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The essence of Soil Testing for Farm prosperity
Steady growth for your farm!
Soil Testing :
If we quote Atharvaveda, Mandala 3, 12 :
“I bow before that Earth, which is golden-crested or gold bearing & which is one in all its forms, be it then in the form of rock, earth-mass, stones & sand or dust. When well preserved, this Earth protects us all (translated from Sanskrit)."
This quote is so relevant in today’s world that we are forced to return to the roots & acknowledge the importance of healthy soil.
Soil testing is recognized as a sound scientific tool to assess inherent power of soil to supply plant nutrients. It has also been ascertained that the poor fertility of soils acts as a barrier between the farmers & high yields.
Soil tests conducted in Soil Testing Laboratories are used to measure soil nutrients that are expected to become plant-available. They do not measure the total amounts of nutrients in soil. Measurements of total nutrient content are not useful indicators of sufficiency for plant growth, because only a small portion of the nutrients are plant-available. Roots take up plant-available nutrients as positively or negatively charged ions from the soil.
Hence over the period of time Soil Testing has been recognized as a comprehensive systematic methodology to assess essential nutrients of the soil that are supplied to the plants. The benefits of soil testing have been recognized through scientific study, extensive field demonstrations, and on the basis of actual fertilizer use by the farmers on soil test based fertilizer use recommendations. With active backing of Government of India, concept of Soil testing was introduced in the country by setting up of 16 soil testing laboratories during 1955.
RCF’s Soil Testing infrastructure :
Initially, RCF (Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd.) (the then Fertilizer Corporation of India : FCI) keeping in mind the requirement of the farming community established its first Soil testing lab during the year 1967 at Trombay unit, Bombay (now Mumbai). Subsequently RCF established additional 5 static & 4 Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories till 1973. Over the period of time these old 4 Mobile Soil Testing Labs were scraped.
RCF’s has dedicated itself in participating & adapting “‘Centrally Sponsored Scheme on National Project on Management of Soil Health & Fertility” (2010 – 2012) & established state of the art Six Static & Six Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories at pan India locations.
|STL’s established earlier.||STL’s established under National Project (2011-2012).|
During the year 2015 RCF dedicated is 13th Soil Testing Laboratory established at Latur (Maharashtra) to the farmers of India.
RCF is presently having the capacity to analyse 125000 soil samples per annum, i.e. about 1% of the total analysing capacity at all India level & 6.14 % of the total analysing capacity in Maharashtra. Till date RCF has been analyzing Soil Samples on free of cost for the farmers.
Illustrative photographs of Soil sample collection process :
|Remove the surface litter at the sampling spot.||Make a ‘V’ shaped cut to a depth of 15 cm in the sampling spot.|
|Mix the samples thoroughly & Remove foreign materials like roots, stones, pebbles and gravels.|
|Quartering is done by dividing the thoroughly mixed sample into four equal parts.||Two opposite quarters are discarded and the remaining is mixed|
|Collect the sample in a clean cloth or polythene bag|
Sample Photographs of Soil Testing Labs (Static & Mobile) established under National Project on Management of Soil Health & Fertility’ (2010 – 2012).
View of Static Soil Testing Lab at Nanded.
Micronutrient Analysis on AAS at STL – Satara.
MOBILE SOILTESTING LAB : Activities on Mobile STL at field level.