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Khidmat Foundation 1 Gulistan Colony, Phone (92) (301) 5456088

College Road email:

(Pakistan & Azad Kashmir) Abbottabad, NWFP, Pakistan web:

Rational Agriculture

21st Century Agricultural Opportunities:

Pakistan’s Path to Prosperity:

Article II. ISSUES:


Article IV. NO TILL:







Mulder’s Chart: Interaction Mulder’s Chart: Interaction between
Nitrogen Uptake:
What Happens to N in the Soil
Nitrogen Metabolism in the Plant:
Nitrate Nitrogen
Ammonium Nitrogen
Amine Nitrogen
Ammonia – Volatilization Loss Pathway
Urea Hydrolysis & Ammonia Volatilization
Nitrogen Retention By: Soil & Water
Nitrification Process
Chloride Fertilizer Affect Reducing Ammonia Volatilization from Urea
Nitrogen Cycle

I = Indus Delta. II = Southern Irrigated Plain III = Sandy Desert (a & b)
IV =Northern Irrigated Plains (a & b) V = Barani Lands VI = Wet Mountains
VII = Northern Dry Mountains VIII = Western dry Mountains IX = Dry Western Plateau
X = Sulaiman Piedmont
Map of Pakistan Agri-Ecological Zones1.
Regional Soil Survey Report, Rawalpindi Area, Soil Survey of Pakistan.
Article I. Introduction:

Organics; GMOs; Biotechnology; Transgenics; Super Organics; Smart Breeding; Geonomics; DNA Markers;
BigAg Monopolies; Molecular Biology; Transgenomics; Apomixis; Disease Resistance; Drought Tolerance; More
Nutrition; Better Quality and Quantity Food; Environmental Degradation & Protection; Biodiversity; Soil & Water
Conservation; Market Conditions, Soil erosion, Zero Tillage, Water Retention Capacity, Living Soils, Carbon
sequestration and a host of other issues confront the Bioenvironmental Manager. Harsh words and extreme stands
compounded by a lack of Conflict Resolution Bodies or Measures, assail the manager and she/ he is forced to take
refuge in one or other camp in a highly fractured and voluble mess of conflicting ideas. However, there is but one
absolute Truth or many compromise paths that take due cognizance of all points of view but come to rational

Where does all this leave Sustainable and Sustained Development Practioneers? Hopelessly frustrated by
display of emotions where pragmatism and rational thought is required. Illegal funding of opponents to support the
cause of vested and Particular Interest Groups further compounds the problem. Big money successfully uses media to
perplex and obfuscate issues in order to maintain a highly questionable Status Quo. Of course, Corruption, Nepotism,
and Resistance to Change are the Big 3 hurdles that faithfully lie in waiting to frustrate many a noble cause!

Where does this leave the malnourished, sick, homeless; unemployed and poverty-stricken? Continued
anguish and acute deprivation is their lot whilst pseudo intellectuals and armchair idealists do their best to ensure
continuity to exploitation.

There is no villain versus hero; there is no black and white. Instead, many shades of grayshift their hue and
saturation levels on an almost continuous basis. Today’s villains can be tomorrow’s heroes and vice versa.

Rather than bewail our sorry fate, it might serve some purpose to highlight the issues and arrive at rational
conclusions in order to affect malnourishment and ensure its eradication.

Article XI. Issues:

Do we not realize that agriculture is not a natural phenomenon! Replacing profuse biodiversity by single
variety crops that have been domesticated and bred for desirable genetic traits or Smartly Bred or Genetically Modified
all lie in the same class of manipulating Nature to serve human needs. Increasing awareness has led to balancing
human needs and those of the environment and all other life forms. This balance is important and extremely important!

The central issue of safe and sustainable agriculture to feed a growing population is affected by many
external factors. These include politics; materialism; vested interests; negative as opposed to proactive attitudes;
resistance to change; incompetence and lack of vision; selfishness and greed; sloth and indifference as well as
downright meanness apart from the over arching and extremely important issue of environmental degradation.

In Conventional Agriculture entire ecosystems are plowed under increasing susceptibility to soil erosion;
encouraging pests; killing of friendly biota; compacting the ground; leaching nutrients; wasting precious water
resources; emitting green house gasses; requiring deadly herbicides/ pesticides for protection and consuming fossil
fuels for tractors and pumps, thereby leading to toxic emissions of fumes. All this results in severe disruption and
destabilization of the ecosystem and produces food that is laden with toxic residue that leads directly to creating
medical problems for the consumer. As we eat for survival, there is no point in producing food in a manner that
negatively affects the very survival that we are seeking. We must Nurture Nature because Nature Nurtures us

The Green Revolution increased yields and thus put off the scepter of famine from many a third World
Country. However, this revolution unwittingly fostered the pollution of the environment by using unstabalized chemical
fertilizers, which, in turn led to the heavy use of pesticides. With growing knowledge and a body of evidence to spur
them on, Agri Scientists applied their ingenuity to overcome these problems while maintaining and even increasing
yields. Some alarmists pressed panic buttons and advocated return to natural farming; a misnomer as there is nothing
natural about farming. This gave rise to Organic Farming, which name is used to include the most unscientific of
practices including the use of raw manure and resultant chemical ill-affects that are similar to that of unstabalized
chemical fertilizers (excessive nitrate nitrogen build up) and lead to pest infestations (Chemical Trail – Chemitaxi for
crawling insects and build up of excessive amino acids to attract flying pests).

In reviewing all the prattle about modern Agriculture, it has become obvious to the author that we are
confusing the issue to no end whatsoever. It is undeniable, especially for a Pakistani, that the Green Revolution saved
millions from starvation. However, it is also undeniable that this revolution has polluted the environment. The rational
recourse was to apply human ingenuity and develop inputs that do not harm the environment and at the same time
provide the nutrition required by a plant to enable commercial exploitation that meets the needs of growing
populations. The axiom adopted by the Swiss Development Corporation is entirely commendable and needs to be
supported. Sustainable Development that is economically Sound; ecologically safe and socially just:

A point that is being missed by almost all those who have so volubly contributed to the Agricultural debate
concerns Plant Nutrition. All plants, whether they are:

Wild plants supported by Nature.

Organically grown plants arising from pre-tech, smartly bred or genetically modified seed varieties;

Pre-tech, smartly bred or genetically modified seeds supported by artificial fertilizers of the

unstabalized variety;

Pre-tech, smartly bred or genetically modified seeds supported by modern, hi-tech, environmentally

safe inputs and organics.

When we learn that the use of uncomposted manure will result in almost the same dangers to the
environment as unstabalized fertilizers and give rise to pest infestations similar to them, we realize that extremist
greenies and champions of the Green Revolution are actually riding the same horse. The advocates of Genetically
Modified Seeds, who fail to realize that these seeds often need more nutrition then their unsophisticated counterparts
due to greater genetic potential, further compound this issue. This extra nutrition is not being derided, as it is definitely
cost effective as a result of improved yields. Rather, the fact that extra unstabalized or misconceived organic fertilizer
will only add to the Earth’s burden of human caused pollution.

Let us outline our surmises:

Organic Agriculture is much more than the use of manure. Compost is an essential part of

Organic Agriculture and is indispensable to Agriculture of any kind. This is due to its primary advantage of being
an excellent and often vital soil amendment. However, even the best organic agriculture cannot produce sufficient
food for the World’s growing population.

Zero Tillage or Direct Seeding Mulch Based Cropping Systems (Agro-Ecology) based upon the

Forest Eco System improves food production, resource management (water storage, soil fertility), carbon
sequestration, cuts down erosion thus fighting desertification, increases profits by cutting down tillage costs (1
pass seeding compared to 4-6-8 passes tillage) increases labor productivity and reduces work time thereby
promoting the well being of farmers.

Use of unstabalized or toxic chemicals has to be banned immediately in order to reverse their

deleterious effects.

