Biofertilizers can be called poor man’s technology. Taking in to account the amount of nutrient supplied, biofertilizers are many times cheaper than chemical fertilizers. One third of the total recommended dose of nitrogen for paddy crop can be reduced if blue green algae or azolla biofertilizer is applied. Organic matter is the essential component of soil. It serves as an inexhaustible source of nutrients and energy for the plants as well as for useful microorganisms. Organic matter has great impact on the physical and chemical properties of the soil. Azolla and blue green algae produce on an average 8-10 tonnes of biomass per hectare, which adds to the organic matter pool of the soil.
Green manuring is an old practice and is a valuable source of potential organic matter. Green manure adds and increases the availability of several other plant nutrients through its favourable effects on chemical, physical and biological properties of the soil. 2-3 crops of Azolla is equivalent to 60 to 90 kg fertlizer N/ha.
Though Azola is an excellent manure, there are many doubts that comes to one, before taking the route of Azolla as a manure. This article states only 4 very important points one should take care of, before preparing Azolla. However, you might like to read to this article, which explains how to use Azola for smart farming. Click Here.
These 4 points should be taken care of, while one prepares Azolla :
1) The water which hosts azolla, should not be exposed to high temperature. This might turn your azolla red, which you would not want.
2) If the azolla is being grown in an unnatural/artificial source, the depth of the container should be good enough. The length and breadth can vary, however, the depth should be atleast 30 cm (minimum).
3) If you are preparing the Azolla in container or plastic trays, make sure the container is kept away from direct sunlight. Unlike in ponds or large water bodies where the water takes long to get warm, shallow water gets heated up easily and hence offers the azola an inhospitable environment to grow.
4) Azolla can be fed with any proper compost or manure. Though a healthy combination would be soil along with cow dung and SSP ( single Superphosphate ) or DAP ( Diammonium Phosphate)
Biofertilizers not only supply nitrogen and phosphorus but also some micronutrients essential for plant growth. Sometimes yield is limited by micronutrients and application of nitrogenous, phosphatic and potassic fertilizer does not improve yield significantly. In this situation the application of bulky biofertilizers like blue green algae and azolla increases yield due to greater supply of micronutrient (nutrients required in minute amounts but essential for plant growth).
Also refer : 1 Azolla, numerous uses, from farm till dairy
Do let me know, what would you like to read : email@example.com