1. Agriculture World

Domestic Fertilizer demand significantly up - net sales jump by 83%

Abhijeet Banerjee
Abhijeet Banerjee

Fertilizer usage is generally the most during sowing of Kharif season crops. The month of June has received heavy rainfall, and as a result sowing operations got a boost. As per latest reports, sowing of key crops sowing has registered an increase by nearly 87 percent versus last year, corresponding period. Between the period of April and June, sales of fertilizers have jumped reasonably by 83% approximately and the sales number reported till date is a record 111.6 Lakh tonnes. Under lockdown scenario this is praiseworthy from the steps taken by the government towards planting of the summer season crops.

Official reports have clarified sales of Urea fertilizer increasing by 67 percent to 64.8 lakh tonnes. More than 90% of world industrial production of urea is destined for use as a nitrogen-release fertilizer. Urea has the highest nitrogen content of all solid nitrogenous fertilizers in common use. As such this fertilizer has the lowest transportation costs per unit of nitrogen nutrient. In grain and cotton crops, urea is often applied at the time of the last cultivation before planting. In high rainfall areas and on sandy soils (where nitrogen can be lost through leaching) and where good in-season rainfall is expected, urea can be side- or top-dressed during the growing season. Top-dressing is also popular on pasture and forage crops. In cultivating sugarcane, urea is side-dressed after planting, and applied to each ratoon crop.

Similarly, demand for DAP has improved significantly this year, taking the season’s sale to 22.46 lakh tonnes, almost 100% increase versus last season corresponding period. When applied as plant food, DAP or Di-ammonium phosphate temporarily increases the soil pH, but over a long term the treated ground becomes more acidic than before upon nitrification of the ammonium. It is incompatible with alkaline chemicals because its ammonium ion is more likely to convert to ammonia in a high-pH environment. The average pH in solution is 7.5–8.

On the other hand sales of complex fertilizers have registered more than 100% growth between the period of April and June. Complex fertilizers are basically the multi-nutrient fertilizer and they consist of two or more nutrient components. Multi-nutrient fertilizers contain two or more of the nutrients N, P and K and in some cases small amounts of sulfur, magnesium and trace elements like boron may be added. There are two types of multi-nutrient fertilizers. First type, known as a blended fertilizer, is simply a mixture of individual fertilizers. The other type of multi nutrient fertilizer is a granular fertilizer where each granule contains the nutrients in the ratio required. They are made by mixing the individual nutrient salts, like ammonium nitrate, an ammonium phosphate and potassium chloride in a large vessel, known as a granulator. The government continues monitoring the stock and fertilizer availability to the farmers during the Kharif season and as per official reports necessary steps have been taken to maintain sufficient inventory with the state governments. Credit goes to the Department of fertilizers, Railways and state governments that despite the lockdown situation, production and supply of fertilizers have been comfortably made available to the farmers till date.

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