Tamil Nadu

Measures in place for crop-specific soil test

Agriculture officers of soil testing laboratories and mobile soil testing laboratories who have been entrusted with the task of implementing ‘Mission Soil Health Card’ in the district have been instructed to carry out crop-specific testing of soil, warranting analysis of soil at varying depths, official sources said.

For fibrous crops, soil at a depth of 15 cm has to be taken and for crops such as maize, cotton and tapioca, soil for testing is taken from 45 cm depth.

As for orchard crops such as mango, sapota and coconut, soil at three feet depth is taken, to make sure sub-strata is not rocky.

At places of assured irrigation, soil sampling is conducted for every individual unit of two hectares and in rain-fed fields, sampling is conducted for every individual unit of 10 hectares.

The National Mission coincides with declaration of 2015 as the International Year of Soils by the 68th UN General Assembly with the aim of spreading awareness and understanding importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions.

The officials engaged in the task have been asked to view soil as a living medium, serving as a natural nutrient source for growth of plants. Variations in the proportions of soil components: mineral, organic matter, water and air warrant study and classification of soils according to their use. Soil surveys conducted for determining fertilizer use helps in natural resource management, officials said.


Soil samples are collected in representative areas or grids for analysis of physical and chemical properties.

The fertilizer not suitable to a soil type is called incorrect fertilizer and in this case fertilizer consumption ceases to be efficient for the crop production, R. Savithri, Assistant Agriculture Officer, Kodumudi Block, and Nodal Officer of the Soil Health Card Mission in Erode district, said.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 8:44:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/measures-in-place-for-cropspecific-soil-test/article7284457.ece

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