Complete, safe and rational plant nutrition makes efficient use of the genetic potential of any

seed, be it pre-tech, domesticated and bred over the centuries; hybrid seed; smartly bred seed (using gene
mapping) or genetically modified seed.

Plants raised on complete nutrition (one that caters to all of its requirements) are better able to

fight disease and combat adverse climate and other Negative Growth Factors.

Genetically modified seed will give rise to the same problems as any other type of seed if Plant

Management Systems are not efficient; in accordance to the plant’s requirements or environmentally safe.

Increased yields in accordance with genetic potential; increased stress and disease resistance;

denial of pest help that arises from the use of unstabalized and unsafe Plant Nutrition; environment friendly inputs
are all due to Complete and Safe 21st century Plant Nutrition.

Introduction of Genetically Modified Seeds without introduction of safe inputs will add to rather

than relieve associated problems

The question arises whether safe Plant Nutrition exists or not? The answer is a resounding YES! Thus, the
debate should primarily revolve around Eco friendly farming practices and Plant Nutrition. Careful examination will
reveal that both organic and green revolution agriculture will be knocked out from scientific debate when it comes
down to feeding the World’s starving millions in a sustainable manner. We cannot revert to pre-science agriculture and
yet feed the world; we can no longer ignore the threat to our environment by irrational agriculture AND we cannot
afford unregulated science due to the ability to cause irreparable or irreversible damage to the world. By this, we mean
only inbuilt safety and monitoring mechanisms to prevent harm due to indifference, incompetence, or greed.

Are the environmentalists not aware that the real and most important issue is Eco friendly farming practices,
Plant Nutrition, and not Seed Manipulation! If that is the case then God help the environment. It is my guess that they
are radicals and socialists who are opposed to Capitalism and Multi National Corporations (MNCs). It is Big Ag that is
the target and not GEMs. Unfortunately, BigAg holds patents upon the technology and that is causing all the fall out.
However there is very little technical basis for the controversy.

I hope to prove that correct farming practices and complete Plant Nutrition can, not only serve to meet the
growing demand for food but also overcome the related environmental problems. Further Smart Breeding and Genetic
Engineering with requisite Oversight Legislation and close monitoring is very much in the interests of humanity at large
and the entire Biosphere.

There is a strong requirement for R&D in Artificial Photosynthesis and Biosynthesis for Food Security.

Over 800 million people around the world still go hungry every day; half of them are suffering from severe
malnourishment, according to the World Bank. The world’s population continues to expand and the UN estimates that
the global population will cross the 8 billion mark by 2025.

In addition, a 1997 World Bank report found that the per capita acreage of cultivated land supporting food
production dropped by almost 50 percent between 1961 and 1997. This figure is expected to fall another 40
percentage points or more by 2050. At the same time, by 2025 some 3 billion people in 52 nations—about 40 percent
of the projected global population—will face chronic water shortages, according to the UN.

Article XII. Background:

Life is perceived as a three-dimensional web, moving along a time path as the fourth dimension. Complex
and interdependent relationships exist between various organic and inorganic elements and compounds including
higher life forms.
Plants alone have the capacity of capturing the energy from the sun and using it to store this energy as food
or fuel while producing Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide as by-products. Indeed the various essential nutrient elements
required by humans are made available from their inorganic mineral forms, to humans, through plants or plant
consuming animals.
Plants do not consume organic matter from the soil. This is a 200 years old concept that predates the
discovery of the plant’s requirements of mineral nutrition. In 1860, Julius Von Sachs, a German plant physiologist,
grew perfectly normal plants in a solution of ten minerals without any soil at all. Justus Von Liebeg, a German teacher
of Agricultural Chemistry, applied his knowledge of Chemistry to Agriculture and laid the foundation of Chemical
The Green Revolution used these chemical fertilizers to great affect and dramatically increased yields which,
when combined with new hybrid seeds, ensured food for millions who would have starved without this great benefit.
The birth of the Environment Movement and with increasing knowledge and breakthroughs in many fields
resulted in a growing awareness of humanities interdependence with the eco systems that they inhabit. Analysis
showed the flaws and ill affects of chemical fertilizers in the forms that they were being used. Scientists that are more
responsible and an increasingly influential Green Lobby created the need to overcome these problems.
In 1997, Dr. Jerry Stoller, a German American Scientist, introduced the Stoller Advantage of complete Plant
Nutrition to us in Pakistan. In answer to a request for better seed, he stressed the fact that we are not utilizing even
40% of the genetic potential of what we already have. His argument was that hormones drive the characteristics of a
plant, not fertilizers. The hormone balance of a plant dictates its growth characteristics. Nutrients are used to derive
these hormones. Weather and its extremes of heat and drought compounded by insects and disease, restrict genetic
potential utilization to 35 - 40%. Complete Plant Nutrition pushes this efficiency up.

35 %

0 100 %

40 %
Nutrition Efficiency

Here a big gulf and divide appeared with increasingly extremist stands being taken on both sides. I refer to
Organic versus Chemical Agriculture. Here Chemical has come to mean toxic and dangerous even though the origin
of all life forms is chemical. An offshoot of Genetically Modified Organisms appeared on the scene and was quickly
speculated upon and patented by BigAg, which is treated as the enemy by the Greenies. Many issues unrelated to
Agriculture lie behind the scene.

It would serve to enlist the various technologies being used or being developed for Agriculture2. Our ancestors
used Plant breeding in the field for desirable genetic characteristics and developed the plants that we use today. The
GEMS controversy is also covered3.

9000 6500 6000 1650 – 1780 19th Century 1828 1840 1860s 1869 1877 1897
1913 1929 1935 1930s-1940s 1940 1944 1954 1962 1965 21st Century

 Wild Plants and the Prehistoric discovery that they were a source of food.
 Domestication by 9000 BC in Turkey, Irrigated Agriculture in Palestine by 6500 BC and 6000 BC in the Indus
 Agriculture starts primarily as No Till among primitive farmers using a stick to open a hole for seeding.
 Hybridization by crossbreeding of sexually compatible varieties for increased yields; resistance to insects,
pathogens, nematodes, and fungi; resistance to adverse climate conditions etc. begun by 5000 BC.
 1650 – 1780 Chemistry evolves to pure science: Robert Boyle – Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, the father of
Modern Chemistry.
 19th Century Science develops structural organic chemistry despite scientific misconception that
transformations undergone by matter in living organisms are not subject to the chemical and physical laws
that apply to inanimate substances.
 1828 Friedrich Wohler synthesizes urea, an organic compound, in the laboratory.
 1840 Justus Von Liebeg publishes works on the great chemical cycles of nature. Points out that animals and
humans would disappear from the earth but for photosynthesizing plants, which produce the complex organic
compounds, required for their nutrition.
 1860s Louis Pasteur proves that yeasts and bacteria cause fermentation and in some cases diseases.
 1869 Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) isolated from nuclei of pus cells.
 1877, ferments designated as enzymes.
 1897, German Chemist E. Buchner proves that fermentation can occur in a press juice of yeast and thus
reduces life process of living cells by analysis to a non-living system of enzymes.
 1913 Haber – Bosch synthesis of Ammonia to lay basis for N Fertilizer.
 1926 first pure crystalline enzyme is isolated and identified as urease, subsequently this and many other
enzymes proved to be proteins recognized as high-molecular weight chains of subunits called amino acids.
 1929 Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) isolated from muscle and demonstrated that its production is associated
with oxidative processes in the cell.
 1935 radioactive isotopes of chemical elements used to trace pathway of substances in plants and animals by
two U.S. chemists, R. Schoenheimer and D. Rittenberg.
 1930s – 1940s, Sites of metabolic reactions by ingenious technical advances in the studies of organs, tissue
slices, cell mixtures, individual cells and finally individual cell constituents such as nuclei, mitochondria,
ribosomes, lysosomes and membranes.
 1940, F.A. Lipmann proposes that ATP is the common form of energy exchange in many cells.
 1944 Significance of DNA as genetic material revealed.
 By 1954, Watson and Crick proposed the double helix structure of DNA
 1962 saw the publication by Rochelle Carson of “Silent Spring” revealing the extensive ecological damage
caused by Agricultural Chemicals.
 1965 Green Revolution using Chemical fertilizers; Hybrid seed; other Agricultural Chemical and irrigation
resulting in enormous yield increases but reducing cultigens in use. Also flood irrigation and unstabalized
fertilizers compounded by inefficient delivery to the plant led to environmental pollution through Water
Logging; Salinity; Release of Nitrous Oxide through Volatilization (Green House Gas); Leaching of Nitrates
into Ground water; Escape of Phosphorus into surface water to change plant populations by encouraging non
fish food plants and restriction of fish food (Eutrophication). However, over a 30-year period the calories intake
by every human being in developing countries increased by 30 per cent.

