A textbook of agronomy by b. Chandrasekaran
A TEXTBOOK OF AGRONOMY
Agriculture helps to meet the basic needs of humans and their civilization by providing food, clothing, shelters, medicine, and recreation. Hence, agriculture is the most important enterprise in the world.
It is a productive unit were the free gifts of nature namely land, light, air, temperature, and rainwater, etc., are integrated into a single primary unit indispensable for human beings. Secondary productive units namely animals including livestock, birds, and insects, feed on these primary units and provide concentrated products such as meat, milk, wool, eggs, honey, silk, and lac.
Agriculture provides food, feed, fiber, fuel, furniture, raw materials, and materials for and from factories; provides a free fare and fresh environment, abundant food for driving out famine; favors friendship by eliminating fights.
Satisfactory agricultural production brings peace, prosperity, harmony, health, and wealth to individuals of a nation by driving away distrust, discord, and anarchy. It helps to elevate the community consisting of different castes and clauses, thus it leads to a better social, cultural, political, and economic life.
Agricultural development is multidirectional having galloping speed and rapid spread with respect to time and space. After the green revolution, farmers started using improved cultural practices and agricultural inputs in intensive cropping systems with laborer intensive programs to enhance the production potential per unit land, time, and input.
It provided a suitable environment for all these improved genotypes to foster and manifest their yield potential in newer areas and seasons. Agriculture consists of growing plants and rearing animals in order to yield, produce and thus it helps to maintain a biological equilibrium in nature.
1.0 AN INTRODUCTION TO AGRICULTURE
Agriculture is derived from the Latin words Ager and Cultura. Ager means land or field and Cultura means cultivation. Therefore the term agriculture means cultivation of land. i.e., the science and art of producing crops and livestock for economic purposes. It is also referred to as the science of producing crops and livestock from the natural resources of the earth.
The primary aim of agriculture is to cause the land to produce more abundantly and at the same time, to protect it from deterioration and misuse. It is synonymous with farming–the production of food, fodder, and other industrial materials.
Agriculture is defined in the Agriculture Act 1947, as including ‘horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming and livestock breeding and keeping, the use of land as grazing land, meadow