of nutrients
more efficiently.
Stimulates seed germination and improves seed viability
Aids in uninterrupted growth of microorganisms.
Stimulates plant enzymes and hormones
Aids in root formation


100 % NPK +0.1 % FS +0.3 % RD +10 kg HA ha-1

75 % NP +0.1 % FS +20 kg HA ha-1
100 % NPK +20 kg HA ha-1
100 % NPK +20 kg HA ha-1
100 % NPK +30 kg HA ha-1
100 % NPK +20 kg HA ha-1
100 % NPK +20 kg HA ha-1

Fly ash
Fly ash is a waste from Thermal power station. Flyash is found to contain silica (49 %), potash
(8.3 %) , S (7.1%), FeO (4.6%), CaO (12%) and MgO (6.3%). Besides macro and secondary
nutrients, flyash is found to contain considerable quantities of B and heavy metals such as Cr, Ni,
Pd and Cd etc., Application of flyash is found to reduce the bulk density and increase the water
retainability. Since it is alkaline in reaction it could be used as a amendment in acid soils.
Bottom Slag
Bottom Slag is a thermal plant byproduct of Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC). It is estimated
that 91,000 tonnes of bottom Slag is generated annually. Bottom slag is basically an acid material
rich in total Fe and S resembling low grade iron pyrite.
The pH of the Bottom Slag range from 1.80-2.65 and were rich in total iron content (5.87 % to
15.41 %).
Bottom slag @ 16 t ha-1 was found to be effective in reclaiming sodic soil
Application of bottom slag in calcareous soil along with phosphor bacteria was found to increase
the yield of groundnut and sunflower.

Press Mud
Press Mud is a by-product of sugar industry. For every 100 tonnes of sugarcane crushed
about 3 tonnes of press mud cake is left behind as by-product. It has been estimated that 2.7
million tonnes of press mud is produced every year in our country. Sugar industry generates
Press mud, a low density, soft, amorphous waste material containing 1-20% N, 0.6-36% P and
0.3- 1.8% K. Average nutrient composition of one tone of pressmud is 10-15 kg N, 14-40 kg P, 520 kg K and 32-120 kg Ca. Press mud contains trace quantity of micronutrients The pressmud
could be further enriched by the addition of rock phosphate and zinc sulphate.
Prevents soil erosion, crusting and cracking,
Adjust soil pH,
improves drainage and
promotes normal bacterial and microbial growth in the soil.
It is used as both soil reclamant as well as soil conditioner.
However, due to its bulky nature and wax content it usually give less benefit in the year of
direct application in the fields. Composting and vermicomposting could be an alternative to the
problem for promoting its use in agriculture.
EC (dSm-1)
Nitrogen (%)
Phosphorus (%)
Magnesium (%)
Sulphur (%)
Organic carbon (%)
Iron (%)
Manganese (%)
Zinc (%)
Copper (%)

Raw Pressmud


6.0 7.0
3.0 3.3
1.0 1.5
1.4 2.5
0.5 2.0
3.2 12.0
1.0 2.0
0.1 0.5
15.0- 36.0
0.08- 0.3

7.1- 7.6
2.7 3.5
3.0 4.0
3.0 3.5
4.0 6.2
4.0 6.2
2.0 3.0

Ferro gypsum
Ferrogypsum is a byproduct of effluent treatment plants of the titanium industry where
TiO2 is manufactured using naturally occurring ilmenite ore (FeTiO 3). Many countries in the
world manufacture TiO2 where ferrogypsum is also recovered from the effluent treatment plants.
During the process of manufacturing, ferrogypsum is obtained by treating the filtrate ferrous
sulfate with lime during the process of neutralisation. Ferrogypsum, which contains gypsum and
iron, may also be an effective amendment for sodic soils. The present investigation was carried
out with a view to determine the composition of ferrogypsum and to evaluate its effectiveness as
a soil amendment to reclaim sodic soils, when used alone or in combination with farmyard
manure or green manure, and its impact on soil properties.

L 6. Fertiliser industries in India & production capacity

The most widely used fertilisers include nitrogenous (N), phosphatic (P) and potassic (K). There
are close to 60 large size plants in the country manufacturing a range of fertilisers. These
companies contribute towards the development of agricultural production in India and they offer
employment opportunities to the people and the career opportunities are rising in this sector.
Potassic fertiliser is not manufactured in India and is imported. The installed capacity of fertiliser
industry in the country is about 12 MT of nitrogenous and 5 MT of phosphatic nutrients.
Following is the list of top fertiliser companies in India
1. Nagarjuna Fertiliser
3. Chambal Fertiliser
5. Rashtriya Chemical
6. Natraj Fertiliser
7. Zuari Industries
8. Fert. and Chem.
10.Deepak Fertiliser
11.Mangalore Chemicals
13.Khaitan Chemicals
14.Liberty Phosphates
15.Rama Phosphates
16.Basant Agro Tech.
17.Bharat Fertiliser
18.Shiva Global
19.Dharamsi Morarji
20.Teesta Agro Ind.
21.MP Agro

2. Coromandel International

List of Co operative Fertiliser companies in India.

Gujarat State Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited (GSFC)
Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Limited (IFFCO)
Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHC)
List of Public Sector (PSU) Fertiliser companies in India.
Brahmaputra Valley Fertiliser Corporation Limited
Hindustan Copper Limited
FCI Aravali Gypsum And Minerals India Limited
Hindustan Fertiliser Corporation Limited
Madras Fertilisers Limited
Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited

Paradeep Phosphates Limited

Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited
Steel Authority of India
The Fertilizer Corporation of India Limited
Private Sector Fertiliser companies in India
Basant Agro Tech India Limited
Bharat Fertiliser Industries Limited
Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited
Deepak Fertilizer and Petrochemicals Corporation Limited
Duncans Industries Limited (Kanpur Fertiliser and Cements Limited)
Gujarat State Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited
Indo-Gulf Fertilisers and Chemicals Corporation Limited
The Maharashtra Agro Industries Development Corporation Ltd
Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited
Meerut Agro Chemical Private Limited
Dharamsi Morarji Chemical Co. Limited
Multiplex Fertiliser Private Limited
Nagarjuna Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited
Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertiliser Co. Limited
Shriram Fertilisers and Chemicals
Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation Ltd.
Tuticorin Alkali Chemi and Fertiliser Limited
United Phosphorous Limited
Zuari Industries Limited - Fertiliser Limited

Refer Presentation by Gayathri