PERCEPTION OF THE FARMERS TOWARDS NEEM COATED UREA IN PRAKASAM DISTRICT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
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In fact, the use of chemical fertilizers in IndiaÂ over the last 50 years has grown nearly 170 timesÂ (FAO, 2006).The most common nitrogenous fertilizer,Â Urea, with the highest nitrogen content (46 per cent), is
used widely across the countries of the world as theÂ main source of critical nutrient for crop growth. As perÂ research findings, nitrogen from urea is released in theÂ soil and water and is leached by the activity of nitrifyingÂ bacteria, Nitrobacteria and Nitrosomonas. TheseÂ bacteria turn nitrogen into nitrite and then to nitrate whichÂ are highly mobile in nature when present in soil. In theÂ process, approximately fifty per cent of the appliedÂ nitrogen in urea is lost through leaching into the soil,Â causing extensive ground water contamination. NeemÂ coated urea (NCU) is a solution to the problem,Â preventing the bacterial activity of nitrification. RecentÂ research indicates that â€˜sustained releaseâ€™ nature ofÂ Neem Coated Urea has resulted in reasonableÂ increase in rice yield by 9.6 per cent and wheat yieldÂ by 6.9 per cent.