Balanced soil enlarge agriculture fertility

The Cotton professional Dr Sagher Ahmed, a Ph.D scholar and dynamic farmer highlights the discrepancy use of fertilizers that was damaging fertility of soil and resulting low productivity. Soil Health used to be omitted around the country by way of the farmers because of lack of understanding and information about maintaining fertility of the soil. The use of nitrogen and phosphorus have been nonetheless under-dose and some other micro used to be also not noted throughout the preparation of soil.

[woo_product_slider id=”64262″]

Dr Sagher mentioned that hundreds of thousands of other folks have been fond of to cotton and textile sectors adding that farmers were unexpectedly moving their attention on more than a few other crops as a substitute of cash-crop-cotton.

In order to stay focused executive must be sure that quality seed, subsidy on fertilizers, farmer’s education-awareness, and prevent urbanization on fertile land. He added, “Farmers should apply fertilizers with respect to the soil sample reports.”

UK: Innovative farmers improve soils in shared rotations

Three ahead pondering arable and horticultural farmers, who each grow different plants in a shared rented land rotation, are pioneering a collaborative method to improving the long-term health of their soils. Jepco, Lovedon Estates and Worth Farm presented overwintering cover vegetation into their shared rotations to beef up organic matter and soil health and to assess the affect on yields and high quality of their money crops – sugar beet, potatoes and lettuce. The collaboration is a part of the AHDB GREATsoils programme and early anecdotal comments indicates the farmer-led trial is already beginning to reap rewards.

[woo_product_slider id=”64262″]

Nick Sheppard, Jepco mentioned: “We have found an increase of almost eight per cent in lettuce yield after overwintering cover crops, compared to bare soils. We also perceived a reduction in fuel use in soil cultivations and better water infiltration after heavy rain falls in the lettuce fields that had an overwintered cover crop, compared to fields which were ploughed or left as an over winter stubble.” Jerry Alford, arable and soils marketing consultant for Soil Association, said: “Traditionally growing in a shared rotation has meant that soil health is of secondary importance because there is no incentive to improve the soil for someone else’s benefit.”

“In this field lab, cover crop choice now has to work for all three businesses because the risks, as well as any benefits, affect them all.”

Source Said;

The trials when compared overwintering duvet vegetation to reveal soils. Each of the companies organised and paid for the larger integration of their own cover vegetation in their individual rotation. Different duvet plants trialled integrated oats, Italian rye grass, vetch and mustard. The affect at the rotation was assessed on: soil health and organic matter; soil ‘workability’; money crop well being and high quality; and financial parameters. Initially operating from summer time 2016 to summer 2017, the businesses have now agreed a joint long-term strategic collaborative approach.

Grace Choto, wisdom trade supervisor at AHDB Horticulture, said

“This field lab is demonstrating that different growers can work together effectively to build soils health. This fashion can be used via growers producing crops on rented land, for the benefit of all involved. Healthy, resilient soils will lend a hand sustain crop production smartly into the future.’’


Grace Choto

“The results in only the first year have been incredibly impressive. It shows both the impact using cover crops can have, as well as the value of grower collaboration.”


Grace Choto

GREATsoils is an AHDB-funded programme to help growers strengthen the health of their soils. a Sequence of GREATsoils events will likely be held throughout the UK all the way through the autumn. To find out extra and to ebook your home, discuss with horticulture.ahdb.org.uk/greatsoils

Organic matter: magic for agricultural soil

ORGANIC matter is an important part of the soil which acts as a remedy for improving the soil health. Addition of organic topic to soil ends up in a fancy chain of multiple benefits. Adding organic mulch to soil surface encourages earthworm process resulting in formation of burrows and other bio-pores, which in turn will increase infiltration of water and decreases its loss as runoff— a outcome that finally ends up in much less pollution of streams and lakes.

[woo_product_slider id=”64262″]

In maximum of agricultural soil natural matter content material is lowering at an alarming charge which is catgorised as poor soil. Soil having 1.29 consistent with cent carbon is thought of as to be enough in organic subject, but the vary of carbon in most of country soil is between zero.52 to one.38 per cent. In most cases, the soil have less than one according to cent of carbon.