Encyclopedia Britannica.
The Debate over Genetically Engineered Food, Microsoft: Rick Weiss is a science writer for the Washington Post.

 Wide crossing of sexually incompatible plants; Embryo Rescue (removal of embryo after fertilization to be
fostered in the laboratory); Plant Mutation through chemicals and radiation.
 Complete Plant Nutrition involving pure minerals in eco friendly and stabilized compositions; Seed Coating,
Foliar Application of Liquid Nutrients, Banding and Micro placement of Nutrients to enhance efficiency and
restrict availability to undesirable species.
 Soil and Water Conservation.
 Anther & Tissue Culture for cloning plants.
 Recombinant DNA (rDNA); bioengineering by surgically altering a plants genome leading to known and
predictable genetic changes.
 Widespread controversy surrounds bioengineering and agriculture starting with:
Possible human health risks of genetically modified food and whether every possible allergen in an

engineered food could possibly be tested in advance.

Crops engineered for herbicide resistance might create “super weeds” by cross-pollinating with wild,

weedy relatives growing nearby. Cross-pollination could give those weeds unprecedented resistance to the very weed
killers that farmers were counting on to control pest plants.

Experts predicted that plants endowed with the toxin genes might accelerate the evolution of “super

bugs”—insects resistant to insecticide.

Many critics worry that the new agricultural biotechnology will give a handful of giant, profit-driven

company’s economic power over farmers.

Economic and ecological costs and benefits of these crops appear to vary, depending on the region

being studied and local weather patterns in any given year.

Competing studies in 1999 offered contradictory answers to the question of whether genetically

modified crops actually bring increased crop yields or environmental benefits, such as reductions in pesticide use.

Poor farmers most in need of improved crop varieties are typically the least able to afford the high

prices of patented seeds. Most of these farmers are in no position to promise they will not save some of the precious
seeds from year to year.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a global treaty that emerged from the June 1992 UN Earth

Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The CBD called upon signatory nations to develop a “biosafety protocol.” In
January 2000, more than 130 nations signed the first such protocol in Montreal, Canada. The agreement leaves many
issues unresolved. However, it offers at least a glimmer of hope that developed and developing nations will find a way
to take advantage of the promising technology without posing undue risks to human health or the environment.

 Natural hormones for changing genetic expression of a plant to combat adverse climate conditions and affect
micro management of the Plant’s Growth Stages in order to ensure greater utilization of genetic potential to
raise yields and improve quality4.
 Smart breeding through gene mapping and marking (Transgenomics).
 Apomixis; to inculcate cloning through the seed rather than vegetative in order to make plants produce
genetically identical offspring.

Dr. Jerry Stoller, Stoller Chemicals Inc.
 Bio engineered, smartly bred or transgenomic seed to enhance human nutrition via introduction of higher
quality protein; lower levels of saturated fats; increased vitamins and minerals; reduction of natural toxins and
 Delivery of life-saving vaccines via the plant.
 Artificial Photosynthesis.
 Artificial Bio Synthesis of Food.

Article XIII. NO TILL:

The planet’s surface is covered in most parts by a very thin layer of topsoil. This topsoil is the veritable
foundation of civilization and was formed over eons of geological time at that time exceeding loss due to erosion. This
topsoil provides a medium for plants to grow and support us by utilizing the sun’s energy to convert minerals into
organic matter to be used by humans, birds, insects, and animals as food. However, human intervention has led to
loss through accelerated erosion as well as degradation of this medium. The Natural system as exhibited in a Forest
Biome is to maintain an organic cover over the soil as detritus that eventually decomposes and is used as a source of
nutrition by the trees. This organic cover is also home for countless biota that serve the Great Cycles of Nature, each
playing its modest and yet important task and serving as links in the chain of life. Thirdly, the topsoil is protected from
water and wind erosion. Thus, Nutrient Cycling and Soil Conservation as well as Moisture Conservation are all served.
When man began to disrupt this cycle by plowing the land for growing food a long process of destabilization and
degradation was begun. The advent of the Green Revolution overcame low productivity but fostered accelerated
degradation through poor cultural practices, which did not keep pace with improved Nutrition. Lastly, as stated earlier,
the inputs used by the Green Revolution played their long-term destabilization role to its fullest extent.
The rate at which new soil is being formed is far exceeded by its rate of loss; this is true for at least a third of
the World’s cropland. When added to by the rate of loss due to water logging; salinity or desertification, the overall
picture is glum indeed. The cycle of over grazing; deforestation and agricultural expansion onto marginal land being
followed by retrenchment as the soil begins to disappear has been witnessed in many places. To be blessed with deep
topsoils is no excuse for their rapid depletion in terms of both quantity as well as quality. Mangla and Tarbella Dams
are reported to be losing 1 % of their storage capacity to silting due to water erosion of denuded upstream watersheds.
Wind erosion will rapidly deplete soils that are fragile, left bare, and exposed. Compaction by heavy agricultural
machinery affects soil structure by causing excessive break down of aggregates. Secondly, loss of Carbon (C) and
tillage induced greenhouse gas emissions, mainly CO2 impacts productivity and environmental quality negatively.
The new framework for Conservation Agriculture keeps in mind the following:
Tillage is not necessary for crop production.
Crop residues are a valuable product and must remain on the soil surface as mulch.
Burning of mulch is prohibited.
Permanent soil cover is essential.
Focus on biological soil processes.
Biological pest control should be the first option.
Soil erosion (water and wind) is a symptom of unsuitable methods of farming being practiced in that
area and ecosystem.
The three keys to Conservation Agriculture (CA) are:
Minimal soil disturbance.
Continuous residue cover.
Diverse rotations and/ or cover crops.
Crop Residue Management (CRM) sequesters C; provides significant quantities of nutrients for crop
production and in addition to affecting soil physical, chemical, and biological functions and properties also affects water
movement, infiltration, runoff and water quality.
Carbon can be treated as the central hub of environmental quality as environmental benefits are spokes that
emanate from the Carbon hub of the “Environmental Sustainability Wheel.” These spokes are:

Increased water holding capacity and use efficiency.
Increased cation exchange capacity.
Reduced soil erosion.
Improved water quality.
Improved infiltration, less runoff.
Decreased soil compaction.
Improved soil tilth and structure.
Reduced air pollution.
Reduced fertilizer inputs.
Increased soil buffering capacity.
Increased biological activity.
Increased nutrient cycling and storage.
Increased diversity of microflora.
Increased adsorption of pesticides.
Gives soil aesthetic appeal.
Increased capacity to handle manures and other wastes.
More wildlife.

