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Green Manure: Types and Importance of Green Manure for Farmers | Tractorgyan

Green Manure: Types and Importance of Green Manure for Farmers | Tractorgyan

    Green Manure: Types and Importance of Green Manure for Farmers | Tractorgyan

15 Nov, 2022

Being a Farmer the most important task falls under his role is the health of the soil and crop and to maintain the adequate health and fertility of the soil the most essential aspect which needs to be taken into consideration is the presence of decomposers which enhance the growth and fertility of the soils and the crop altogether

What is green manure?

green manure

A method used in agriculture to increase soil fertility is green manure. It is accomplished by leaving uprooted or sowed crop fragments on the field to wither and act as mulch and soil nutrients. Cover crops like grasses or legumes are frequently the plants used in green manure.

Animal waste is not connected to green manure. To boost the organic content of the soil and replenish nutrients that the soil might have lost during cultivation, it permits plants and crops to decompose on the field. 

Alongside the primary crops, green manure crops are produced to reduce soil erosion, preserve fertility, and give the soil time to recover (kind of like crop rotation).

 

How does green manure work?

The main purpose or role of green manure is to prepare the soil for the subsequent growth of crops. Green manure derives nutrients from the soil. These crops are tilled into the soil while they are still green rather than being harvested and removed from the land since doing so would deplete the nutrients. Plants slowly disintegrate when returned to the soil and release these nutrients over time for the benefit of the following crop. 

In addition, green manure provides a variety of soil creatures and bacteria with food. For the health of the soil, the diversity of the flora is crucial. They facilitate the spread of organic materials in soils through their mobility and activity, which also contribute to the development of sound soil structure.

 

Types of green manure

green manure for agriculture

There are mainly two types of green manure which are present:

  1.  Legumes: Legumes are a type of green manure which develop over the roots with the help of a special type of bacteria and have nodules that can receive nitrogen from the air and convert it to fix it in the form of plant use.

  2. Non–legumes: Non–legumes are another type of green manure which does not receive or fix the nitrogen but can also retain nutrients that could otherwise be leached and offer useful amounts of organic matter. Non-legume green manures can be added during production lulls during the growing season because they can grow quite quickly.

 Advantages of green manure and why it is essential for farmers

  1. Green Manure helps in Reducing erosion and nutrient leaching: Green manures reduce nutrient loss in the environment at the same time. Until the crop is planted in the soil, green manures lock nutrients inside their bodies. Just in time for the subsequent crop to use them for growth, nutrients are slowly and gradually released into the soil as plants begin to decompose. Green manures are primarily cultivated to cover soils during the coldest winter or hottest summer months to prevent leaving soils exposed to certain elements, green manures are also known as cover crops. Erosion is prevented by roots holding soil particles in place and plant bodies acting as a cover from the sun or rain.

  2. Green manure helps in the elimination of weeds: Green manure has been utilized by many farmers mainly because of its ability to eliminate weeds. Green manure rattles the growing pattern or emergence cycle of weed plants, fighting with weeds for space, food, and water. Some varieties of rye and clover produce compounds in their roots that prevent soil-borne seed germination. The allelopathic effect is another name for this phenomenon

  3. Green manure helps to improve the soil structure: The soil structure is considerably enhanced by green manure. After being integrated into the soil, organic matter binds soil particles together and aids in the formation of soil aggregates. Once formed, these big particles allow pores to form, which are essential for effective soil aeration, nutrient distribution, and water retention. Such soils enable plants to get nutrients more effectively and have better root systems. As it preserves and enhances the biological and physical characteristics of the soil, a high level of organic matter ensures consistent soil fertility.

  4. Makes room for beneficial microorganisms in soil: A healthy soil structure maintained at large is mainly determined by the presence of soil microorganisms. Their work is crucial for forming soil aggregates as they improve soil porosity and incorporate organic materials. The fact that green manure promotes high biodiversity and increases the number of microorganisms is one of its main benefits. Green manure crops' roots assist in giving soil bacteria vital nutrients. After the crops have been tilled into the soil, additional nutrient breakdown in the soil drives additional microbial activity in the soil.

  5. Green manure acts as a habitat for pollinators and natural predators: Green manure provides a home for many natural predators like insects in winter green manure crops can help draw natural predators even in the heat. Examples include phacelia's blue blossoms, which draw hoverflies that consume aphids (the most common and resistant pest). Multiple green manure crops' flower nectar and pollen contribute to the plentiful nutrients that many pollinators receive.

Conclusion

The condition of performing intensive farming techniques, especially regarding this havoc climatic conditions, uneven weather patterns, soil erosion, and land contamination due to synthetic chemicals makes the farmer change their farming approaches or techniques.

Green manure proves to be a reasonable and cost-effective way to ensure long-term productivity in the agricultural fields 

It rejuvenates vital organic matter and nutrients in the soil, giving it new life and increased productivity. Legumes are used in green manure techniques because they have microorganisms that fix nitrogen in the soil in their roots. The farmer will be able to save money by not needing synthetic fertilizers as a result. 

The topsoil's increased stability prevents soil erosion. Adding porosity and aeration to the soil serves to enhance the overall structure of the soil.

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Recently Asked Question about Green Manure: Types and Importance of Green Manure for Farmers | Tractorgyan

What is the definition of green manure?

Green manure is an agricultural practice involving the cultivation of particular crops, typically cover crops such as legumes or grasses, which are then integrated into the soil to enhance its fertility and nutrient levels.

What are the different types of green manure?

Legumes and non-legumes are two main types of green manure crops.

What are the advantages of using green manure in farming?

Green manure aids in the mitigation of erosion and the prevention of nutrient leaching, eradication of weeds, enhancement of soil structure, promotion of soil microorganism populations, and provision of habitat for pollinators.

What are some good green manure crops?

Some examples of green manure crops are :

  • Legumes: clover, beans, peas, alfalfa, vetch

  • Non-legumes: oats, rye, buckwheat, millet, mustard

Can I use green manure in my vegetable garden?

Yes, green manure can be used in a vegetable garden. In fact, it is a great way to improve the soil in your vegetable garden.

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