Interested in learning more about water management and fertilizers?

Be sure to read IFA’s book, “Managing Water and Fertilizer for Sustainable Agriculture Intensification”, available in IFA's Library.


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Soils and water


Soils need more than nutrients to be healthy and to sustain plant growth, they also need water. Water is fast becoming a scarce resource in certain regions of the world, and farmers need to be very careful in managing inputs (water and nutrients) to ensure high yields while reducing adverse effects of this management on the environment.

Soil fertility management must take water into consideration in order to be effective. Indeed, the accumulation or depletion of nutrients in soils is directly affected by the movement of water in soils.

Here are what the three main considerations that govern the relation between water and nutrients in soil fertility management:
  1. Soil water stress will limit soil nutrient use at the plant level;
  2. Soil-supplied nutrients can be taken up by plants only when sufficient soil solution allows mass flow and diffusion of nutrients to roots;
  3. Soil water content is the single most important factor controlling the rate of many chemical and biological processes, that influence nutrient availability.
Managing water, nutrients and soils wisely is critical to ensure sustainable food production in a water-scarce world.

Fertigation




Fertigation
is an innovative fertilizer application method that entails applying fertilizers to crops via irrigation water.

Fertigation makes it possible to “synchronize the crop’s nutrient demand with fertilizer supply throughout its growth, in effect applying the 4R principles” as the amount of fertilizer, its concentration and the timing of the application is controlled by the farmer according to the soil’s needs.

Fertigation has tremendous potential in maximising yields while minimizing environmental pollution, that could help turn vast areas of arid and semi-arid land in many parts of the world into farmland, as well as preventing water from being wasted in conventional irrigation systems.



In 2011, IFA and the International Potash Institute published a book on Fertigation, that explained the interactions between soils, water and fertilizers in fertigation, as well as “various knowledge and information on plant physiology, plant nutrition and irrigation”. It is available in IFA’s Library.

 
Soils featured papers
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Fertilizers and their Efficient Use - Read More ... Reetz, H.F.2016Order
Fertilizers and their Efficient Use - Read More ... Reetz, H.F.2016Download
La fertilisation et les sols : les experts en parlent - Read More ...  2015Download
Managing Fertilizers to Enhance Soil Health - Read More ... Singh, B., Ryan, J.2015Download
Soil & Fertilizer: Expert Views - Read More ...  2014Download

Soils bibliography
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Fertilizer Industry Contributions for Improving P Fertilizer Formulations and Efficiency - Read More ... Tindall, T.A.2016Download
Fertilizers and low emission development in sub-Saharan Africa - Read More ... Richards, M., van Ittersum M., Mamo T., Stirling C., Vanlauwe B., Zougmore R.2016Download
Optimizing Plant Nutrition to Promote Soil Health - Read More ... Roberts, T.L.2016Download
Plant Nutrition and Soil Health - From a FAO Perspective - Read More ... Turner, D.2016Download
Rethinking Soils: Lessons Learned from IYS 205 and the Way Forward - Read More ... Mamo, T.2016Download

Organics bibliography
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TitleAuthorsYearPub FormatClick Link
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Optimizing Plant Nutrition to Promote Soil Health - Read More ... Roberts, T.L.2016PdfDownload
Managing Fertilizers to Enhance Soil Health - Read More ... Singh, B., Ryan, J.2015PdfDownload
Role of Bioinoculants and Organics in Sustainable Fertilizer Management - Read More ... Saxena, A.K.2015PdfDownload
Fertilizers and Soil Health - Debunking the Myths - Read More ... Sanchez, P.2015PdfDownload
Maintaining Healthy Soils: Challenges and Opportunities for the Fertilizer Industry - Read More ... Singh, Bijay2014PdfDownload

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