Recent studies have revealed that continuous use of suboptimal doses of nutrients in the intensive cropping system has led to severe depletion of nutrient reserves in the soil, causing multiple nutrient deficiencies. The use of high-analysis fertilizers devoid of micronutrients has also aggravated micronutrient deficiencies causing a significant decline in crop productivity. No single dose of plant nutrient applied through chemical fertilizers, organic manures, crop residues or biofertilizers can meet the entire nutrient need of a crop in modern intensive agriculture. Rather, these need to be used in an integrated manner following a management technology which is practicable, economically viable, socially acceptable and ecologically sound. In this chapter, the rising need for INM system due to escalating prices of chemical fertilizers, imbalances in the ratio of NPK consumption, imbalances between consumption and domestic production, deterioration of soil health, consumption of non-renewable energy by inorganic fertilizers, deterioration in soil health, pollution hazards of chemical fertilizers, loss of chemical productivity, deterioration in soil physical properties and biological activity, additive effects of organic fertilizers as a source of secondary nutrients and micronutrients, and decline in crop productivity through inorganics.
The world population is expected to double within the next 3–5 decades, thus making the task of several national agricultural systems more difficult to provide the needed food security. This is likely to be further complicated by environmental problems which are cropping up due to intense use of chemicals like inorganic fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, bactericides, and weedicides. Therefore, the sustainability of national agricultural systems is a major concern today. For the solution of the above concern, the management of soil fertility and soil health through INM system is the key to the development of sustainable agriculture.
INM system is an age-old concept but its importance was not realized earlier as nutrient removal by the crops was very low due to subsistence farming. At present, the INM system has a great significance because of intensive farming being practiced. Moreover, for the realization of higher crop yields from a system on an economic basis, the judicious and efficient blending of organic and inorganic sources of plant nutrients is essential.
Mr. Piyush Kumar, India
KC Group of Institution