Agriculture Corner

Loss of Organic Matter in Arid Areas


Organic matter deficiency is a problem that is faced by almost entire cultivated lands of Pakistan. Intensive and multiple cropping have rendered the agricultural lands with fewer nutrients. In arid areas, the situation is worse and loss of organic matter and nutrient is high as compared to irrigated lands. The reason is poverty that prevails among the farming community of arid regions that solely dependent on rainwater. The production is less and hence they meet their necessities hardly and left with less finances to replenish the nutrients and loss of organic matter through application of artificial fertilizers.

In arid areas, the cropping has exposed oils to conditions that are favorable in decomposing and erosion. These conditions increase the pace of loss of organic matter from soil. Changes in carbon and nitrogen that are related to losses of organic matter have occurred with small grains and row crops under both continuous cropping and alternate crop fallow systems.

How to Increase Organic Matter in Soil?

Organic matter elevation in the soil is necessary for optimum crop plant growth for healthy production. The loss of organic matter can be reduced or compensated by adopting some useful measures. These measures can be applied individually or collectively to increase the organic matter in arid areas soil.

  1. Regular application of farm yard manure (FYM) or litter in the agriculture fields of arid areas.
  2. Practicing stubble farming. This can be done by retaining the large portions of crop biomass in the agriculture fields during the time of harvesting.
  3. Keeping the soil covered and cool by mulching techniques to slow down organic matter degradation.
  4. Adopting the habit of green manuring in the agriculture fields of arid areas.
  5. Addition of hydrojels or the industrial organic wastes.
  6. Poultry manure application which is rich in nitrogen and is considered as one of the strongest organic manure.
  7. Planting legumes during fallow periods.

These practices are not only cheaper but also within the financial range of the relatively poor farming community of arid areas as compare to irrigated land farmers to cope with the loss of organic matter from soil .

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, September 21). Loss of Organic Matter in Arid Areas [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]