Agriculture Corner

Bio-fertilizers in Agriculture


With the introduction of the concept of organic farming and its wider demand and acceptability, there are new horizons opening in the agriculture field that are more human and environment friendly. One of these is the introduction of bio-fertilizers in agriculture. There has been great awareness among the masses in global farming community to route the efforts in more secure soil management techniques to have sustainable soil fertility.

What is Bio-fertilizer?

These are also called as microbial fertilizers or microbial inoculants that are prepared in such a way that contain live or latent cells of efficient strains of nitrogen fixing micro-organisms. These are used for seed application or soil application with the aim of increasing those organisms in the soil that improve micro biologically fixed nitrogen for plant growth.

Why Need of Bio-fertilizer?

It is estimated that there is about 80,000 tons of nitrogen over the atmosphere of hectare of land. This shows sufficient amount of nitrogen is available around, however it is in inert form and is not readily available for the plants to use. To make it available for the plant use, biological nitrogen fixation is carried out by specialized bacteria and algae that convert the inert nitrogen into plant usable nitrogen. These bacteria or algae have specialized enzyme called nitrogenase that facilitates this fixation. Hence inert N2 is converted to NH3 that is easily use by plants.

Bio-fertilizers in agriculture improve the physical properties of soil. The aeration in soil increase and hence it ultimately improves the soil fertility. Biomass content as well as nutrient availability along with efficient absorption of other nutrient increase like Phosphorus. They also help in enhancing plant growth through release of vitamins, hormones and auxins. Last but not least, bio-fertilizers in agriculture also help in proliferation of beneficial micro-organisms that are beneficial in suppressing soil borne pathogens.

Types of Bio-fertilizers in Agriculture

Depending upon the targeted function they perform, bio-fertilizers in agriculture are divided into 6 types. These are;

  1. Growth promoters excreting micro-organisms.
  2. Biological Nitrogen fixing micro-organisms.
  3. Making soluble Potash micro-organisms.
  4. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi.
  5. Solubilized and mobilized Potash making micro-organisms.
  6. Sulphur mobilizing micro-organisms.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 07). Bio-fertilizers in Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Agriculture Crop Classification on Life Cycle Basis


Agriculture crop classification on life cycle basis is another method of classifying crops in agriculture. in this kind of classification, the crops are classified on the basis of the time they take to complete their life cycle. Some crops take short term period to complete life cycle from sowing to harvesting and some need two seasons to grow even some take years to complete their life cycle.

So agronomist has classified crops also on the basis of life cycle. There are mainly three classes of crops in agriculture bases on life cycle. These are;

  1. Annual Crops
  2. Biennial Crops
  3. Perennial Crops

Agriculture Crop Classification on Life Cycle Basis

Annual Crops

These are the crops that produce seeds at the end of their life cycle and complete their life cycle within one year are called as annual crops. Most important staple crops of the world belong to this class of agriculture.

Examples: Wheat, Rice, Maize etc.

Biennial Crops

The crops included in this class complete their life cycle during second season or year. During the first season, the crops show only vegetative growth. During vegetative growth, they reserve food in their roots and other parts underground in the soil. During second season of their life cycle, they start to show flowers and seed. During this stage, the reserved food of previous season is utilized to produce flower and seeds. These crops are biennials however they are treated as annuals so that they can remain fit for human consumption.

Examples: Carrot, Turnip, radish, onion etc.

Perennial Crops

These are long life crops. These crops complete their life cycle in two or more than two years. The Perennial crops may produce seed every year, still their life cycle comprises of two or more than two years. An advantage of this crop is that these crops have very long and extensive root system so they are helpful in eradicating erosion problem in soil.

Example: Sugarcane, perennial rice, perennial sunflower etc.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 05). Agriculture Crop Classification on Life Cycle Basis[Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Branches of Entomology


The word Entomology is derived from a Greek word “entomone” and “logia”. If we look at the meaning of these two words, “entomone” means insects while “logia” meaning the study. Keeping this in view, we can define entomology as the branch of zoology that deals with the scientific study of insects. Furthermore, entomology also explores the linkages between insects themselves and also the relationship of insects with other organisms including plant and animal on earth. This enables the scientists to divide entomology into various branches of entomology for easy understanding of the subject and also to classify insects in their particular groups based on their characteristics.

