Through most of the world legumes have played a major role in the history of man’s efforts to produce food. Nutritional merit alone would probably have earned these plants priority consideration, but what must have assured them the greatest respect among farmers was their unique ability to enrich the soil. The prevalence of various pulse seeds in archeological diggings attests to the early origins of legume culture, though one may only guess when man began to realize that these plants could maintain the fertility of his fields. However, it is not likely that a cause-effect relationship of such economic significance would remain unnoticed for long in the early empirical approach to agriculture. The soil enriching quality of legumes was clearly appreciated by the early Romans, who developed the concept of crop rotation in which legumes figured prominently. This practice persists today as a major instrument in soil management throughout the world. In developed countries the advent of cheap nitrogen fertilizer has currently lessened the importance of legumes, but increasing concern over possible contribution of fertilizer nitrogen to water pollution has stimulated a renewed interest in extending biological N2 fixation.
KeywordsChlorophyll Explosive Assimilation Nitrile Straw
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