The low quantity of natural subject within the soil is both natural or man-created. Among herbal reasons, the main is the climatic conditions during which the imply annual temperature influences the processes of decomposition of organic matter. High temperature stipulations are conducive to a rapid decomposition and lack of natural topic. The greatest soil orders within the country are Aridisol and Entisol having lowest organic subject content among all soil orders. Therefore this soil has lesser capacity to carry upper organic matter content material.

Another primary reason why contributing to low natural contents in soil are farmer’s economic situation who can not apply the required quantity of natural wastes again to soils. Almost no crop residues are left within the soil after harvest. The straw and different crop residues are used as fodder for livestock and animal dung is used as fuel. About 50 consistent with cent of animal droppings don’t seem to be collected, about half of the accumulated is burnt as gas and only one fourth is available for field application. Green manuring isn’t followed by our farmers because it does not give temporary financial returns.

Another factor for lower organic subject content of the soil is the intensive tillage. Tillage aerates the soil and breaks up organic residues, making them obtainable to microbial decomposition, thereby reducing the natural topic content material of the soil. Excessive ploughing has also performed a negative function within the organic matter losses.

Among other causes, the primary is the poor control. Most of the farmers do not know how one can observe organic subject properly and thus make the soil deficient. a Big amount of organic subject material may be misplaced all the way through its transportation to the sector. Moreover the natural material applied to the sector is not totally decomposed which doesn’t play any significant position in enriching the soil and increasing crop yield.

Farmyard manure, poultry manure, crop residues, green manure, filter out cake and silage, slaughter area waste and different cast and liquid based totally fabrics (sewage and sludge, dew pond effluent, town refuse and some waste of meals processing industries), compost, biogas compost etc. are the necessary natural assets to increase soil fertility.

Among strategies to reinforce natural contents of the soil, built-in plant nutrient management device is crucial. Organic resources, in addition to providing nutrients to the soil, make stronger its physical well being. Crops require an speedy glide of vitamins at particular expansion levels to make sure upper yield, which cannot be supplied by herbal weathering of minerals and organic fabrics. Biological sources have their own obstacles of being crop explicit.

Fertilisers, that have all of the nutrients to be had, may give sufficient nutrient to the crops, however their cost and constraints steadily deter farmers from the use of them in really helpful quantities and balanced proportions. The limitations may be overcome by way of the usage of considered combination of the two, which within the long-run is not just complementary but also recommended.

Cultivation of Sesbania as inexperienced manure crop in normal in addition to in marginally salt-affected soil is being practiced by means of some farmers and its price has been proved in many studies. Among crop residues the practice of ploughing of cotton sticks is selecting up among farmers. The Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (Parc), the National Institute of Biotechnology and the Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) and provincial agricultural analysis institutes are sporting out work on organic fertilisation.

The Pakistan Agriculture Research Council in collaboration with a local fertiliser manufacturing facility is producing bio-fertilisers. A composting gadget for recycling of organic wastes into valuable merchandise that now not only improves the expansion and yield of vegetation but also supplies a large supply of nutrients within the form of organic topic for agriculture soils has been evolved at the Institute of Soil and Environmental Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. Provincial analysis institutes also are providing inoculums to the farmers for leguminous and non-leguminous plants.

Much of work is going on for making improvements to natural subject content material of the soil and agricultural scientists are looking to broaden strategies simple to handle, environmentally safe and economical for the farmers, for improving fertility of the soil.

There’s No Place Like Loam: Preparing Your Soil for Planting

Some gardeners are downright contentious about the word soil, insisting that it’s not the same thing as dirt. Soil, they insist, is the stuff in your  garden; it’s what you grow plants in. Dirt is what you wash off your hands or
sweep under the rug.
Soil. Dirt. Even planting medium. It’s the place roots call home. Call it what you want. The gardener’s secret is never to treat soil like dirt. Savvy gardeners continually improve their soil. It doesn’t matter how long  you’ve been growing herbs and other plants: Garden soil is always a work in progress. This chapter is all about soil and what it takes to get it ready for planting.

