Introduction: Hello famers, you have been hearing about lots of polution due to crop leftover burnings, do you know why farmers are burning various crops of Stubble, let us find out Stubble Burning Reasons and alternative solutions. Well, are you thinking what is Stubble burning? basically it refers to the setting fire of the straw stubble that remains after grains have been harvested in the field crop. The carbon (C) in stubbles is lost by burning and the process of burning stubbles even occasionally, critically affecting the organic carbon levels of the soil. Around 80 percent of the carbon in standing stubble will return to the atmosphere as CO2. Losses of carbon as CO2 to the atmosphere through burning are often slightly greater than through natural decomposition, but they are of course immediate.
In countries where stubble burning happens, large amounts of potentially useful organic matter disappear into the sky in clouds of polluting smoke. Stubble burning mainly refers to the use of a controlled fire to clear the crop residue that remains in the paddock after harvest and could more accurately be called ‘crop residue burning’. Lack of action is responsible for the continued burning of stubble and farmers are taking advantage of leniency and setting crop residue on fire without considering the threat to human lives or soil health. Stubble burning results in the emission of harmful gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide along with particulate matter. A stubble burning reasons are main trending topics of India.
A step by step guide to Stubble burning reasons
Stubble burning is for the main purpose of clearing the land of stubble and weeds, leaving the ground as clean as possible for the tillage tools. Burning stubble can be justified from the standpoint of the greater immediate returns secured from this practice. Where rather large amounts of straw are plowed under or disked into the soil in the spring of the year, it interferes with forces that make plant food obtainable.
Much moisture is required if the straw is to decay and make available the plant food it contains. Plant food does not become obtainable in dry soil. Decreased yields are a common experience where very much straw has been incorporated in the soil, mainly if cropped the same year.
Stubble should not be burned on soils that blow readily, but it must be worked into the surface as an aid in breaking the force of the surface wind. Many farmers and stubble burner salesmen have the impression that the heat generated in burning stubble is sufficient to destroy the vitality of all weed seeds on the ground with those partly covered with soil. Weed seeds are not affected by this heat unless they are exposed to the fire.
Thermometers placed in the path of the stubble burner and covered with soil from a quarter of an inch to an inch in depth showed an increase of one to three degrees temperature. Any seeds covered with dirt were not affected in any way by the heat of the fire as such a small rise in temperature would not injure the seed germination. Let us get into the details of Stubble Burning Reasons and Alternative Solutions.
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A major pollutant in Stubble burning
Burning straw leads to an increase in particulate matter in the air and the release of the burning cause of acids like sulfates, nitrates, metals in the air and could cause severe health problems. According to the experts, burning of straw burns out approximately 1 lakh tonnes of nitrogen, 0.5 lakh tonnes of phosphorus and 2.5 lakh tonnes of potash in the soil over the 29-30 lakh hectares in which paddy is developed annually.
Stubble burning impact on the environment
Stubble burning is a serious issue and it should be sought on an immediate effect. With such a grave impact on the environment, understanding the importance of opting for potential alternatives to stubble burning is the available solution.
By providing stubble collecting machines to the farmers or presenting reasonable labor to reap paddy fields to avoid stubble generation is another method to control the issue. Offering temporary employment to the people in need during the harvesting time is another method to combat the situation.
One great method to approach the issue is to think of alternatives to deal with it. By converting stubble into energy is an innovative way to address the matter and not only it helps in reducing the greenhouse effect but helps to fight against the threats of global warming. Setting up biomass power plants in the villages can help to meet the energy needs of the villagers.
Setting up biomass fuel plants to produce fuel using paddy husk or making fodder for livestock out of the collected stubble. And can also serve as an important step to bring down the adverse effect of crop residues finding their way into the environment during the needless burning of crops.
Alternatives to Stubble burning
Few possible alternatives to Stubble Burning can be given below;
- Baling can remove the bulk of cut straw from the paddock however it leaves behind weed seeds, can cause soil compaction from the extra vehicle traffic in the paddock, and only viable if there are reliable markets for the baled straw.
- Burying crop residues by plowing uses a lot of fossil fuel and not good for soil quality. Incorporation into the soil surface by lighter tillage is related to weed problems.
- Providing stubble collecting machines to farmers to assemble stubble.
- By allowing cattle to graze or feed upon to clear away husk and stubble.
- Decomposing stubble in the farm field and turning into the useful manure.
- Making fodder for livestock out of collected stubble and setting up Bio-mass fuel plants to generate fuel using paddy husk.
- Subsidizing the stubble collecting machines at the rent and providing reasonable labor to reap the paddy to avoid stubble generation. Providing labor would provide temporary employment to people in need.
- The government should Involve or invite benefiting industries like the cement industry to collaborate in husk or stubble collection to use it proficiently.
- Inviting packaging industries to collect stubble to create packaging boxes that are more environmentally friendly than other non-disposable materials like thermocol and plastic.
Advantages of Stubble burning
- Stubble burning is a cheap method for quickly clearing the field.
- It kills off weeds in the field, or else resistant to the herbicides.
- It kills slugs and other pests harmful to the crop.
- Stubble burning can reduce nitrogen deficiency in the soil.
Solution for Stubble burning
The excellent use of stubble is as animal feed by conversion of stubble into goat fodder. By converting stubble into milk and meat will add more value than using it as fuel. Humans cannot digest straw at all, but animals like cattle, sheep; goats have four-stage stomachs that digest up to half of it. Goats have the toughest stomachs and good digestion rates. Treatment with urea, alkalis or molasses can develop the digestibility and calorific value of straw.
Burning stubble destroys a helpful raw material, pollutes the air, causes respiratory diseases and worsens greenhouse gas emissions. Usually, rice was harvested manually. However, today’s farm labor shortage means combine harvesters now cut most of the Kharif crop in the north-west. Manual cutting leaves only a couple of inches of stubble, but combine harvesters leave 12 to 15 inches.
Zero-till farming is an alternative that sows wheat seeds without removing the stubble. Tractor-mounted seeders, rotavators, and straw-reapers simultaneously cut rice stubble and sow wheat seeds, then depositing the cut stubble on top as mulch. The farmers must be encouraged to adopt conservation farming systems. Alternative options to manage stubble residues, mainly in high rainfall areas, are continuing to evolve. An all-round aggressive approach is required on behalf of the government, scientists, and farmers in the form of adoption of ‘straw management technologies’.
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Disadvantages of Stubble burning
- Stubble burning is the main reason of air pollution contributing to about 20% of the particulate matter emission during winter.
- Stubble burning results in loss of nutrients from the soil increasing fertilizer requirement and impact on soil microbes and fauna
- It mainly causes damage to electrical and electronic equipment from floating threads of conducting waste and there is a risk of fires spreading out of control.
- Reduction in soil structure (soil aggregate stability)
- Stubble burning mainly damages to electrical and electronic equipment from floating threads of conducting waste.
- Stubble burning, rather than retaining it, reduce the carryover of diseases and pests to subsequent sensitive crops. The temperatures achieved in a stubble fire mainly influence the effectiveness of this technique. Hope you understand the stubble burning reasons and it’s affects.
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