Following are the branches of entomology;

  1. Insect Ecology
  2. Insect Morphology
  3. Insect Pathology
  4. Insect Physiology
  5. Insect Taxonomy
  6. Insect Toxicology
  7. Industrial Entomology
  8. Medical and Veterinary Entomology
  9. Biological Control Entomology
  10. Post-Harvest Entomology
  11. Forensic Entomology
  12. Forest Entomology
  13. Crop Protection Entomology

Branches of Entomology

Insect Ecology

This branch of entomology deals with the relationships of insects with their environment. This branch focuses on the study and analysis of presence of insects in an ecosystem. The aim is the preserve the insects not to remove or eradicate them. 

Insect Morphology

The study of insect body parts as well as their function is studied in this branch of entomology. This branch deals mostly with the external body parts of an insect.

Insect Pathology

The diseases that may harm or effect the health of insects is studied in this branch of entomology. In this, scientist uses disease agents or vectors to get rid of certain pests that may harm useful insects. It also include, getting rid of those pests that harm agriculture.

Insect Physiology

This branch of entomology deals with various functions and behavioral systems present inside the insect body. It also includes the study of behavior of different insects with their environment or ecosystem.

Insect Taxonomy

As we know taxonomy is the naming and classification of organisms. So, insect taxonomy is the practice as well as theory of naming the insects. It is a continuous process as there are many unidentified insects still roaming on the planet earth.

Insect Toxicology

This branch of entomology deals with how the insecticides and other chemical affect the insect’s physiological functions. We can say that this branch deals with the field of controlling insects and pest management.

Industrial Entomology

The branch of entomology deals with the study as well as rearing of insects for business or beneficial purposes. This includes honeybee or apiculture, bumblebees, butterflies, silkworms etc. This branch of entomology actually deals with benefit of mankind. On the other hand, it also deals with the removal of harmful insects like termites, cockroaches, houseflies etc. from the houses.

Medical and Veterinary Entomology

Insects not only harm humans, but also animals. This branch of entomology deals with the insects that harm not only humans but effect animals also. It deals everything about medical public health, and veterinary importance such as Malaria, Dengue etc.

Biological Control Entomology

This branch deals with using insects against harmful insects. In other words, friendly insects are used to cater harmful insects thus called as biological control insects. For example, Ladybird eats aphids which destroy wheat crop. Similarly, dragonfly eats those insects that damage crops.

Post-Harvest Entomology

This branch of entomology deals with the study, practice and control of those insects that harm the stored commodities and products like stores wheat, rice etc.

Forensic Entomology

In this branch, the focus is on using the insects to determine or estimate the time, place of human health for legal purposes.

Forest Entomology

This branch of entomology deals with the trees and insects. In other words, in this branch, we study the impact of insects on forests and forest products and design solutions to safeguard trees from serious damage.

Crop Protection Entomology

The branch of entomology that deals with the study of controlling insects from damaging the crops in the fields in called as crop protection entomology. Sometimes, it is also called as agricultural entomology.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 04). Branches of Entomology[Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Integrated Pest Management in Agriculture


Pest management has always taken important position while planning and organizing farm management. Climate change has introduced many new kinds of pest that didn’t exist before or not present in a particular place, but they have got suitable climatic condition now. This has increased the responsibilities of agriculturists all-round the globe to find against pest so that goal of profit maximization can be achieved. A new concept in this regard is the Integrated Pest Management or IPM.

Integrated Pest Management is regarded as the most important pest control principle on which the goal of sustainable crop production and crop protection is based. This technique equip the farmers to manage the pests in agriculture field in a cost effective, efficient and environmental friendly way that has also a wider social acceptability.

What is Integrated Pest Management?

United Nations Food and Agriculture and Organization (FAO) defines IPM as;

A pest management system that in the context of the associated environment and the population dynamics of the pest species, utilizes all suitable techniques and methods, in a compatible manner as possible and maintains the pest population at levels below those causing economic injury

Important Aspects of Integrated Pest Management

Following are few aspects that should be given due importance while crafting a sound IPM technology for agriculture farm.