What Plants Need from Soil

Soil anchors plants to the earth and supplies the oxygen, water, and nutrients that they need to live. Good garden soil, according to the professionals, consists of about 25 percent air, 25 percent water, 45 percent mineral particles,
and 5 percent organic matter.

That’s right — although most people think of soil as a solid, about half the volume of a healthy soil is actually made up of air and water! Picture a glass filled with marbles; the spaces between the marbles are like the spaces between soil particles. Plant roots grow in these spaces — the same passageways through which air, water, dissolved nutrients, and soil organisms travel.

Soil provides plants with much of what they need to survive and grow, including air, water, and nutrients:

Air to breathe: Plants need oxygen, and they absorb some of it through their roots. A few plant species thrive in ground so wet that it contains almost no air. That extra moisture may be okay for watercress, but not for most herbs (or for many of the beneficial macro- and microorganisms that live in your soil). If the roots of most herbs sit for too long in saturated soil — soil in which the spaces between the particles are filled with water — the roots will die, and when the roots die, the plant dies, too. So one of your goals in preparing the soil for an herb garden bed is to make sure that water drains well.
✓ Water to drink: Most plants are about 90 percent water (which is why plant leaves become limp during a drought). And most plants need a fairly constant supply of water, especially during hot, dry weather. So although you want water to drain from the soil after watering or a heavy rain, you don’t want it to drain so quickly that plants are left thirsty. Another one of your goals, then, is to make sure the soil retains some water.
✓ Nutrients for healthy growth: As roots take in the water they need, they also take in the nutrients dissolved in that water — nutrients that the plants need for healthy growth. Some of these nutrients are leached into the water from minerals in the soil; some may be from fertilizer you’ve applied to the soil (more on fertilizing in Chapter 9). Water must be present for plants to take up nutrients.

Soils 
Particles of rock make up most of the solid portion of garden soils. Soil scientists classify soil separates by their size , beginning with boulders any rock that measures about 10 inches across. That measurement
may sound small to you if you thought a boulder was something big enough to sunbathe on. But those of us with lots of these boulders in our gardens refer to them as “those #%*!! rocks.”
Progressively smaller in size, technically speaking, are stones, pebbles, and  gravel, and we hope these items are scant in your garden. Smaller yet are sand, silt, and clay, and these particles constitute the mineral component of garden soil. Although most soils contain a combination of these particle sizes, often one size predominates. Here’s a rundown of the characteristics of these soil particles:

Sand: Sand particles, which can be fine or coarse, are the largest of the three, measuring from 0.5 to 2 millimeters across. You can see them clearly with the naked eye. Gardeners with sandy soil, which feels gritty, often call it light soil because it doesn’t get saturated and soggy and is easy to cultivate whether wet or dry.
Because sand particles are relatively large and angular or round in shape, they don’t cling together closely, leaving space for water and air to move between the individual particles. As a result, sandy soil drains quickly — too quickly for many plants.
✓ Silt: You need a microscope to see silt particles (0.002 to 0.5 millimeters) but you can recognize them by touch: When dry, silty soil feels smooth, like flour or talcum powder. Most silt particles have an irregular shape as sand particles do, but in soils, they’re often thinly coated with clay. Water tends to run off silty soil, but once it penetrates the surface, silt  retains moisture better than sand does.

Clay: Clay particles measure less than 0.002 millimeters across. Because of their size and flat shape, clay particles stick together — and feel sticky and slick when wet. (If you’ve ever made pottery, you know what clay soil feels like.) The particles in clay soil are tightly packed, and the spaces between them are small, so water drains poorly, leaving the soil saturated and depriving plants of the air they need.
Clay soil, which may be tinged red, black, gray, or blue, stays wet and cold in spring. Because clay is harder to dig when wet or dry, it’s often referred to as heavy soil.
Your garden soil won’t be all sand or all clay, however, but a mix. If that mix is 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt, and 20 percent clay, you have loam, the ideal soil for gardening.

