Human health is dependent on the food what they consume and ultimately the soil health which supplies required nutrients for the plant or crop in turn to the consumer. In India the farmers are practicing the conventional agriculture methods for the crop production. Somehow farmers are harvesting the crop on one side but on the other side the soil fertility or soil health is getting deteriorated.
Conventional production systems like
- Use of high yielding varieties,
- Intensive use of chemical fertilizers cum pesticides and
- Extensive tillage operations introduced to our country by the effect of Green revolution have become the main reasons for soil quality degradation.
Sustainability of the soil in the agricultural production systems is the most crucial issue present agriculture. Agriculture system is sustainable at least when the quality of soil, water and atmosphere are made productive and maintained. The use and application of chemical fertilizers to the soil by our farmers is an important factor in agricultural production system which affects the sustainability of the production system.
The present agricultural practices has forced farmer to make use of high doses of chemical fertilizers to the crops without proper knowledge of crops, their growing science and also about fertilizers and their usage. The unscientific way of using fertilizers (imbalance applications) have become a serious hazard to sustainable agricultural production system.
Scope for the improvement
Soil test- based fertility management might be one of an approach for sustainable agricultural production system. The first and foremost benefit of a Soil testing provides information regarding nutrient availability in soils which forms the basis for the fertilizer recommendation for maximum crop yields.
Five reasons to go for soil testing and analysis
- Exclusive cultivation of soil always drags out nutrients and without putting a sufficient amount back into the soil leads to soil get unfit for the production of crops in future. The addition of the nutrients to the soil by estimating the requirements help to decide and add the nutrients according to the values so that soil health is not affected.
- The Electrical conductivity [EC] is determined which is an important soil factor required for the utilisation of applied nutrients.
- The soil pH number determined describes whether soil is more or less acidic. The most important factor for root growth, nutrient exchange, water exchange and for microbial population health.
- Organic Matter is another very important component is determined in soil test, as this is an important source of nutrients and support soil in soil water holding and nutrient holding capacity.
- Soil test will determine the available and exchangeable essential nutrients present in the sample of land. Here the nutrient requirement for particular crop can be estimated and recommended to add.
Overall the soil test made
- Will help in determining the quantity of nutrients [major, Secondary and Micronutrients] to be added to the soil according to the crop requirements and analyzed values.
- Helps to take up any amendments to regulate soil pH and Electrical conductivity [EC] so that crop may avoid crop failures due to abnormal pH and EC values.
- Organic matter content values, help to decide the nutrient availability and microbial population in the soil, and based on the value, one can decide to add or not in to the soil.
Finally the by soil test based agricultural practices soil health may be maintained, without allowing to deteriorate, maintain equilibrium in soil factors, respond well for continuous farming thus supporting sustainable agriculture.
K SANJEEVA REDDY,
Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.
Disclaimer: The performance of the product(s) is subject to usage as per manufacturer guidelines. Read enclosed leaflet of the product(s) carefully before use. The use of this product(s) /information is at the discretion of user.
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