  • In developing countries, agriculture is practiced widely by small and marginal farmers who are poor. So while designing IPM for an area, low input cost should be in mind so to make IPM adaptable by wide range of farmers and farming community.
  • Farmers should be trained regarding the efficient use of inputs (pesticide) so that objective of cost effectiveness is achieved.
  • The IPM should be designed in such a manner to bring down the pest population in agriculture field to a level below the injury level.
  • Technologies developed should be environmentally friendly. This is because, we have polluted our environment enough already, that more damage will bring disastrous impact on human health.
  • Keeping in view the international demand of organic food, the IPM tech applied should not cause any kind of hindrances in the way of exports.
  • Conservation of biodiversity should be given importance.
  • Integrated Pest Management technology should ensure that it will pose no harm to human, animals, friendly insects and birds.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 03). Integrated Pest Management in Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]


Agriculture Corner

Preventive Measures for Weed Control in Agriculture


Weeds are always a piece of headache for the farming community all over the world. This plant not only competes for the nutrients in the soil with the main crops in the field but also cause serious damage to the health of plants. In agriculture, great attention has been devoted to curtail the growth of weeds in the agricultural fields. Each year, new and innovative measures are introduced to cope with weed issues. This article will present four basic but effective, efficient and easy to apply preventive measures for weed control in agriculture sector. The preventive measures presented here are also equally applicable in other types of farming like vegetable gardening, horticultural crops and orchards etc. The preventive measures include;

  1. Using weed free seeds.
  2. Applying weed free manure.
  3. Using weed free agricultural engineering equipment during ploughing and harvesting.
  4. Clean irrigation water passages in and around the agriculture fields.

4 Preventive Measures for Weed Control

Using Weed Free Seeds

In agriculture as well as in vegetable farming, it is a common observation that weed seed get mixed with the seed of main crop. This happens mainly due to poor management and also lack of farmer’s ability to differentiate between weed seed and crop seed. An example of this case is Mirabilis jalapa. This is a common weed in waste lands and is similar in look with Papaya seed. It often gets mixed involuntarily with Papaya seed and results in poor quality papaya seeds.

Applying Weed Free Manure

Manure is one of the big carriers of weed seeds and is also the chief agent of weed problem in agriculture sector. A good example in this case is of Parthenium hyster. This weed flourish extensively in and around manure or where these is abundance of organic matter. After getting into manure, it multiplies very fast and produces innumerable seeds. When this manure is bought to the agriculture field and spread on the soil not only manures mixes with the soil, but also the seeds of this weed spread and start growing along with the main crop. So, it is easy ad effective to ensure that the manure you are collecting for agricultural field is weed free and collected from clean place.

Using Weed Free Agricultural Engineering Equipment during Ploughing and Harvesting

These equipments are major carriers of dispersing weed seeds, stolons, underground nuts and bulbs of perennial weeds. These tools not only spread weeds but in some cases are the agents of introducing new varieties of weeds in a place where they don’t exist previously. This is because, all farmers don’t have access or capacity to purchase these equipment. So they rent these machines. If the machines are not cleaned properly before operation, then there is a fair chance that seeds of weeds from some other areas get introduce in their field.

Clean Irrigation Water Passages in and Around the Agriculture Fields

It is also a fast and easiest way for weeds to get spread through wider and long ranged areas. Seeds of Portulaca oleracea are easily dispersed through water channels to long range areas and end up in vegetable fields like Okra, Brinjal, Garlic, Radish etc. These spread in large numbers and hence its get very difficult to control them. So it is advised that proper and regular cleaning of irrigation water passages or channels should be carried out at regular intervals so minimize the spreading of weeds.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 02). Preventive Measures for Weed Control in Agriculture[Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Crop Rotation in Agriculture


In agriculture, crop rotation refers to growing of crops that are different from each other in successions on farm field in a specific period of time. In other words, it is growing of dissimilar crop or no crop during sequential seasons on the same of piece of land. The objective of crop rotation is to get maximum profit from investing minimum or making least investment without harming the fertility of soil.

Historian dates back crop rotation to 6000 B.C. when it was practiced by the farmers of Middle East. Interestingly, it is also believed that those farmers did not know the science behind this practice still the follow it. The logic is simple. It is practiced because if one cultivates same kind of crop over several years, the soil becomes weak and infertile. That same crop requires same kind of nutrients each year. And if crop rotation is not practiced, that kind of nutrients becomes exhausted. These nutrients have an additional duty of keeping the soil stable in terms of keeping the soil texture. In case of same crop growing again and again without crop rotation, the soil becomes susceptible to soil erosion due to weaker bonding between soil particles.