Management of Organic Soils

Introduction

Organic soils, commonly called peat or muck, have developed from plant residues and been preserved by a high water table. Many generations of plants, growing for decades have fallen in the water in which they were growing and been preserved because of the lack of oxygen. It takes nature about 500 years to accumulate 30 cm of organic soil.

Organic soils are used extensively for vegetable production in Ontario and with proper management will produce excellent crops year after year.

Subsidence

Organic soils have a major chronic problem – they subside at a steady rate. The term “subsidence” is used to describe the permanent lowering of the surface elevation of the soil. Several factors are responsible for subsidence. The most important are: oxidation of the soil organic matter, soil shrinkage, wind erosion, water erosion, and height of the water table. The rate of subsidence varies, depending on the frequency of wind erosion, the organic-matter content of the soil, the degree of water-level control, and the methods of cultivation. 

Research has shown that a muck soil, intensively cropped, subsides at a rate of 30 cm of soil every 10 years. This process can be slowed by the application of copper, a well designed water-control program, a wind abatement and cover crop program and minimum cultivation. These steps are essential for long-term continued use of organic soils for agriculture. With good water table control and soil management practices, the rate of subsidence can be reduced to 4.7 cm every 10 years.

Copper

Copper (Cu) applied as fertilizer slows down the activity of enzymes which cause subsidence by about 50%. It is recommended that 14 kg of Cu/ha be applied for the first three years of initial cultivation followed by 5 kg Cu/ha every second year, particularly when onions, carrots or lettuce are grown.

Water Control

The level of the water table influences crop production and has a major affect on the rate of subsidence. therefore, the water table should be maintained at a level which will keep subsidence to a minimum and at the same time produce optimum crop yields. 

Maintenance of an ideal water table level in organic soils is affected by a number of factors: 

Amount of Available Water 

Generally, in Ontario there is not sufficient groundwater available to replenish water lost through evaporation and that used by plants. Therefore, groundwater cannot be relied upon to maintain an ideal water table level in Ontario’s organic soils.  

There are two methods by which the water table may be maintained. 

(1) Overhead sprinkler irrigation This method is reasonably economical as long as there is a large water supply nearby. The capital cost is high and there is the added cost of moving pipe, as well as maintenance costs.  

(2) Tile drains An ideal water table is more easily maintained when pipelines leading from main sources of water (e.g. canals, rivers, ponds) are connected to the tile-drain system via a series of valves and water-control gates. Although the initial capital expense may be high, the subsequent costs of operating this system are negligible.

Tolerance of Various Crops

The level of the water table is an important consideration in growing different crops. The following table shows the levels required. 


Table 1. Adaptable Heights of Water Table for Different Crops
(Cm Below Soil Surface)
30-40 cm 40-50 cm 50-60 cm 60-75 cm 75-90 cm
Blueberry Celery Bean Onion Carrot
Cranberry Sod Potato Beet Parsnip
Radish Cereals Cauliflower Lettuce
Parsley Cabbage Mint
Corn
Spinach

 

Permeability 

The ease by which water moves in a particular organic soil affects the level that can be safely maintained. Reed and sedge peats are more permeable than the more compact sedimentary, woody mucks. After many years of subsidence, the density of the soil increases and permeability decreases. The vertical movement of water in an organic soil may vary from 0.5 to 34 cm per hour. The rate of movement of water is an important factor in drainage design and in water-control installations.

Rainfall 

The amount of rainfall during the season plays an important part in the behaviour of a crop relative to the position of the groundwater level. In seasons of high rainfall the water table should be maintained at a lower level than during periods of low rainfall. 

Flotation of Equipment 

At water levels above 60 cm, tractors and loaded wagons easily bog down, weed control becomes more difficult, and spraying and harvesting operations are hampered. 

Plant Nutrient Availability 

High water tables affect the availability of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash because of restricted root development. Nitrogen can be applied during the growing season if and when required. The ideal situation is a water-control system that permits a progressive lowering and maintenance of the water table to a level optimum for the crop as the growing season progresses (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Actual and ideal water levels for an organic soil

Chart showing actual and ideal water levels for an organic soil.

