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Agriculture Chemicals as Soil Pollutants

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Agriculture Chemicals as Soil Pollutants

  1. 1.  Soil pollution is –  Contamination of soil by heavy metals, inorganic compounds, chemicals, salts.  It has an adverse effect on plant growth and human health.  Soil pollutants-  Substances causing soil pollution like coal, sewage, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.  Agriculture chemicals includes-  Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, fertilizers.
  2. 2.  Used to correct soil deficiencies.  Necessary nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and many more are obtained from fertilizers.  Two types-  Organic fertilizers  Inorganic fertilizers
  3. 3.  Organic fertilizers-  Obtained from naturally occurring substances.  Made from plant, animal byproducts.  Compost , manure, marine byproducts.  Inorganic fertilizers-  Synthetically manufactured.  Like nitrogen fertilizers, potassium fertilizers, phosphorous fertilizers.  Readily dissolved in soil.
  4. 4.  Compost-  Made from decomposed plant matter such as vegetable peels, egg shells.  Manure-  Comes from livestock animals such as cattle, chickens, horses and sheep.  Marine byproducts-  Fish scrap
  5. 5. Manure products are one of the most common natural fertilizers available.
  6. 6.  Accumulation of soil acidity in soil which increases aluminium availability and hence toxity .  Fertilizer burn.  Nitrogen fertilizer can be converted by soil bacteria to nitrogen oxide, a greenhouse gas which also causes acid rain.
  7. 7.  Remain longer in soil  Release nutrients slowly  Less likely to burn roots of plants  Enhance soil health  Nurture soil microbes
  8. 8.  To kill, destroy pests.  Imp. Pesticides are DDT, organophosphates, aldrin, furodan.  Pesticides get absorbed by soil particles.  Decrease fertility of soil  Toxic effect on human
  9. 9.  Organochlorine pesticides-  DDT, chlordane  Pyrethroid pesticides-  Pyrethrin  Biopesticides-  Derived from natural material like plants, animals, bacteria.  Canola oil, baking soda
  10. 10.  Reduces soil life from 2 to 16 years.  Reach a destination other than their target species when sprayed.  Reduces nitrogen fixation  Pests develop resistance to pesticides, necessitating new pesticides.  Destroys habitats, threatens species  Contamination of ground water.
  11. 11.  Biological Controls-  Parasites, predators to kill pests.  Bacteria can be also used to kill pests.  Quarantine-  Restriction on the importation of plant and animals that could contain pests.  Interplanting-  The alternate row of planting can provide a habitat for predators of pests to the other row.
  12. 12.  Used to kill unwanted plants.  Organic herbicides-  Expensive  Less effective than synthetic herbicides  Spices, vinegar  Do not damage crops as naturally made.
  13. 13.  Chemical compounds used to kill fungi.  Fungi can cause serious damage in agriculture.  Result in critical loss of yield, quality and profit.  Dangerous to human health.  Eg- Neem oil, Tea tree oil, etc.
  14. 14.  US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)- reports that over 1 billion tons of pesticides are used in the US every year.  . Agricultural use accounted for 80% of pesticide use in the US.  . The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) -responsible for monitoring pesticide levels on fruits and vegetables.
  15. 15.  Between the years of 2004-05 and 2009-10, the total consumption of fertilizer has increased by 43% .  . Consumption of potash increased by merely 15 kg/ha during last 27 years from less than 2 kg in 1971-72 to 17.1 kg in 2008- 09.  The Fertilizer consumption (% of fertilizer production) in India was 166.29 in 2009, according to a World Bank report, published in 2010.

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