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Mulching: The best way of increasing fertilizer and pesticide effectiveness

Change is the law of nature. No one knows this better than farmers, who interact with nature almost on a daily basis. So why not make it a rule to go for a change in our approach to agriculture, especially if it is good for our crops, by adopting farm-friendly practices like Mulching? It would not hurt to join the global bandwagon of farmers, who are well-versed with the mulching benefits and reaping rich rewards from the same.
Did your hands shake the first time you used fertilizers and pesticides for your crops? Probably not! And the crop yield must have made you happy at harvest! So, why not try your hand at mulching, which could not only add quality to your natural bounty, but also aptly incentivize your farming career, by improving the practices that you are already following?
After all, mulching is an age-old practice that farmers have been indulging in knowingly or unknowingly. Giving it a formal name and industrializing it a bit for the sake of their convenience does not make it outlandish or formidable.
The challenges being faced by farmers at the global level have turned the spotlight on the need to adopt modern agricultural practices and technologies like mulching that boost the effectiveness of fertilizers, pesticides and other agricultural products.
Before we delve into the mulching benefits with regard to increase in effectiveness of fertilizers and pesticides, we need to understand why farmers use fertilizers.

Why do farmers use fertilizers

  1. Crops need potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen to yield a healthy and abundant harvest to their growers. 
  2. Nitrogen is one of the most essential compounds that crops need and is naturally available in the soil, but in limited quantities
  3. Farmers have to add fertilizers to the soil to increase the nitrogen content.

Fertilizers add vitality to the soil, while pesticides protect plants and crops from pathogens. Mulch jacks up the effectiveness of both.

What is mulch?

Mulch is an organic or inorganic cover that boosts the vitality of the soil by controlling and regulating the factors associated with the growth of a plant including irrigation and nourishment. 

What is Mulching?

Mulching is the process of applying organic or inorganic mulch to the soil depending on the needs of the plant being cultivated. Nowadays farmers can also use factory-manufactured mulching paper, which serves to simplify the process of applying a mulch cover on their arable lands for the farmers. 

What do farmers do while mulching?

While mulching their fields, farmers stir the soil being cultivated, and add fertilizer to it, before covering it with mulch, which could be organic or inorganic. Organic mulch, including compost, straw, stubble, wood chips, leaves, et al, adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes.

How does mulch boost effectiveness of fertilizers and pesticides:

The mulch cover holds the soil in place, besides preventing the growth of weeds in the covered area and protecting the plant from pest attack. 
Mulch helps retain adequate moisture in the soil by preventing evaporation, which reduces the need to irrigate the plant every now and then. 
It prevents soil erosion during irrigation, thereby highly minimizing the loss of essential nutrients. 
The fertilizer added to the soil covered by mulch remains safe and does not get washed away.

Benefits of Mulching:

  1. Increased output of healthy crop through effective use of fertilizers.
  2. High quality yield of crops
  3. Farmers get good prices for their produce in the retail market.

So, if you are a farmer affected by various agricultural issues and are seeking ways of enhancing your crop yield, you should go for mulching. The myriad benefits of mulching are bound to leave you pleasantly surprised especially around harvest time.

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