Wind-Erosion Control

Severe losses can result from wind damage. Many crops are either destroyed or seriously injured during the early part of the growing season. Losses of 1 to 3 cm of soil and filling in of ditches are the usual results of wind storms. 

Several methods of wind-erosion control have been used with varying success. They are: windbreaks; maintenance of a moist soil surface, either by sub-irrigation through the tile drains or overhead irrigation; interplanting of grain between crop rows or broadcast among the crop; winter cover crops; use of minimum-tillage methods to leave rough field surfaces and planting on raised beds or ridges.

Fall planted winter cover crops can provide protection from wind erosion and early spring runoff. Cover crops can be planted after early onions and carrots, lettuce, celery, radish or greens. If vegetables are to be planted the following spring, growers prefer to plant winter cover crops which die off during the winter and that do not interfere with seeding. Spring grains such as barley at 84 kg/ha or oilseed radish at 11-22 kg/ha are suitable (See Figure 2 – picture of winter cover crop). In the Bradford area, best results are obtained when fall planted cover crops are seeded before September 15. However, this date varies from season to season and in different regions of the province.

Figure 2. Oil seed radish winter covercrop – 2 seeding dates

Oil seed radish winter covercrop - 2 seeding dates.

To improve soil structure on marginal muck soils, perennial rye grass, winter rye or sudax (Sorghum-sudan) are suitable as a summer cover crop. Perennial rye grass needs warm weather to get established. 

Sorghum-Sudan has been shown to successfully improve the health and drainage of marginal muck soils. The following practices are recommended when using Sorghum-Sudan on muck soils: a pre-plant herbicide is helpful to get the crop established; only plant Sorghum-Sudan after all threat of frost has passed; broadcast seed at about 50 kg/ha and apply 45 – 56 kg of N per hectare prior to planting. The Sorghum-Sudan must be mowed down once or twice to about 6″ high after it has grown to about 3 feet. This promotes tillering and deep root growth and prevents the development of woody stalks. The crop must be chopped and/or disked in the fall while it is still green. Do not let the crop head out.

Early in the growing season cereals can be planted with onions and carrots to prevent wind erosion and wind damage. Such cereal windbreaks (usually barley) can be seeded between the rows of onions and carrots at a rate of about 60 seeds per metre or broadcast at a rate of 200-225 seeds per square metre (1-1/2 bu/acre). Once the barley windbreaks are 10-15 cm high they should be treated with one of the registered selective grass herbicides so they do not compete with the vegetable crop. Check the label of these products carefully for specific recommendations.

Water-Erosion Control 

Winter cover crops provide some limited control of water erosion during spring thaws, however heavy rainstorms can cause serious erosion in low areas and along ditchbanks. Recent research indicates that a proper mixture of perennial rye, fescues, timothy, clover and Kentucky blue grass can be used as a soil stabilizer along ditchbanks and headlands.

Soil Reaction and Liming 

The range of pH of most organic soils in Ontario is between 4.0 and 7.5. The acidity of organic soils is caused by the presence of organic compounds, exchangeable hydrogen, and iron sulfide. Alkaline conditions are often caused by burning (the ash from burning 30 cm of organic soil may raise the pH to 1 to 1-1/2 units); the presence of limestone, marl or shells or over-liming. 

When the pH is 5.1 or lower, an application of lime is generally recommended, particularly when a chemical analysis indicates a lower percentage of calcium in the soil.

Soluble Salts

High concentrations of soluble salts in soils can prevent or delay germination of seeds and can seriously damage established plants. Salt problems have become commonplace in some muck soils especially during rought periods. Salt levels can rise to damaging levels from excessive applications of fertilizers, runoff of salts applied to roads and chemical spills. Fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate, potassium chloride, sodium nitrate and ammonium sulfate can increase salt levels. If a salt problem develops, overhead irrigation with a low salt water can reduce the damaging effects.

Fertilizing Organic Soils 

Nitrogen, phosphate and potash are applied in various amounts depending on the specific crop requirements, the number of years the soil has been under cultivation and the soil reaction. Refer to the latest edition of Vegetable Production Recommendations, OMAFRA Publication 363 for specific requirements. 

