6 Methods of Soil Fertility Management to Boost Production

Soil fertility management is the practice of maintaining and improving the productivity of soil for agricultural or horticultural purposes. Soil fertility is essential for growing healthy crops, and proper management of soil fertility is crucial for sustainable agriculture.

Soil fertility management

What is soil fertility Management?

Soil fertility management refers to the process of maintaining and improving the productivity of soil for agricultural or horticultural purposes. It involves various practices aimed at increasing soil fertility by improving the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil.

5 ways of improving soil fertility

1. Adding organic matter: 

Organic matter, such as compost or manure, can improve soil structure, water-holding capacity, and nutrient availability.

2. Balancing soil pH: 

Soil pH affects nutrient availability, and maintaining an optimal pH range can improve crop growth and yield.

3. Applying fertilizers: 

Fertilizers provide essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to crops, which can increase productivity.

4. Using cover crops: 

Cover crops, such as legumes, can fix nitrogen in the soil and improve soil structure and organic matter content.

5. Rotating crops: 

Crop rotation and cropping system can prevent soil depletion of specific nutrients and reduce the buildup of pests and diseases.

Information on soil fertility

Finding out the causes of soil fertility degradation and making maximum use of available resources at the local level (cow manure, compost, green manure, and also using an appropriate amount of chemical fertilizers, sustainable soil management, as well as increasing agricultural production and preventing environmental pollution, called as integrated nutrient management method.

As the fertility of the soil is decreasing due to the deficiencies in the traditional agricultural system, agricultural production and productivity are also decreasing, integrated nutrients to increase production through sustainable soil fertility management. The need for a management system has been felt.

Prevailing agricultural systems and causes of fertility depletion

  1. Increase in cropping intensity.
  2. Cultivation of advanced varieties that give higher yields. 
  3. Reduction in the use of organic fertilizers.
  4. Increasing reliance on chemical fertilizers and use of unbalanced fertilizers
  5. Lack of grasslands and forests.
  6. Soil erosion etc.

To know how much fertilizer to use when planting crops in any soil, it is necessary to find out the fertility of the soil. In the same way, to find out what the nutritional status is in the standing habit, as well as to know which elements to provide, it is possible to find out which nutritional elements should be given to the plants by finding out the strength of the soil through the tissue analysis and biochemical tests of the plant.

Methods of determining soil fertility 

1. Observing signs of nutrient deficiency (use of indicator plants)

If there is a deficiency of any nutrient in the plant, specific symptoms appear, and based on those symptoms, it can be known that there is no deficiency in the soil. For example, nitrogen deficiency causes plants to turn yellow or stop growing. Similarly, phosphorus deficiency causes dark green and thick leaves to turn purple in some crops, potassium deficiency causes rice leaves to dry up and die, zinc deficiency causes browning of rice and orange wilt disease, boron deficiency causes cauliflower to turn brown, and molybdenum deficiency causes the leaves to become shriveled.

Although sometimes it is difficult to say that there is a deficiency of this food element based on symptoms alone, it can be distinguished to a large extent based on experience. For this, the fertility of the soil can be detected by using indicator plants.

 2. By field testing

In this way, plants are planted with or without the use of nutrients in the soil. By looking at the growth of plants in the places where fertilizers are placed and not, it can be found whether that nutrient is deficient or not. Although this method is reliable, it takes more time and costs.

3. Biological way

The fertility of the soil is determined by using some specific bacteria. In this way, the micro-organisms are seeded by taking a soil sample. The status of food elements is detected by looking at the growth rate of bacteria in the said soil.

4. Biological Chemical Test

By looking at the number of special enzymes in plants, it can be found whether there is a lack of food elements. Nitrate reductase enzyme is reduced during nitrogen deficiency, and phosphatase enzyme activity increases during phosphorus deficiency. This method is also not in vogue.