The above holds true for soils with increased Soil Organic Matter (SOM), which is one of the main benefits
accruing from No Till (NT) Agriculture or Conservation Agriculture (CA) or Direct Seeding (DA) as it is variously
known.Thus a combination of economic and environmental benefits arise through reduced labor requirements; time
saving; reduced machinery costs and fuel saving as well as higher quality of life from environmental quality


The Natural World is subject to certain Laws and patterns that serve to maintain a balance. This balance has
led to evolutionary adaptation and development of life forms that are at the same time dependant upon Nature or the
Eco System that they inhabit in the overall Environment as well as interdependent upon each other for survival.
However, there exist numerous and often deleterious affect causing human and pest interventions that must be
rationally and sustainably managed on a sustained or self sustaining basis in order to perpetuate the Bioenvironment
and avoid breakdown. Homo Technicalis has the ability to either nurture or destroy this delicate balance. Only
complete understanding and careful monitoring can ensure correct and proper Bioenvironmental Management.
The existing Food Chains and Webs need to be reinforced and replenished in order to ensure health and
continued functioning.
The vital human requirements for food, water, and air cannot be left to the mercy of ruthless, short sighted and
short-term exploitation that leaves death, destruction, and permanent loss in its wake!
This fact is a dire necessity and can no longer be held in abeyance. Nor is it productive to enter into useless
and repetitive argumentations. International and National Politics cannot be allowed to subvert the achievement of Eco
We must realize that the “enemy” does not exist in other Countries, nor do they adhere to “other” faiths, nor
yet are they of “different” races. The enemies of humanity belong to every faith and come in different colors. The so-
called advanced, developed, or civilized world is just as replete with unscrupulous, materialistic, greedy, viscous
individuals as the third World Countries. The garb of civilization, piety, or affluence does not serve to subdue the
reptilian “claw that lurks within a paw covered by an outstretched hand” which is the phylo genetic patrimony of
A factor common to all of the before mentioned agricultural developments and indeed part of them is Plant
Nutrition. In fact, the basis of the controversy is the deleterious affects of Plant Nutrition as introduced by the Green
Revolution. Rather than only highlight the positive results accrued by this revolution, it would serve humanity to take
lessons from past mistakes or oversights and move to correct them. This does not take from venerable reputations but
rather reinforces them by provision of continuity rather than termination. A greater and deeper understanding of
organics and their inorganic building blocks is badly required.
Organics are high-energy-level compounds that have arisen due to energy input (usually from the sun) to low-
energy-level inorganic elements and or compounds. Thus, low-energy-level inorganic materials arise to constitute the
parts of high-energy-level organic compounds and entities of progressively higher life forms that, in turn are subject to
reversion to low-energy-level inorganic materials on decomposition and/ or death 5. With this as a fact, there is
absolutely no basis for an organic versus inorganic debate what so ever. The debate should revolve around the safety
of the introduction by humans of fabricated materials into the environment. In case they are not safe then safer
materials need to be developed and unsafe materials need to be banned, immediately or whenever such safe
materials are available.
It is an inescapable fact that all life forms require nutrition to maintain life. Modern research has shown that a
life form must change its physical constituents quite rapidly in order to meet its growth and existence requirements.
Indeed, we require a constant supply of all kinds of atoms, molecules, and compounds in order to replace what is
being lost. The environment provides us with air and water to fulfill our need and indeed that of all life forms with
Oxygen, Carbon and Hydrogen which make up over 90% of the life form’s body, be it human, animal or plants. Apart
from this there are a number of essential raw materials required, this placed is between eighteen to forty for human
beings. Of these eighteen are most commonly required, i.e. fifteen apart from the three already mentioned. These
elements are the same for humans, animals, and plants. As yet however, only plants are able to synthesize these raw
materials into assimilable forms and make them available to humans and animals on an economic scale. There are six
classes of nutrients for humans; of these four supply indispensable building materials. These are water; protein;
minerals and vitamins. The other two are classed as energy foods (carbohydrates and fats, oils) and are
interchangeable whereas the previous four are not.
Just as living organisms shed their components and replace them on a continuous basis thereby consuming
energy so too does Nature constantly consume energy through breakdown of organic matter, weathering process in
the soil, the hydrothermal cycle, and mobility of substances in soil, water, and air. Many dynamic and interdependent
chains and cycles exist within the Biosphere as elements are cycled and recycled, are consumed and/ or replenished,
subjected to output losses due to lack of input: output balance. Stable Eco Systems are those wherein minerals
(essential elements) and particulate material are retained by recycling them within its constituent sub-systems. It is
important to note that rebuilding of this dynamic recycling, in case of disruption, can take from 60 to 80 years and
longer depending upon the severity of the disruption. Secondly, it has taken millions of years for these Eco Systems to
evolve. For instance, soil that has been either deposited or built up in millions of years can be lost within a few years if
In a human adapted Agricultural Eco System the cycling of nutrients involves:
Uptake by Plants.

Storage within the Organisms.

Harvest removal.

Return to Soil via:

Dead Organic matter.

Through inculcation of:
Plant Residue.
Manure/ Compost.
Human Agency Nutrient Provision.
Within natural Eco Systems, nutrient flow is conserved and input and loss is usually of small quantities
(especially in terrestrial systems) compared with the volume, which circulates within the system. In artificial or human
intervened systems, minerals that originated in underlying rock strata or through sediment deposit:
Becomes part of Vegetation.

Vegetation regularly harvested and removed.

Environment Systems Engineering, Linvil G. Rich. Mcgraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-052250-2
Thus, large quantities of minerals are removed. If Compost or well-rotted Farm Yard Manure is inculcated in
the soil, quantities of these minerals are returned to the soil and fertility is replenished to the extent of addition. Since
Farm Yard Manure does not contain sufficient minerals to replace those removed, unless prohibitively large quantities
of rarely available manure are added. Even when composted with biodegradable organic material, the output: input
ratio is not balanced. Thus, agricultural soils face continuous depletion (Nutrient Mining). This is compounded by run
off and leaching losses due to poor cultural practices. Thirdly, over use of deadly pesticides and herbicides tend to kill
or eliminate useful biota in the form of microbes and fungi. These biota are of vital importance as they mineralize
organic material and provide them to plants and other energy pathways within the Eco System.
Therefore, if uptake is value 5, retention is one and return is two then Nutrient Mining output: input ratio will be
5:3 representing a net loss of two per crop leading to declining fertility. When organic material and biota are absent or
deficient then the even two return is not, or partially mineralized and will not be available to the plants. Thus, our
Nutrient Reserves are soon exhausted.
If cultivated land is managed correctly, nutrient reserves can be replenished and fertility levels can be
increased. For example, nutrient loss from the Eco System is minimized by presence of plants that hold soil through
their roots and thus prevent erosion; convert water run-off to evapo-transpiration and restrict leaching losses; provide
shade and reduce rates of decomposition of organic matter so that the supply of soluble ions available for loss via run-
off is lessened.
RESERVE IS CURTAILED AND SOIL FERTILITY IS MAINTAINED. These nutrients etc. must be in a chemical form
that makes it available to the plant and must be stable and safe for the environment.
Thus, we see that provision of Plant Nutrition and Correct Cultural Practices are of prime importance. These
are common to all seed; often critical for hybrid or Genetically Modified Organisms. If either of these two is not rational,
the result is poor quality and quantity produce as well as more susceptibility of the plant to Negative Growth Factors
and pest attacks.
Thus, we see that humans require minerals either directly from plants or from animals dependent upon plants
(meat, milk, eggs etc.). It is the human, animal or plant that makes organic compounds out of basic essential building
materials. Some of these organic compounds are known as hormones, which are described as chemical messengers
that excite one response or the other in the body’s organs or tissues.
Plants normally obtain their mineral requirements from the soil and the ability of a soil to provide the proper
elements and compounds, in proper amounts and in proper balance for growth of specified plants when temperature
and other factors are favorable is what determines soil fertility (proper means in the ionic forms commonly absorbed by
the plant).
With favorable temperature and availability of moisture, a plant’s seed will swell and enzymes/ hormones
become active making the carbohydrates etc. present in the endosperm move towards the embryo. This leads to
growth of the shoot and roots. When the root system extends into the soil coupled with emergence of leaves and
initiation of photosynthesis, a plant is capable of attaining its nutrient requirements. At this period and due to the fact
that phosphorus is particularly required at this stage of growth and also because phosphorus is rare and if present is
immobile in the soil and since root systems are not yet extensive, a plant destined for consumption is managed by
provision of soluble phosphorus fertilizer in a chemical form that makes it available to the plant and should be
ecologically safe.
This phosphorus can be derived from manure where it arose from plant material ingested by the animal that
fed upon it. Alternatively, from compost where it is more abundantly available due to composition of 30 parts
biodegradable plant material and 1 part manure to form a 20:1 Carbon: Nitrogen ratio. However, the problem of
ensuring that the phosphorus ion is immediately available to the seedling remains. To band large quantities of manure
or compost near the seedling or provide it independently, either through banding or foliar sprays while using compost
or manure for its primary beneficial roles such as:

 Serves as the principal storehouse for anions such as nitrates, sulfates, borates, molybdates and chlorides
that are essential for plant growth.

