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.

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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.

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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

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.

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.

Role of Various Mineral Salts in Plant Growth

By H. M. Bilal, Mujahid Ali, Rabbia Zulfiqar (Horticulture, UOS)

Plants can’t grow without mineral elements. The nutrients they need are soluble minerals. The dissolved ions are exactly the form they take up. If the dosage is controlled, there is no harm in applying a mineral salt to the soil. However, mineral salt is a real boon as a fertilizer in certain applications. Long before scientists understood the role of sodium or chloride in crop production and plant disease management, farmers routinely applied sodium chloride to mineral salt-tolerant crops to boost vigor and yields.
Livestock, poultry and pets need mineral elements for optimal health and development. All domestic and wild animals need mineral salt, just as humans, salty water that washes over agricultural fields during storm events and extreme tides can severely degrade a soils’ ability to produce traditional crops like corn and soybeans. This is already happening to some of Delaware’s coastal farmers and the frequency and extent of these flooding events may increase in the future because of climate change and sea level rise if no other preventative measures are implemented. UD Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with other partners, is investigating an alternative mineral salt-tolerant crop that may be able to sustain the productivity of these impacted lands. Salinity is one of the most brutal environmental factors limiting the productivity of crop plants because most of the crop plants are sensitive to salinity caused by high concentrations of mineral salts in the soil and the area of land affected by it is increasing day by day. For all important crops, average yields are only a fraction – somewhere between 20% and 50% of record yields; these losses are mostly due to drought and high soil salinity, environmental conditions which will worsen in many regions because of global climate change.
Mineral salt is generally defined as a white crystalline substance which gives seawater its characteristic taste and is used for seasoning or preserving food.
In chemistry, a mineral salt is an ionic compound that can be formed by the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. Mineral salts are composed of related numbers of cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negative ions) so that the product is electrically neutral (without a net charge). These component ions can be inorganic, such as chloride (Cl−), or organic, such as acetate (CH
3CO−2), and can be monatomic, such as fluoride (F−), or polyatomic, such as sulfate (SO2−4 ).
Mineral salts can be classified in a variety of ways. Mineral salts that produce hydroxide ions when dissolved in water are called alkali mineral salts. Mineral salts that produce acidic solutions are acidic mineral salts. Neutral mineral salts are those mineral salts that are neither acidic nor basic. Different mineral salts can elicit all five basic tastes, e.g., mineral salty (sodium chloride), sweet (lead diacetate), which will cause lead poisoning if ingested), sour (potassium bitartrate), bitter (magnesium sulfate), and umami or savory (monosodium glutamate).
Solid mineral salts tend to be transparent as illustrated by sodium chloride. Mineral salts exist in many different colors, which arise either from the anions or cations. For example:
• sodium chromate is yellow by virtue of the chromate ion
• potassium dichromate is orange by virtue of the dichromate ion
• cobalt nitrate is red owing to the chromophore of hydrated cobalt(II) ([Co(H2O)6]2+).
• copper sulfate is blue because of the copper(II) chromophore
• potassium permanganate has the violet color of permanganate anion.
• nickel chloride is typically green of [NiCl2(H2O)4]
• sodium chloride, magnesium sulfate heptahydrate is colorless or white because the constituent cations and anions do not absorb in the visible part of the spectrum.
Mineral salts are normally electrical insulator. Molten mineral salts or solutions of mineral salts conduct electricity. For this reason, liquified (molten) mineral salts and solutions containing dissolved mineral salts (e.g., sodium chloride in water) are called electrolytes. Mineral salts characteristically have high melting points. For example, sodium chloride melts at 801 °C. Some mineral salts with low lattice energies are liquid at or near room temperature. These include molten mineral salts, which are usually mixtures of mineral salts, and ionic liquids, which usually contain organic cations. These liquids exhibit unusual properties as solvents.
Strong mineral salts or strong electrolyte mineral salts are chemical mineral salts composed of strong electrolytes. These ionic compounds dissociate completely in water. They are generally odorless and nonvolatile. Strong mineral salts start with Na__, K__, NH4__, or they end with __NO3, __ClO4, or _CH3COO. Most group 1 and 2 metals form strong mineral salts. Weak mineral salts or weak electrolyte mineral salts are, as the name suggests, composed of weak electrolytes. They are generally more volatile than strong mineral salts. They may be similar in odor to the acid or base they are derived from. For example, sodium acetate, NaCH3COO, smells like acetic acid CH3COOH.
First, you need to define what you mean by “mineral salt.” If you’re talking about common table mineral salt, NaCl, that is not good for plants like. It kills them. It has nothing in it that plants can use and destroys cells by pulling moisture out, as well as wrecking the pH.
However, mineral salt is another matter altogether. Mineral salts are necessary for plant life to exist. In natural soil. These mineral salts are either already present or are formed as minerals are broken down by chemical action and microbial processes. Minerals have to be in the form of mineral salts before they are accessible to the plants. So, even organic and natural fertilizers still have to have their mineral content converted into mineral salts for the plants to use them.
Mineral salts unused by the plants stay in the soil and raise the salinity level over time, which makes the soil less and less productive although people put more and more fertilizer on it. That is why some people prefer to use organic fertilizers there’s less chance of the mineral salt concentration getting too high. Minerals are used by plants in very small to microscopic amounts. Plants make their food from light air and water. The minerals are a very small but essential part of the substances the plants use to conduct their life processes. Sodium and chloride are typically viewed as waste ions that plants do not need. This can be true if their levels are high in a water source. However, research has shown that plants do use these elements in small quantities
Sodium is not an essential element for plants but can be used in small quantities like micronutrients to aid in metabolism and synthesis of chlorophyll. In some plants. It can be used as a partial replacement for potassium and aids in the opening and closing of stomates, which helps regulate internal water balance. Chloride is needed in small quantities and aids in plant metabolism, photosynthesis, osmosis (movement of water in and out of plant cells) and ionic balance within the cell.
Salinity reduces plant growth through osmotic and toxic effects and high sodium uptake ratio values cause sodicity (Sufaid Kalar), which increases soil resistance reduces root growth and reduces water movement through the root with a decrease in hydraulic conductivity
A wide range of adaptations and mitigation strategies are required to cope with such impacts. Efficient resource management and crop/livestock improvement for evolving better breeds can help to overcome salinity stress. Such strategies being long drawn and cost intensive. There is a need to develop simple and low-cost biological methods for salinity stress management which can be used on short-term basis. Microorganisms could play a significant role in this respect. If we exploit their unique properties such as tolerance to saline conditions genetic diversity, synthesis of compatible solutes, production of plant growth promoting hormones, bio-control potential, and their interaction with crop plants.