 5. Examining the tissue

In this method, the amount of food content is found by taking specific parts and tissues of the plant. Based on the test, the fertility of the soil and the nutritional status of the plants can be determined. This method is mainly used in fruit crops and other perennials crops.

 6. By chemical analysis of soil

Soil pH, organic matter nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash elements using chemicals are tested. This method is the most used because it is comparatively faster and more reliable.

Importance of soil fertility management using organic matter

The role of organic matter in soil is very intensive. The heart of soil is organic matter. This is especially the material formed by decomposing the remains of different types of plants and the remains of animals and birds are called the organic part of the soil. This substance is composed of oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and up to 50 percent carbon. Sources include cow dung, urine, plant remains, chicken dung, sheep’s shoes, green manure, waste from villages and towns, bones, hooves, fish, meat, etc.

Tow can be considered a living thing because the more organic matter is added to the soil, the more the production increases. As the organic matter decomposes, it turns into a humus. Methane gas is generated in the place where the carbon dioxide is reduced. During the process of decomposition of residues, the dead bacteria become dissolved in soil and water. Different types of enzymes are used to break down the starch that is decomposed in this way. Therefore, the decomposition process of these types depends on the number of bacteria. Microorganisms use nitrogen and carbon while decomposing.

Nitrogen elements are used to make bacterial proteins and to increase the number of fungi. The wider the carbon and nitrogen, the slower the decomposition process. Bacteria and fungi use the nitrogen used in the soil. If these types of bacteria die as the food and energy sources decrease, the nitrogen content of these dead bacteria is high and can be used by plants.

Factors affecting the decomposition of organic Matter

Soil fertility management

1. Temperature

We know that in very cold environments plant growth slows down and organic matter takes time to decompose. Plant growth is faster in very warm temperatures. Therefore, if there is the right kind of temperature, organic matter can be added more and the process of decomposition is also faster.

2. Moisture

Moisture is needed for plant growth and the decomposition of organic matter. Moisture content The moisture content of the material kept to be decomposed to make fertilizer should be 50-60 percent. In very dry and waterlogged places, plant growth is reduced and micro-biological activities are also reduced. Where water drainage is reduced and vegetation grows, the amount of life increases, and organic soil is formed.

3. Food elements

More nitrogen is needed to make organic matter. A low load of organic matter does not result in good plant growth.

4. Soil pH

Microbial activity is inhibited in highly acidic soils and highly alkaline soils. If microbiological activity stops, the work of decomposing organic matter stops. Therefore, 6-8 p. should be If soil p. If H is below 4.5 or above 8.5, microbiological activity is lost.

Benefits and importance of the organic matter

Organic matter is a source of nitrogen.

  • Almost all kinds of elements needed by plants are found.
  • Improves soil structure.
  • Increases microbial activity in the soil.
  • Protects Soil nutrients.
  • Improves acidic and alkaline soils.
  • Makes the soil loose and crumbly.
  •  Since it will be prepared from local sources, no external expenses will be incurred.
  •  Increases air movement in the soil
  • Increases the water-holding capacity of the soil.
  • The environment will be clean and healthy as the garbage will be managed and no chemical fertilizers, It helps reduce the impact.

Negative effects of organic matter

  • Since organic matter is a source of energy and carbon, it is more resistant to many types of diseases and bacteria help to keep alive.
  • If there is too much organic matter, nutrient leakage goes to waste.

Soil organic matter and fertility management

  • To use all kinds of plant and animal remains.
  • Turn the crop residues into compost.
  • Bringing organic and chemical fertilizers into integrated use.
  • Adopting a crop cycle of pulse crops.
  • Adoption of earth-protected system.
  • All kinds of animal manure, urine, village, and city waste should be used in the complete cycle of manure.


The soil fertility management is the most importance practices for agricultural purpose and sustainable agriculture as well maintaining and improving the soil for increasing the productivity of soils & crops .I hope you are fully understanding about the ways and method of soil fertility management. If you have any questions related to soil fertility management please comment below.

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