Soil testing is an effective process to maintain sustainable soil health.
The main reason of decreasing soil health is intensive cropping pattern & continuous use of imbalance fertilization. Due to this, the quality and productivity of the crops adversely affected. Regular insufficiency of plant nutrients in soil creates so many problems in farmers field.
Fertilizers recommendations for different crops based on the available plant nutrients in the soil resulting better yield.
Soil fertility depends upon the fertilizer use on soil test basis. Soil analysis is a valuable tool for farm as it determines the inputs required for efficient & economic production.
Soil test should be done in a proper way as it helps to find out the fertilizer requirement to the crop
It is very important that your sampling technique is correct because the better the sample, the better the result will be.
Proper soil sampling will provide accurate soil test results and reliable nutrient recommendations.
Objectives of Soil Testing -
- Measuring the level of Macro & Micro plant nutrients in the soil & to determine the relative ability of soil to supply crop nutrients in a particular growing season.
- Measuring salinity, acidity & alkalinity of the soil.
- For proper management & application of lime & gypsum for soil reclamation.
- To lay-out the specific zones on fertility status for particular crop cultivation.
- Recommendation of crop varieties susceptible to salinity, acidity & alkalinity of the soil by applying proper crop rotation.
Time for Soil Sampling
One month before seed sowing or transplanting is the right time of taking soil sample. Problem soil areas may be sampled anytime.
How Soil Sampling?
The main problem in the effective use of soil testing is obtaining proper representative soil sample.
Proper soil sampling will provide accurate soil test results and reliable nutrient recommendation for a particular crop.
Collecting Sample: Collect soil sample from different areas of one acre field area & it is treated as a single sampling unit. Sample must truly represent the field it belongs to
Larger area may be divided in to smaller homogeneous units for best representation of the soil.
Areas near trees, wells, compost pit, bunds, irrigation channels etc. must be carefully avoided during sampling. An area of about 2-3 metres along all the sides of the field should be left.
Sample should be drawn from 0-15 cm i.e. plough layer of furrow slice in case of cereals, vegetables and other seasonal crops & take sample from 8-10 cleaned marked spots of entire field.
Samples should be collected from different depths in case of deep rooted & longer duration crops like sugarcane.
In case of garden of fruit or other trees, composite sample from 0-30, 30-60 & 60-90 cm depth should be made from 4-5 pits dug in one acre field.
Collect a small portion of soil up to the suitable depth with the help of sampling tools like Khurpi, Kassi & Phawda etc. from well-marked 8-10 spots, moving in to zigzag manner from each individual sampling site in the entire field.
If there is standing crops in the field, draw the soil sample in between the rows.