One cycle of crop rotation may acquire 1 or more farming years to complete. For irrigated areas, the farming year is of 12 months. However in rain fed or Barani areas, farming year is restricted to that period of time during which there is adequate availability of soil water.

Crop rotation is carried our extensively and is a common practice. Farm experts are of the view to rotate crops is such a manner that one cereal crop is succeeded by the legumes crop so that crop fertility remain stable.

Benefits of Crop Rotation

  • Effective tool to control pest.
  • Adequate management of nitrogen in soil or create nitrogen balance in soil.
  • Keep soil safe from wind and water erosion.
  • Keep greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.
  • Increased soil productivity.
  • Minimize the use of pesticides thus reducing water and soil pollution.
  • Keeps the soil structure good.
  • Carbon storing ability increases.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 01). Crop Rotation in Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]


Agriculture Corner

Special Purpose Crops in Agriculture


In agriculture field, specifically in agronomy, there are various crops that are grown with a special purpose under certain circumstances. As these crops have to serve a special purpose, so they are termed as special purpose crops. These special purpose crops crops have great importance in agriculture not only because they provide food for consumption to both humans and livestock, but also they help farmers to safeguard their economic benefits.

Generally, 7 crops are included in special purpose crops classification. These are;

  1. Green Manure Crops
  2. Silage Crops
  3. Catch Crops
  4. Soilage Crops or Green Chop Crops
  5. Relay Crops
  6. Companion Crops
  7. Cover Crops

Green Manure Crops

These kinds of crops are grown to increase the fertility of soil. These crops are grown and then mix in the soil during ploughing. Sometime these are grown, cut and left in the ground for an prolonged period prior to applying tillage operations.


Brassica, Vetch, Clover, Alfalfa.

Silage Crops

These are the crops grown for livestock and dairy consumption. The crops are grown, cut and preserved as silage. They are cut in succulent condition and through partial fermentation, silage is made. The advantage is continuous supply of fodder to animals during dry periods or when green fodder is not available.


Grasses, Miaze, Oat.

Catch Crops

These are also called as critical crops as they are grown to fill in the space in case when main crop failed due to any reason or sowing of major crop is delayed for some reason. They are grown to cover economic less to some extent.


Sorghum and Maize for Fodder

Soilage Crops or Green Chop Crops

These are green fodder crops for the livestock and dairy animals. The Soilage crops are grown and harvested in green form and still succulent. These are fed directly to the animals in the farm.



Relay Crops

It is a crop that is planted as a second crop in the agriculture fields, however after the first crop has achieved its reproductive growth but is not ready to harvest.


The sowing of Sugarcane in Sugar Beet is an example of relay cropping.

Companion Crops

Companion crops are those crops in agriculture that are grown together. Like green legumes is grown mix with grasses. The objective is to increase the forage production as well as its quality. As these are grown together, so they are termed as companion crops.


Maize – Red Beans (Lobia) and Barley-Oat

Cover Crops

These crops are grown with the objective to keep the soil safe from erosion. these are planted to cover the ground so that water and wind erosion don’t harm the soil plus it also safeguard nutrient loss by leaching. These are mostly spreading in nature plants i.e. the plant grown and cover large area of ground.


Mash, Mong Bean, Grasses.

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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, February 27). Special Purpose Crops in Agriculture[Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Objectives of Tillage


Tillage is the mechanical manipulation of soil to prepare it for crop cultivation by creating a favorable enabling environment for proper plant growth. It is carried our both by manually and mechanically. This is discussed in An Introduction to Soil Tillage. This article is going to highlight objectives of tillage .

