The Valuation of Manures and Fertilizers

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In the choice of manures and fertilizers it is first necessary to decide which plant nutrient or nutrients are required for the particular soil and crop in question. The next step is to find out the cheapest source of the required nutrient. Bearing in mind the relatively suitability of different forms. The cheapest source is determined by working out the relative "unit values" of the desired nutrient when delivered on the farm or when applied to the land. This matter is discussed in detail later in these notes. Suitable bulky organic manures confer extra beneficial properties. Such manures help to maintain the humus status of the soil. and their gradual breaking down by bacteriological activity gives a continuous supply of available nitrogen. The better humus content ensures a more stable soil. better tilth.better water supplies and aeration. and also makes possible the more economical use of added mineral fertilizers. Those manures which are of plant origin also supply small amounts of all the elements of nutrition which are taken up by growing plants from outside areas.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, III (No 6), p. 468-473