Farmers in the country’s largest soyabean producing State, Madhya Pradesh, have started using urea instead of diammonium phosphate (DAP) in its cultivation due to the rising prices of fertilizers.
“Urea prices are comparatively controlled; that’s why farmers are using it as compared to other fertilizers,” Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd’s Director (Marketing), N. Sambasiva Rao, told PTI.
“In this kharif season, we are finding it hard to buy fertilizers because their costs have increased immensely. In 2011, a 50-kg sack of DAP cost Rs 860. It has increased to Rs 1,272 now,” said a farmer from Indore’s Daulatabad region.
Rao said urea’s 50-kg sack costs around Rs 290 these days.
“This year, consumption of DAP and super phosphate will be 30-40 per cent less because their prices have risen more than other fertilizers,” he added.
Rao attributed the rise in fertilizer prices to rupee depreciation against the US dollar which has increased import costs of fertilizers.
However, experts say that for a good harvest, right time and right mix of fertilizers is necessary.
“Urea is a source of nitrogen only and in soyabean cultivation, it is required during the preliminary stage. If any farmer is using urea only, than the production will be affected,” said S K Srivastava, head of the Indore-based National Research Centre for Soybean (NRCS).
He said DAP fertilizer contains nitrogen along with phosphate which is necessary for soyabean cultivation.
Urea is cheaper than DAP but its increased use in soyabean cultivation may create a chemical imbalance and decrease in production.
“The use of urea instead of DAP in soyabean fields is wrong. It can lead to a chemical imbalance in the fields which is not good for soyabean cultivation,” Srivastava added.
He suggested that if farmers are not able to buy DAP, they can use super phosphate to provide the required nutrition to the soyabean crop.