When crops are grown one after the other, it decreases the productivity of the soil. However, this can be overcome by adding manures and fertilizers to the soil. This increases the yield of the plants and also restores the productivity of the soil. Therefore, manures and fertilizers are paramount for efficient crop production.
What is Manure?
Manure is obtained from the decomposition of dead plants and animals. They essentially function as sustenance to the crops. They help in the proper cultivation of crops. Addition of manure enables the soil to hold more water. Organic manures have acids that dissolve the nutrients with soil and make it available to the plants.
Advantages of Manure
- It increases the water-holding capacity of the soil.
- It makes the soil porous and facilitates the exchange of gases.
- The texture of the soil improves.
- The number of microbes increases in the soil.
The process of adding manures is known as manuring. Manuring should be done at regular intervals, otherwise, the plants become weak. However, the use of manure has many drawbacks too. They can be rather difficult to transport and are not nutrient specific.
A fertilizer is a chemical substance that contains necessary nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous to make the soil fertile. Popular examples of fertilizers are urea, potash, and ammonium sulphate.
Advantages of fertilizers
- They are quick in providing plant nutrients and restoring soil fertility.
- They are portable and easy to transport.
- Plants easily absorb fertilizers.
- Fertilizers improve and increase the productivity of many crops such as wheat, maize, and rice.
However, these are chemicals, and they have the potential to decrease the fertility of soil if used constantly. Furthermore, it also pollutes water bodies.
Manures and fertilizers, both are added to increase soil fertility and enhance the growth of the plants, but are distinct in some way or the other. The major difference between the manures and fertilizers are summarized below:
Difference between Manures and Fertilizers
|Manure is obtained naturally by the decomposition of dead plants and animals.||Fertilizers are chemical substances and not typically natural.|
|It is not very rich in nutrients.||It is rich in soil nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.|
|It is slowly absorbed by the plants.||It is easily absorbed by the plants.|
|It provides a lot of humus to the soil.||It does not provide any humus to the soil.|
|They are prepared naturally in the fields.||They are prepared in the factories.|
|These do not improve the physical conditions of the soil relatively||These improve the physical condition of the soil.|
|Does not adversely affect the plant or the soil if supplied in large quantities.||Adversely affects the soil and the plant if supplied in large quantities.|