Nitrogen exists largely as a constituent of the organic matter and requires the action of soil microorganisms to change to forms available to plants. The rate of release of nitrogen decreases as the soils are cultivated for a period of years. Strongly acid soils are usually low in nitrogen. 

Phosphorus is present largely in organic forms. Organic phosphorus has to be mineralized before it can be utilized by plants. Crops growing in most organic soils usually respond to an application of phosphate fertilizer, provided an adequate amount of potash is included in the mixture. Soils which have been under production for many years may show a high level of phosphorus. In such cases only 20 kg of phosphate are required as a starter fertilizer for most crops (40 kg/ha for celery). 

Potassium Potash applied to organic soils increases yields of crops, increases the sugar and starch content, reduces frost hazards within a narrow range (1-2EC), improves crop quality, and possibly increases disease resistance. 

Micro elements Micro-element requirements of organic soils in Ontario generally include the elements copper, boron, manganese, magnesium and zinc. 

Copper sulfate at 50 kg/ha and borax at 20 kg/ha, mixed with the commercial fertilizers, should be applied to all newly developed organic soil areas. Manganese, magnesium, and zinc, if required, are usually applied as foliar sprays during the growing season. 

The latter should only be applied if there are indications (visual symptoms or through tissue analysis) that a deficiency exists. Refer to the latest edition of Vegetable Production Recommendations, OMAF Publication 363 for micronutrient recommendations for specific crops.

Soil Testing 

Applying fertilizer according to recommendations based upon soil tests is the only sure means of maintaining a balance of nutrients in the soil. 

Virgin organic soils are usually low in available phosphorus and potassium. Changes in fertility levels brought about by application of fertilizer can be measured by soil tests. Soil testing is a valuable aid in determining the nutrient requirements of crops. 

Recommendations for nitrogen are made by extension horticulturists who take into consideration the crop requirements as well as the type of organic soils, the length of time it has been under cultivation and its decomposition rate. 

Adapted Crops 

Some vegetables that do well on properly-managed organic soils are potato, onion, carrot, parsnip, lettuce, celery, cabbage, cauliflower, table beet, sweet corn, radish, yow choy, choy sum, gai lan, tung choy and spinach. Some field crops adapted to organic soils are corn, sugar beet, mint, peas, grasses, and small grains.

Frost-susceptible crops such as sweet potato, pepper, eggplant, melon, and tomato are not well adapted to organic soils. 

Organic soils are one of our many natural resources. People are becoming increasingly aware of the need to manage and preserve these limited resources. Prevention of fire and erosion are important conservation objectives.

Wise development of organic soils will include uses for agriculture as well as for wildlife and recreation.

Acknowledgements 

Lucas, R.E. 1982. Organic Soils (Histosols), Formation, distribution, physical and chemical properties and management for crop production. Michigan State University research report 435. 77 pgs. 

Marza, C. and Irwin, R.W. 1964. Determination of Subsidence of an Organic Soil. Can. Intl. Soil Sci. 44: 243-253. 

Mathur, S.P. 1981. The Inhibitory Role of Copper in Enzyme Degradation of Organic Soils. Proc. Intl. Peat Symposium Bemidji, MN. pg. 191-219. 

Valk, M. 1976. Management of Organic Soils. Original Manuscript. Agdex 512, 76-094.

A sustainability oriented technology and Soil health

Mohsin Tanveer, Shahbaz Atta Tung, Haseeb Zahid

Nature has sanctified us with biological entity and life is not possible without it. And that biological entity is SOIL. Soil is layer of upper earth crust and a source of mineral nutrients, containing a vast array of organic, inorganic nutrients and gases in different proportions. Plant takes up 16 elements from soil and makes its food. Unfortunately, we are not taking care of it and under the scenario of current agriculture problems; soil health is of burning issue right now. Agriculture is modified and transformed into industry and now the only aim of farmer is to get high yield even though he has to deteriorate its soil. Farmers have increased their cropping intensity in greed of more earning without taking into consideration of soil health. As a result, nutrient status of soil is diminishing rapidly day by day. Mohsin Tanveer

