Contrary to opinion articulated through various quarters, empirical evidence and various studies have shown that the agronomic practices since the Green Revolution, especially dependence on the wheat-paddy cycle, had only improved the soil fertility in Punjab, where cropping intensity has reached 190 per cent. A reduction in fertilizer consumption notwithstanding, soil properties, presence of micro-nutrients and yields of crops have seen major improvement.
While, noted economist, H.S. Shergill, has collated scattered evidence, the finding on improved fertility has been made in research conducted by two scientists D.K. Benbi and J.S. Brar at the Department of Soils in the Punjab Agricultural University. They analysed more than three lakh plough level soil samples taken from various parts of Punjab over 25 years since 1980.
Though for some reasons the study by the two scientists was rejected by experts and the State government as it was not considered in the “interests of Punjab’s farm economy,” their findings were published by an international journal, Agronomy for Sustainable Development .
The paper is titled “A 25-year record for carbon sequestration and soil properties in intensive agriculture.”