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Healthy soil, Healthy crops

Healthy soil is the foundation of the food system. The parameters that define a soil sample “healthy” are the levels of organic matter, nutrient content, neutral pH, stable aggregates and ambient population of beneficial organisms. To ensure the presence of these in right proportion, it is important to test the soil samples.

Soil testing in a way is fundamental to agricultural practices wherein the inputs as per the requirement could be delivered to it after identifying the deficiencies. Earlier the focus was mainly on N, P and K. Now everyone realized the critical part played by micro nutrients like Zn, Mo, Co, Cu, B, Fe etc.… which may otherwise lead to deficiency disorders and stunted growth in plants.

Next to the soil health status is the importance of Tillage operations. Practicing conservation tillage or minimum tillage or zero tillage is a smart move to prevent surface runoff, increase soil organic matter, and to reduce soil erosion.  Growing cover crops and mulching renders the soil soft, creating a more convenient environment for beneficial microbes which aid in the uninterrupted release of nutrients.

Soil quality sustenance could be achieved only by an integrated and holistic approach. So let’s utilize the precious resource wisely, without exhausting them and pass it on for the future generations. Let’s switch to a sustainable and climate resilient cropping pattern because there is no planet B.

Written By,
Shinu Thomas

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