 Increases CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity) of soil by a factor of 5 to 10 times that of clay.

 Acts as a buffer against rapid changes caused by acidity; alkalinity; salinity; pesticides and toxic heavy metals.

 Supplies food for beneficial soil organisms like earthworms, symbiotic Nitrogen fixing bacteria and mycorrihize
(beneficial fungus).

 Serves as recycling sink for organic waste and green manures (animal manure, crop residues, household
refuse, and leguminous plants collected within and outside the farm) and thus keeps environment clean and

 Softens the soil by introducing fibrous matter.

 Increases soil water retention capacity.

 Makes plants more resistant to pests and disease through improved nutrient availability and uptake, resulting
in healthier plants with strong immune systems.

 Prevents soil acidification.

Either by seed coating (not sufficient due to limited amount of nutrients that can be coated) or foliar
application, the target plant is the sole beneficiary and weeds or other undesirable plant species do not receive the
nutrient. Secondly, loss by leaching or run-off is reduced to almost zero. This is more so if the nutrients are chelated
{derived from the Greek ‘Chelae’ or Claw and used to denote covering an element with organic material to provide
ionic bonding affect of cation: anion (positive & negative ion attraction)}. The chelated nutrient ions bond to the leaf and
stem surface and resist being washed off till they have a reasonable chance of being absorbed by the plant’s tissue.
If we ensure that the nutrient element that we are providing to our crops are not dangerous to the environment
and other life forms. If we provide the crops with these safe nutrients in a responsible manner and if these nutrients are
sufficiently stable and do not decompose to toxic material through either hydrolysis or volatilization. Then there is no
point what so ever in deriding their use.
Von Liebeg’s Law states that the yield of a crop is limited by the nutrient in least supply. This means that
supply of which ever of the essential building materials is restricted in terms of quantities required by the plant, it will
restrict the yield. This is compared to a bucket with holes for various nutrients placed in accordance to amounts
required. As these amounts are met, the hole is plugged and nutrient intake increases to the next critical nutrient
element required by the plant. Maximum genetic potential yields are achieved only when all holes are plugged. Of
course soil, management systems; cultural practices; climate, environment, mutual antagonism, or stimulation
between various minerals and Negative Growth Factors play their own critical role in determining yields.

Nutrients Yields


If there are enough nutrients available for the following yields, total yield will be determined by the least
available nutrient in terms of the plant’s requirements,

Nutrient Yield (Kgs)

Nitrogen 1000
Phosphorus 800
Potassium 600
Sulfur 1000
Magnesium 800
Calcium 300
------------- ----
------------- ----
Molybdenum 150

The yield will be restricted to 150 Kgs.

It is important to note that this is true for crops of all kinds, under all management systems and independent of
source or manner of derivation of the plant. In other words, this inescapable fact holds true for Organic; Super Organic;
Smartly Bred or Genetically Modified Organisms.
Therefore, our Management requirement is to provide enough environmentally safe and available forms of
nutrients to fulfill the needs of the plant. This ensures achievement of genetic potential apart from other factors. These
other factors such as water; climate; cultural practices and control of Negative Growth Factors (NGF), are also
managed in order to achieve maximum genetic potential (MPG).
The presence of nutrients in compost or manure is negligible as compared to an intensive crop’s
requirements. Intensive cropping means intensive mining of finite supplies of nutrients available in any given soil. As
we all know, soils vary greatly in nutrient availability, and inculcation of compost or manure is one way of replenishing
these nutrient supplies. However, we have seen that there are inefficient and do not contain enough nutrients to fulfill
the plant’s requirements. Added to this is the fact that particular nutrient deficient soils will not have sufficient amounts
of that nutrient to cycle into the food chain and will eventually not only restrict the crop’s yield but will also not be
available to the humans and animals that feed upon plants grown on such soils. If this element is lacking it will not find
its way either into manure or compost and the cycle of deficiency will be reinforced. To overcome this the element has
to be obtained externally. Secondly, and more importantly, it is prohibitively expensive to analyze and update soil
analysis for all elements required by a plant. On the other hand, how much of each nutrient is required by a particular
species of plant for a given yield is known to science.
Does it not then make sense to provide all these nutrients in a free feeding mode and allow the plant to
uptake its requirements itself? Raising the soil’s fertility gradually and thus reducing external nutrient requirements can
utilize left over nutrients. It is important to note that most of these nutrients are required and supplied as trace
elements. Thus, toxic build up is not a factor at all.

Apart from Chloride and Nickel, which help a plant to use urea, a plant needs at least 17 nutrient elements
critical for its survival. Carbon, Oxygen and Hydrogen constitute over 95% of a plant’s needs and are supplied from the
air and water. The rest are taken from the soil. Soil pH determines tying down or availability of Nutrients and 6.8 pH is
the break point as nutrients except Molybdenum and Chlorine are more easily absorbed in Acidic Soil. Foliar feeding of
essential nutrients is firstly, more efficient (70% foliar absorption compared with 30% soil borne uptake, radioisotope
analysis). Secondly, the mutual antagonism/ stimulation between various essential nutrient elements are overcome.
Roots act as a transport system for raw and inorganic nutrient elements to the leaves where they are converted into
food and sent to the roots for storage. It has been determined that foliar feeding is six times more efficient for Clay
Loam and Organic soils and 20 times more efficient for sandy loams. Loss by leaching is 2% for foliar (chelated
nutrients) and 70% for soil.

There are some critical periods for plant development wherein growth and yield increase with increased
availability of nutrients that can be used by the plant. Foliar feeding with correct combinations of nutrients as required
by the plant in different growth periods will provide increased growth and vigor resulting in increased yields, weather
proofing and disease resistance.
Another factor that increases yields is the prolonging of root life after flowering in order to provide longer time
for grain/ fruit to fill. In order to do this we need to keep the root growing vegetatively during the early period and after
flowering, we need to elongate the period of root life.

Plateau corresponds to flowering

% Root Growth
Drought Good Weather

This is done by hormones. The hormone balance of a plant is responsible for dictating its response to
environmental factors. Changes in climate affect hormone balance. This is more in some varieties and less in others.
This is dictated by the genetics of a plant. Down through the centuries humans have domesticated and then bred
plants for desirable genetic traits. These genetic traits need to be tapped by the plant and this is only possible through
the support of complete plant nutrition. However, genetic expression of potential can be modified to weatherproof a
plant and ensure that climate change has less impact upon yields.
Plant diseases are directly related to climate, if the crop is weather proofed it can reduce the use of costly

Root growth direction is another hormonal response. Dry conditions after seed germination result in hormone

induced downwards growth of roots to tap moisture. Wet conditions at germination promote lateral
development. If a plant is treated with Rooting Hormones it will respond by downwards root development
irrespective of moisture conditions.
Direction of carbohydrate flow is hormone controlled. During the plant’s Vegetative Growth Period, plants build

up their root systems. Nutrients are absorbed in the lead ¼ inch of new root hair tissue. Root hormones are
also formed here. Any root tissue over 14 days old is unable to either form new hormones or absorb nutrients.
Thus healthy growth demands continuous root growth.
Hormones produced in the root tip primarily determine a plant’s disease resistance.

