Rajendra Prasad Paneru. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers by farmers is found increasing the acidity of the soil in their fields. The level of acidity in the soil has increased due to the lack of organic matter. It is said the crop yield is declining every year due to the increasing soil acidity and lack of organic nutrients for the plants.
Various tests carried out vindicate to this. Out of the 593 soil samples that the laboratory tested for the soil fertility in the fiscal year 1997/98 to fiscal year 2002/2003, it found that 216 soil samples had high acidity, 216 were neutral and 161 were alkaline. Similarly, testes conducted for organic matter in the soil samples found that out of the total samples, 530 had very inadequate organic matter, 58 had medium level organic matter content and only five samples had high organic matter content. In like manner, 462 soil samples had less nitrogen content, 122 had medium level nitrogen content and only nine had high nitrogen content while tests for phosphorus content showed that 12 samples had very less content, 118 samples had medium content and 272 samples had high content.
Likewise, out of the 2059 soil samples that the laboratory tested for the soil fertility in the fiscal year 2003/2004 to fiscal year 2017/2018 it found that 618 soil samples were acidic, 1351 samples were neutral and 540 samples were alkaline. Similarly, testes conducted for organic matter content in the soil samples found that out of the total samples, 1719 had very less quantity of organic matter, 285 samples had medium level organic matter content and only 12 samples had high organic matter content.
In like manner, 537 soil samples had less nitrogen content, 490 samples had medium level nitrogen content and 892 samples had high nitrogen content while tests for potash content showed that 836 samples had less potash content, 937 samples had medium level of potash and 337 samples had high content.
Organic Manure and Soil Laboratory Sundarpur’s officiating senior soil scientist Prakash Kumar Panta said it has become essential to make an integrated plan for restoring the soil fertility and adopting a balanced nutritional supplementation of crops. According to him, the soil fertility and productivity could be made sustainable only through the balanced use of organic and chemical fertilizers, but the farmers have not paid attention tothis fact. “Special attention should be given to the soil quality, fertilizer use, irrigation, seed, improved technology and crop protection, the factors responsible for enhancing the crop production.
Soil management aspect should be given special attention to make the soil fertility sustainable while adopting the intensive crop cultivation system for meeting the food demands of the growing population,” he suggested. Panta reiterated that organic matter should be there in the soil in adequate quantity for supplementing crops with nitrogen, phosphorus, potash, calcium, magnesium, sulpher and micro-nutrients as iron, copper, boron, manganese, molybdenum, and chlorine, among others. Soil scientist Panta advised farmers to apply agriculture lime in their field to reduce the soil acidity. He recommended using 80 to 90 kilogrammes of agriculture lime in every one kaththa land to neutralize the soil acidity.
“The farmers should get their soil tested for acidity and use only the recommended quantity of chemical fertilizers while increasing the use of organic manure,” he said, while warning of rapid decline in agricultural production if the acidity level in soil increased every year in the present rate.