Soil Sampling

Soil Sampling

Soil testing is the single most important guide to the profitable use of fertilizer and lime. It is in the best interest of farmers, lawn care professionals, landscapers, gardeners, fertilizer suppliers, and consultants to promote the use of soil testing for several reasons like

  • Grow Higher Crop Yields
  • Produce Higher Quality Crops And Ornamentals
  • Use Fertilizer Dollars More Efficiently

The purpose of soil testing is to identify the soil fertility that the plants or crop, in a given area will experience. The soil area and volume could be a large field, a small garden, or simply the root zone of a single tree or shrub. The most difficult step in soil testing is accurately representing the desired area of soil. A laboratory cannot improve the accuracy of a sample that does not represent the area.

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In most soils, it takes more than one year to make significant changes to the soil test levels. As the soil improves with better fertility programs, subsequent crops or plant growth should show increasing rates of improvement. Soils are formed over thousands of years, and are not easily changed in a short time.

Sampling Tools

Tools that may be used to take a sod sample include a spade or shovel, soil sampling tube, or soil auger. Sample tubes or augers should either be stainless steel or chrome plated.

When sampling various soils at different times of the season it is important to use the proper equipment. A soil probe, either a hand tube or hydraulic probe, can be used under most conditions. A small wooden rod may be helpful in removing the soil core from the tube. The soil auger is especially useful when sampling frozen ground or heavily compacted soil that a soil tube can’t penetrate. If a spade is used for sampling, dig a V-shaped hole to sample depth; then cut a thin slice of soil from one side of the hole. if using a pail to collect the soil, it should be plastic to avoid any contamination from trace metals. For instance, soil will pick up zinc from a galvanized pail. When sampling wet soils, vegetable oil or mineral oil may be used to lubricate the probe to minimize soil pushing ahead of the probe.

A Few Universal Basics

1. Soil samples can be taken with a professional soil probe, or simply using a shovel, spade, or garden trowel.

2. Each sample should be composed of from 10 to 15 cores.

3. As you take cores of soil, put them into the plastic bucket. Mix the soil thoroughly in the bucket (galvanized buckets will contaminate the sample with zinc), breaking up all cores. Then, fill the soil bag to the green line (about 1 cup of soil). Discard any extra soil.

Soil Sampling

Soil Sampling Procedure:

1. Samples are taken separately and away from the road side and heaps of the fertilizers or farm yard manure.

2. Soil Sampling www.agrinfobank.comTake first sample of the soil with the Augar or shovel/spade at the depth of 0 to 15 cm.

3. Take second sample at the depth of 15 to 30 cm.

4. Similarly further samples will be taken from the selected are in the field.

5. Put the simples of soil in the buckets depth wise.

6. Note soil depth with the help of marker on polythene plastic bags.

7. Dry the samples at optimum sun shine.

8. Now store the sample for further analysis.

Soil Sampling