Availability of Nitrogen in abundance, as is practiced in Pakistan, at the vegetative stage causes vigorous

early plant growth. However, it will cause rapid root deterioration during the reproductive stage and lead to
plant death. Thus, too much Nitrogen during the vegetative stage upsets the hormone balance and causes
excessive formation of those hormones, which are produced in the growing points above ground. This makes

the plant top heavy; subject to lodging and will have negative impact on production. There being fewer stolons
and tubers in potatoes; earlier flower and fruit abortion and less disease resistance.

During the vegetative stage, if soluble Ca and B are supplied to a plant the negative affects of excessive N
can be controlled. During the reproductive stage, carbohydrates are altered from the root and directed towards the
growing points above ground and reproductive tissue. This results in more ethylene and putrescence causing more
disease; physiological and stress problems as well as more aborting of fruit and flowers; premature ripening and early
plant death. Ethylene and putrescence are bad hormones or hormones like products, the plant’s defense against
these hormones are other hormones produced by the roots and Ca stored in the Cystol. It is possible to change the
genetic expression of a plant so that bad levels are minimized. This severely curtails yields unless shift of
carbohydrates from the root is modified. Each day a plant can be kept alive at this stage adds 4% to yields.
Carbohydrates and Proteins are primarily formed in the leaves and then transferred to the stalks and stems. The
vegetative growing points use carbohydrates from stalks, stems, and branches. If a leaf has enough K, Mg, and ABA
(hormone), the leaves are enabled to continuously replenish carbohydrates. If, however, there is too much IAA
(hormone) and Nitrate form of N, the leaves are unable to keep up the supply of carbohydrates.
Allelopathy is caused by accumulation of toxins, produced by the roots of a plant, in its neighboring plant. This
reduces fruitfulness but can be controlled with hormones. It is possible to treat plants so that they are immune to
disease or develop the capacity in a plant to repair itself after being infected. Nematodes attack plant roots and
introduce toxins into the plant. It is possible to increase a plant’s resistance to nematode toxins.

Article XV. Hormones:

There are five categories of hormones in plants:

AUXINS: Mostly in the leaf tips and control the growing point to light. IAA is the major Auxin; it influences the

rate of cell division and enlargement. Low rates increase while high rates retard. Roots are most sensitive at
0.02 ppb; buds follow in sensitivity at 0.1 ppm, while stems are least sensitive at 20.0 ppm. IAA regulates
phloem transport as higher IAA attracts more phloem flow. Auxins move only in one direction, i.e. from the tips
down and from the roots towards the tip. Auxin concentration is diluted when it moves from the growing point
GIBBERELLINS: Gibberellins cause enlargement of cell walls, particularly internode cells and some fruit

cells. They cause breaking of dormancy, move freely in the plant, and are produced in the roots and new
CYTOKININS: Cytokinins are produced in the root tips and are carried upwards in the xylem tissue. They

loose concentration as they move towards the leaves. Cytokinins affect cell division.
ETHYLENE: Ethylene is stimulated by Auxins and can cause “Auxin like” effects. Ethylene stimulates

flowering and abscission of flowers, fruit, and leaves. This hormone is produced in fleshy fruit and increases
ripening. Ethylene is a gas and causes senescence. It is called the aging hormone.
ABSCISIC ACID. ABA: This hormone is a growth inhibitor and promotes senescence, bud dormancy, and

seed dormancy. It is produced in the leaves.

Hormones are produced in some organs and move to other organs to change their characteristics. For
instance, in wheat, early growth is dominated by Gibberellins, the middle stage by Cytokinins and the later stages by
Auxins. There is growing evidence that hormone regulation in plants is controlled by a central mechanism. This is
distribution of Calcium in the protoplasm.

Article XVI. Hormone Interaction:

Stem Elongation: Here Auxin + IAA is necessary, Gibberellins can interfere with this.

Apical Dominance: Whenever Auxins and IAA are produced in large quantities, stem growth is greater but

bud growth is strongly inhibited. Further, away from the growing tip the bud growth is weakly inhibited. When
plants are pruned, new buds will form above the apex. Bud growth can be prevented by Ethylene, which is
caused by too much Auxin causing Ethylene to be produced in cells. Cytokinins can release bud growth from
the effects of Auxins + IAA.
Root Initiation: High Cytokinin/ Auxin rates develop shoot growth. It reduces the Auxin+ IAA effect. The

above ratios inhibit shoot growth of roots towards the tip. When Cytokinins are lower back from the root tip,
branch roots will grow. When Auxin rates get high, adventitious roots will appear from the stem.
Senescence Abscission: When flowers are fertilized, they make Auxins, which prevent abscission. Fruit

abscission develops when Auxin is reduced in the flower. It may be that Auxins attack Cytokinins from the
roots, which prevent abscission and senescence. Evidently, ABA reduces Auxin in flowers or fruit. This would
increase abscission.
Dormancy: Abscisic Acid (ABA) promotes dormancy in seeds and buds. Gibberellins and Ethylene break

dormancy. It appears that IAA inhibits fruiting branches and bud break near the growing tip. Higher levels of
Cytokinins apparently modify this. It appears that ABA affects bud break all over the plant and seems to be
the main group of hormones, along with Ethylene, that cause premature dying.

The hormone balance of the plant is responsible for dictating its response to environment factors. This is of
prime importance and the major factor for maximum economic yield if response is adequate. Good nutrition is
essential for the health of the plant but will fail to provide the desired results in case a plant is unable to use this
nutrition. The size, shape, and yield of a plant depend upon hormone balance. Fertilizer nutrients do affect this balance
but the major factor is the climate. With changes in climate, the hormone balance of the plant is altered. This is more in
some varieties of plants and less in others. This is dictated by the genetics of that particular plant. It is possible to
change the Genetic Expression of a plant so that it can quickly adjust to climate change. Thus, it is not essential to
change the basic Genetics of a plant, which, though desirable, is quite an expensive proposition. By modifying the
genetic expression of a plant, we can weather proof it and ensure that climate change has less impact upon yields.
Since the last many years, we in Pakistan are facing the problem of vagaries in weather that is causing a serious drop
in yields. Thus, it is important to introduce this alteration of genetic expression.

METHOD: For example, if the soil remains dry after planting, the root will grow downwards. If the soil remains
wet it will cause the roots to grow sideways. The genetic expression of root growth is determined within the first
15 days after germination. Its genetic expression does not change thereafter. Since we plant in wet conditions,
we ensure lateral development of the root system. In case of root development in the upper area of the soil, the plant
will be less drought resistant and easily uprooted. Deep penetration will make the plant drought resistant and well
anchored. It is possible to treat seed with hormones and make it “think” that it is growing in dry soil, no matter if the soil
is actually wet. Our habit of introducing a plentiful supply of Nitrogen along with the seed, in the shape of Urea, is in
fact harmful and wasteful. Nitrogen causes increase in root mass and does not change root direction. The same is true
for growth enhancers and starter fertilizer.