Objectives of Tillage

  1. To prepare and organize the seedbeds in the field to a satisfactory level that can support not only the optimum germination of the seedlings but also aid in proper establishment of the plant.
  2. To control weeds in such a way that nutrients are absorb efficiently and effectively by the plants. This is also carried out to support a close plant-soil interaction within the rooting zone for proper nourishment of crop plants.
  3. To enhance the physical condition of soil.
  4. To break the hard pans of soil so that soil nutrients are readily available to crop plants.
  5. To manage the crop plant remains by incorporating them into the soil. The plant residues can also be retained on the top layer. This promises a reduction in soil erosion problem.
  6. To prepare soil for absorbing the rain water efficiently.
  7. To integrate and mix the fertilizers applied into the soil so that they are readily available to the crop plants.
  8. To form specific surface configurations for the purpose of sowing, irrigation, drainage, pesticide and fertilizer application etc.
  9. To destroy the eggs of crop pests and larvae of insects. This aids in destroying the breeding places of these pests.
  10. To accelerate the process of drying and warming of soil and exclusion of toxic gases.
  11. To facilitate and minimize the irrigation water usage in the crop fields.
  12. To increase the aeration in the soil

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, February 07). Objectives of Tillage [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]

Agriculture Corner

Conservation of Water in Agriculture


Globally, the resources of water are depleting and the rate of recharge of these resources is slow enough that situation of water shortage has been raised in many parts of the globe. According to United Nations, 40 percent of population on earth is facing water shortage and is projected to rise. Similarly, 783 million have no access to safe drinking water. The chief causes of loss of water and its resources are inefficient water use, wastage and poor management of water resources. This situation has clubbed the policy makers round the globe on a common ground to find sustainable solutions for conservation of water.

Before heading forward, the next step is to identify what are the chief water consuming sectors globally? Globally large chunk of freshwater resources are utilized by food and agriculture sector. More precisely, production of food commodities are the chief consumers of water whether it is agricultural crops of livestock animals.  According to Food and Water Organization of United Nations (FAO), agriculture sector consumes 70 percent of available water while industrial usage ranks second (20 percent) followed by domestic consumption (10 percent). Moreover, largest wastage of water occurs in agriculture sector. The developing nations are main culprits due to poor management of water and lack of technology to use and conserve resources of water.

What is Water Conservation?

So first, let’s discuss what is water conservation? The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines conservation of water as:

Water conservation refers to the preservation, control and development of water resources, both surface and groundwater, and prevention of pollution.

Conservation of water in agriculture refers to efficient use of water in irrigation operations and managed and controlled supply of water to allied sectors of agriculture to conserve resources of water. Through conservation of water, the objective is to ensure that the demand of water should not exceed the reclamation of resources of water, so that an optimal balance is maintained in supply and demand of water.

Below table shows water consumed by crops based on liter/Kg criteria.

Commodity Water Footprint (l/kg)
Sugar 197
Spices 7048
Fibers 3837
Tobacco 2925
Oil Crops 2364
Cereals 1644
Fruits 967
Vegetables 322

Importance of Conservation of Water in Agriculture


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[box type=”note” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, October 31). Conservation of Water in Agriculture[Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]


Vegetable Gardening

5 Reasons of crop Failure in Vegetable Garden


Vegetable gardening is simple and easy, and can yield successful crops year round. However, vegetable gardening can become quite complicated, especially for beginners, if the required steps are not followed. Besides, it can be challenging at times even for expert gardeners and therefore the produce doesn’t give anticipated results. To make things easy and smooth, I am taking this opportunity to discuss the five most common crop failures that occur in the modern day urban gardening system and how to turn around those failures into successes of growing crops at your home.

1 Seeds Fail to Germinate

It’s heartbreaking when you did everything according to plan and yet the seeds fail to germinate. This is one of the most common vegetable garden failures. Failure in germination of seeds is caused by old seeds, washed away seeds, lack of moisture, extremes of temperature, improper planting depth or seeds being stolen by animals.

It’s vital to plant crops that are suitable for a giving season and climatic conditions. Like for example:  growing tomatoes, when there’s less than 4 hours of sunlight available, planting carrots in clay soils and warm temperatures or growing cabbage in Mediterranean climates, as they are prone to pest infestation.

2 Spindly Plant Seedlings

Young plant seedlings become leggy, when they are growing in an overcrowded container or pot. Needless to say, this occurs because the growing nutrient hungry plants compete for organic nutrients, adequate sunlight. Furthermore, root damage caused by disease or transplanting also result in spindly seedlings.

3 Low Yields

Low yields of crops in vegetable gardening usually results from insufficient watering and using wrong type of fertilizer for a particular type of crop. For example, tomatoes and peppers require high potassium and leafy plants like cabbage grow well in high nitrogen containing soil. Due to overcrowding of plants they compete for nutrients. I would suggest doing soil tests and then add nutrients accordingly to the needs of the crop.

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