With commercialization of Agriculture there were bound to be certain consequences and the adverse effects of indiscriminate usage of irrigation water and fertilizers has led to the once fertile soils becoming saline and waterlogged. To overcome this issue, micro irrigation systems (fertigation) for dispensing water soluble formulation of nutrients is increasingly being adopted in place of conventional methods of irrigation. Such water soluble formulations are known as Water Soluble Fertilizers and these can be dissolved in water and added or leached out of the soil easily. Micro irrigation systems include drip irrigation equipment, micro sprinklers and sprays among others.
With the help of WSFs it is far more easier to control the precise amount of nutrients available to plants, thereby greatly reducing the risk of oversupply and undersupply of nutrients. This results in reduced costs due to optimum usage of fertilizers as well as lower labour cost on account of reduced energy and manpower requirement for irrigation. Moreover, these fertilisers also have a higher absorption rate as compared to traditional fertilisers and have substantially reduced levels of residue that may cause contamination.
The major factors for demand for such products include popularity of micro irrigation systems, government support in the form of subsidies for promoting eco-friendly fertilization, increasing number of greenhouses and the efficiency and effectiveness of Water Soluble Fertilizers.
Water Soluble Fertilisers are available in double and multi-nutrient combinations and with or without secondary nutrients or micronutrients. They contain macronutrients – Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potash (K). Some of the Micronutrients such as Magnesium, Calcium, Sulphur, Copper, and Molybdenum are also present in water soluble fertilizer in various compositions. Due to the specific composition, Water soluble fertilizers allow the farmers to choose, with a great amount of precision, the amount of each nutrient that they wish to add to their crops.
Apart from fertigation, these products are also being applied via foliar spray. WSFs also known as Specialty Fertilisers are predominantly being used in horticultural crops such as vegetables, fruits and flowers, and plantation crops are fast emerging as an important crop segment.
The use of Speciality Fertilizers is essential for adequate and balanced fertilization.