VEGETATIVE GROWTH PERIOD: During this period, a plant builds its root system. Calcium and Boron are
the major nutrients that determine initial root length and lateral branching of major root hairs. These nutrients interact
with hormones such as Cytokinins; Indobutyric Acid and small amounts of IAA. To some extent, Nitrogen has an effect
upon these hormones. The hormones being produced in its root system determine a plant’s disease resistance. The
roots, as we have seen, are primarily developed, mostly during the vegetative stage. Thus, a plant’s disease
resistance is at its greatest during this stage. In case there is insufficient usable Calcium in the soil, the cell walls of the
roots will be weak and result in leaking. Soil borne disease vectors will use this leaking as a “Chemical Taxi
(Chemitaxi)” to hitch a ride into the plant. Over abundant Nitrogen might also cause rapid root deterioration. Secondly,
plants become top heavy as more Auxins and Gibberellic Acid is produced in the growing points above ground. This
causes rapid upward growth at the expense of root growth. The farmer is pleased with the apparent health of the plant
but is disappointed with the yield. Top-heavy plants are also susceptible to lodging and frost damage. It is important
that we bear two points in mind; one is that Nitrogen in sufficient quantities is essential to plant growth. Over
abundance at a particular stage is however harmful. Secondly, there must exist an adequate supply of available
Calcium and Boron in the soil. Insoluble Calcium is of no use to the plant. Pakistan’s Calcareous soils are not
evidence of sufficient Calcium as commonly believed. This is because the Calcium is inert and insoluble. Dilute
Sulfuric; Hydrochloric or Phosphoric Acid can be used to solubilize the Calcium in the soil. However, this is a
temporary fix as the Calcium is later converted to Calcium Sulfate. Calcium Carbonate is of no use to the plant.
Calcium Sulfate is 200 times more soluble. However, Calcium Chloride and Calcium Nitrate are 2000 times more
soluble. Calcium Chloride is readily available in the market and is required in lesser quantities then Gypsum.
Moreover, the double positive charge on the Calcium Ion repels the single charged Sodium Ion. Thus, Sodium is not
allowed to clog the root system and/ or burn delicate vegetable plants. Thus, Calcium in available form is introduced
as well as removes the problem of Sodium. Over and above this, Calcium Chloride also stabilizes Urea and keeps it in
the Ammonium form. This material is a by-product of the Marble industry and has been used by the Khidmat
Foundation with amazing results in 1998 at Daharki, District Ghothki, Sindh. Five acres of summer vegetables and one
acre of experimental wheat were treated. These acres were subject to salinity to varying degrees. Vegetable
germination was 98% and came to term. Wheat saw an increase of 800 Kg per acre. However, wheat was also
treated with hormones and given split foliar applications of Urea stabilized with Calcium Chloride.

REPRODUCTIVE STAGE: This stage of growth triggers the most serious problems for the plant. The
Carbohydrate flow is diverted from the roots towards growing points and reproductive tissue such as seed, storage
tissue and fruit. Thus, root growth decreases and fewer nutrients are absorbed and fewer hormones are produced.
Other hormones are now effectively in control of the plant such as Ethylene and Putrescence.

These all affect the hormone balance and cause early death of the plant, which in turn affects yields. When
yields are high, the observation is that stalks and/ or stems are still green. This shows that the plant was still alive. If we
can slow down the shift in Carbohydrate flow from the roots to the reproductive tissue, we can elongate the life of the
plant. This will allow greater time for the grain to fill, or fruit to develop, as the case may be. Thus, the lessons learnt so
far are that in the Vegetative stage, we should help the roots to grow vigorously and in the Reproductive stage, we
must elongate the roots life. Hormones do this. Every day that a plant’s life is extended results in 4 % additional yield.

MOVEMENT OF CARBOHYDRATES: Carbohydrates and Proteins are produced in the leaves of the plant
and then transferred to stalks, stems, or branches. From here, the vegetative growing points such as roots and shoots
use them. In order to replenish the Carbohydrate supply the leaf must have adequate Potassium, Magnesium, and
ABA (hormone). If too much IAA (hormone) and Nitrates are present, this may not be possible. Research has revealed
that nutrients and hormones can be manipulated in order to induce movement of Carbohydrates out of the leaves. The
only way to reduce early dying is to ensure that stalks, stems, and branches are full of Carbohydrates when the
reproductive stage begins. This is hormone controlled.

NEGATIVE GROWTH FACTORS (NGF): Five major factors cause negative growth in plants, these are:

ALLELOPATHY: When seeds are planted in close proximity, the roots of one plant cause accumulation of
toxins in the neighboring plant. This results in reduction of fruitfulness of each plant. Immunity to this toxin can be
induced, this results in shorter plants, stems, or stalks with larger diameters; more lateral branching or suckers or
tillers; more fruiting points and more fruit; much longer root systems and no tap root. These results were practically
observed by the Khidmat Foundation in wheat crop of the year 2000, in Mung village of Khanpur Tehsil, District
Haripur, Hazara of N.W.F.P.

SOIL BORNE DISEASES: Where root growth is slower, soil borne diseases are more severe. Low levels of
Calcium, as earlier pointed out, cause this, and result in Chemitaxi route into the plant for these diseases. Thus, there
is a requirement of avoiding this and healing the plant if it is affected.

FOLIAR DISEASES: These are more severe during the reproductive stage. This is caused by Ethylene and
Putrescence accumulation in the plant. The plant can fight these with hormones produced in the roots and Calcium
stored in the Cytosol.

NEMATODES: Nematodes attack plant roots and introduce toxins into the plant. Hormones can control

STRESS: Hot and dry climate conditions cause stress in the plant. This causes:


Early dying.

Premature ripening.

Abortion of fruit or seed.

Poor storage or shelf life.

HORMONE CONTROL: All of the above negative growth factors are hormone related and are not related to
nutrients. Nutrients can affect the hormones, e.g. Calcium has a positive effect, and Nitrogen has a negative effect.
Hormones can speed up a plant’s metabolism and result in more efficient use of chemical fertilizers. Thus with the
addition of hormones, less fertilizers need to be used. Secondly, with a more complete “Diet” as far as nutrients are
concerned, we can achieve much better results. Hormone treatment of seed and plants therefore is perhaps even
more important than hybrid seed development. The full genetic potential of existing seed is achieved and yields are
vastly improved. It is important to note that the cutting down of Macro Nutrients, as presently being used, will result in
savings that offset the expense incurred in Hormone Treatment and Micro Nutrient Supply. Secondly, improved yields
will more than compensate for the money and efforts expended. Thirdly, Micro Nutrients and Hormones are naturally
occurring elements and compounds. Thus, the use of these elements and compounds are environmentally safe and
highly desirable. It is important to note that hormone use in plants is nowise similar to indiscriminate hormones use in
Poultry Production. The hormones suggested for use with plants are only those that would be normally produced by
the plant itself if it were healthy or were to receive a balanced “Diet.” These hormone Products should be registered
with the EPA and must be natural.

Article XVII. Pest Control with Nutrients:


Sucking insects feed upon amines and amino acids in order to form their own proteins. Plant proteins are of
no use to these insects. Since the insect’s life cycle is, short it needs massive quantities of proteins in order to lay
eggs. Sucking insects usually attack and feed upon new leaves. New leaves have only phloem and no xylem tissue.
As such, organic compounds are not being manufactured in the new leaves; they rely upon the compounds made in
old leaves. Plant sugar can give these insects diarrhea, causing sticky plants. Amines and amino acids move freely in
phloem tissue. They are low on Calcium, Boron and other nutrients as they are not mobile or only slowly mobile in new
tissue. When sucking insects destroy new leaves or vector in a virus the hormone balance of the plant is disrupted.
This causes a major change in the older leaves. Proteins hydrolyze to amines and amino acids and become available
to the sucking insects as food. Nitrogen also causes higher amines and amino acid levels in the plant. The more the
nitrogen used the greater the threat. Zinc will lower the level of amines and amino acids in the new leaves. Thus,
during critical periods, a foliar application of Zinc will treat the leaves. Repeat applications are required every 14 days.