Although the nutrient requirement could be done with synthetic fertilizer application, but fertilizer prices and their quality is still a question. However, total avoidance of synthetic fertiliser is not possible, so there is need of sustainability oriented approach that reduces artificial fertilizer application and improves soil fitness. The basic concept behind adoption of that technology is just to increase organic matter in soil. Soil fertility depends on the availability of organic matter. This organic matter not only improves water holding capacity, nutrient retention capacity but also enhances microbial activity in soil by providing them food. It is primitive for better productivity that our soil should contain enough nutrients. Plant stores nutrient in grains, leaves, stem and roots. It is rule for successful and progressive farming that, after removing economical part of plant, remaining should be incorporated in soil.

Using combine harvesters, lot of wheat stubbles remained on soil and that is marvellous source of organic matter. Usually farmers burn these stubbles and putting stubbles on fire causes environmental issues and loss of nutrients and sometimes it takes shape of massive accidents. Burning also affects soil microbes and reduces soil health. Burning of stubbles is crime, then why does our farmer do this? The reason is, he does not have any idea how to get rid of that and what to do with that. Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture Faisalabad has devised a system that not only improves soil health but also provide an additional source of income. Main benefit of this technology is that being leguminous crop and addition of organic matter in soil, fertiliser requirement dips to half amount and by burning, 80% nitrogen, 25% phosphorous and 21 % potassium is lost. On the other hand these nutrients can be returned back by putting them in soil. Dr. Ehsan Ullah and his team introduced three methods:Soil health 1

Sowing of Sesbania in standing wheat: Sesbania is leguminous crop that has potential to produce excess biomass in short time with low input requirement. It has capability to fix nitrogen in soil and increase nitrogen concentration in soil. At the end of March/ start of April and when last irrigation of wheat is done then broadcast sesbania at rate of 10 kg per acre in standing wheat. Soak the seed for 10-15 hours before surface steeping that increase germination speed. Then at harvesting time of Wheat, Sesbania grows up to height of 1 foot and at that time it is not ploughed in soil by using simple cultivator. At this stage, upper grown parts can be harvested and fed to animals as fodder. And below ground parts may be act as organic matter in soil. 2) Sowing of Sesbania after wheat harvesting: Sometimes, farmers do not able to sow seed, might be due to unavailability of seed. Then they can sow seed even after harvesting. Seeds may be sown by giving irrigation heavily after harvesting and broadcast primed seed in field. In this method, Sesbania get little height at time of land preparation for rice. But that little biomass of Sesbania improves sol health a lot.

Soil health 2Sowing at field capacity level of soil after wheat harvesting: In this method, seeds are broadcasted at field capacity level (optimum soil moisture level) of soil after harvest of wheat. Weeds may also be growing in this way that can be removed easily. Incorporate the Sesbania when, land preparation is required. Under all these methods, our aim is to introduce a leguminous crop and utilize nutrients and time between wheat harvesting and sowing of next crop. There are two methods, employed to incorporate them in soil. Through rotavator: Rotavator is best option for Sesbania incorporation. Give light irrigation to field, then at optimum moisture level, rotavate the field, in this way stubbles of wheat and Sesbania may be cut down and can be easily incorporated. By puddling method: At the core areas of rice belt, it is started raining and at that time Sesbannia may be deposited in soil in that standing water of rain. This method yield two benefits, firstly the rovator cut down plants in to small pieces which will start decomposing abruptly and secondly, there will be no need of land preparation further. Soil becomes soft and fertile after this method and that helps in transplanting of rice nursery.

Questions regarding the adoption of this method:

· Some farmers feel reluctant to spend money on purchasing Sesbania seed. They do not want to increase the expense but they do not know, if they use this technique, they will not only sustain their soil but also get high yield and price of Sesbania seed is very low.

· Some farmers ask how this will increase our yield. The answer is Sesbania is leguminous crop. It will fix environmental nitrogen in soil and boost up the availability of nitrogen in soil. This will reduce fertiliser requirement.

· Some farmers inquired about the feasibility of adoption of this method. This method is feasible under all agro-ecological zones and can be adapted at all kind of soil series.