Article XVIII. The language of the Soil:

As with the plant, the soil too has a particular expression of its own. The condition of the soil will determine the
plant’s ability to uptake nutrients in order to go about its business of growth and reproduction. Limiting factors can only
be overcome if they are understood and steps are taken to preclude their inhibiting characteristics. Soil content,
condition, and pH determine the plant’s ability to uptake nutrition. Sophisticated soil, leaf tissue and sap analysis will
provide exact data on available nutrients in the soil at the time that the sample be taken. However, delays in providing
results will result in changes that might have occurred since that time. Secondly, these tests need to be carried out with
every crop, as each preceding crop will have removed so much nutrition. The expenses involved are too high to be
used to optimum advantage. This is particularly true for small and subsistence farmers. The parent material, out of
which the soil is derived, indicates the presence or chronic absence of nutrients. For example, alkaline soils with pH of
8.0 and above are deficient in Iron. Excessive watering, needed to leach Sodium salts, results in further depletion.
Incorrect Agricultural practices can also result in depletion of nutrients. For example, Copper availability in poorly
aerated and drained soils is very low. The interaction of various nutrients also determines their availability. For
example, high levels of available Phosphate in soils can decrease Zinc uptake by plants. This results from heavy use
of Phosphate Fertilizers in crops. The interaction between nutrients can be either antagonistic or stimulating. Mulder’s
chart is a graphic illustration of this complexity. Soil pH is a major factor, which determines micro nutrient availability
and utilization. For example, the previously mentioned Zinc deficiency, due to excessive Phosphate, is increased when
air and root temperatures are low. Light intensity is also an affecting factor. For instance, high light intensity and long
days lower a plant’s requirement for Manganese. In short, the complex Soil-Plant-Fertilizer interaction needs to be
understood. When corrective measures are planned, many factors need to be considered and some attempts have to
be given the status of trial and error. The Rizosphere (portion of soil close to surface and plant roots) is the area from
which nutrition is absorbed. It is this zone that is corrected. For example, if an acidic fertilizer such as Ammonium
Sulfate is banded close to the plant’s root zone, a local acidic zone is temporarily produced. This in turn increases
Zinc, Manganese and Copper availability even though the soil pH of the rest of the field remains the same. Chelated or
chemically combined, positively charged Cations (Zinc; Manganese; Iron; Copper; Magnesium or Calcium) with an
organic, negative charged Chelating agent. The organic molecule surrounds the positively charged metal and protects
the new chelated form of Cation from being chemically tied up in the soil. However, this needs to be considered. For
example, the high Iron content of organic soils will cause replacement of Manganese chelate by Iron. This will result in
a build up of Iron chelate and can increase the Manganese deficiency. This is because the replaced Manganese is
rapidly tied up in the soil and becomes unavailable to the plant. Method of application is also important. For instance,
Copper fertilizers applied directly to organic soils will result in copper combining quickly with the soil. Here foliar
application is the preferred method for best results. Foliar application of fertilizers results in rapid response. However,
the effects can be short lived and multiple applications are needed. Thus planning of nutrition is most important as
correction of a deficiency or toxicity, when observed, results in damage already done and yield loss sustained. It is far
better to understand how and when, which deficiency or toxicity can occur and thus remove it before it affects yields.

Article XIX. Recommendations:

Institute Appropriate Policy reforms with a view to increased productivity through more sustainable agriculture.

Provide Grants for Training through Learning & Doing Centers.

Introduce “Conglomoculture” as Individual Intensive Horticulture Production Farm Units within Overall

Framework for Inputs/ Skills/ Training/ Processing/ Marketing Support.

Increase productivity through Integrated Pest & Nutrition Management Systems.

Capitalize the Rural areas through Export Development Fund for Value Added/ Processed Goods.

Establish Knowledge Base; Information; Assistance and e-commerce Sites in local languages.

Provide Farmer Support and Capital Investment, e.g., Solar Pumps, Horticulture Machinery, and Cold Stores.

Provide incentives/ support to farmers adopting environment friendly measures and provide consumer access

to rural areas

Fertilizer subsidy on part of GOP for unstabalized Chemical Fertilizers should be discontinued unless eco

friendly measures of stabilizing and coating are not carried out. Secondly, appropriate fertilizer such as stabilized NPK
MAP and MOP should be produced. Due attention be paid to eco-friendly Secondary and Micronutrients.

Stricter controls over Pesticides should be instituted.

Institute Cross-Compliance (farmers receive support if they adopt certain resource-conserving technologies

for soil/ water conservation, energy pollution, organic pest control, avoid leaching of nitrates into ground water (should
be obligatory for Nitrate Sensitive Zones that should be surveyed and established immediately).

Institute Appropriate Regulatory Framework for sustainable agriculture.

Identify and declare illegal to cultivate on steep slopes, riverbanks, forests, and Government land.

Restrict use of antibiotics and growth regulators for livestock.

Test and report: Food Stuffs for Pesticide and Lead accumulations; Drinking water for fecal, nitrate


Certify crop varieties before multiplication and distribution to farmers.

Institute Joint Forest and Grazing lands management with Local Communities.

Institute Water and Soil Conservation Associations, Bodies, User Groups, Districts etc.

Reform Agricultural Education to include Conservation techniques through Hands On Training.

Support Private Sector and NGO Research.

Consortia of Government, NGO, Farmers Associations, Trade Groups for joint planning and coordination for

Regional Agriculture/ Resource Conservation Action Plans.

Mulder’s Chart is a graphic illustration of the complexity of interaction between Nutrients. Antagonism
is illustrated by a solid line and stimulation by a dotted line.







Nitrogen is 78 % by volume of dry air. It is an essential element in all-living things. Nitrogen is a constituent of proteins
and nucleic acids. Some Nitrogen is mined as Nitrate ores such as Chilenitre NaNO3
Dinitrogen consists of diatomic molecules

(i)N N

Low reactivity of Nitrogen attributable to strength of triple bond.

N2 (g) 2N (g); H = + 940 Kj mol –1

Oxidation states of +3 and +5 in oxo-anions (+3 in NO2- and +5 in NO3)

Covalency of 3, Nitrogen has no d orbitals, thus it cannot promote one of the s electrons to a d orbital. Thus covalency
of 3 using the 3 unpaired p electrons.



When Nitrogen uses its lone pair of electrons to form a coordinate bond as in NH4+ and
NO3- it has a covalency of 4.


Metals Ionic or interstitial Phosphides formed

Nitrides formed

Oxygen Some NO formed Ignites, white at 35 o C

At high temperature. & in red at 260oC, to form
Electric discharge P2O3 + P2O5

Sulphur No reaction Mixture of sulphides


Halogens No reaction PX3 + PX5 formed

Hydrogen Some NH3 formed No reaction

At high pressure

Alkali No reaction White P (not red) reacts

To form PH3 + H2PO2
HNO3 No reaction H3PO4 formed

Too reactive to occur in free state. Mined as phosphate ores e.g. Ca (PO4)2 Calcium Phosphate. When heated with
silica and coke in an electric furnace, phosphorus sublimes over. The two chief allotropes of phosphorus are the white
and red forms. The allotropy is monotrophic, red phosphorus being more stable then white under all conditions.
Oxidation states +3 and +5 in their oxo-anions.

+ 3 PO2 –
+5 PO3 - , PO4 3-
Shows covalency of 3 using the 3 unpaired p electrons.

Shows covalency of 5 by promoting one of the s electrons to a d orbital.



P (Ground State)
(Excited State)

Nitrogen is commonly applied to the soil
as Organic material, Urea, Ammonium
and Nitrate.
Research shows that most Nitrogen taken
up by plants is in Ammonium and Nitrate
Due to rapid conversion from assimilable
forms of Organic N (including urea) to
the more common forms of N available
to the Plant: Ammonium & Nitrate.
NO3- NH4+ Amides Protein
Nitrate Ammonium Ureides

Negative Charge (-) Negative Charge (-)

Negative Charge (-) Positive Charge (+)

Bacteria in
Nodules of
Convert to