Intensive soil sample collection is progressing steadily in 125 out of 375 revenue villages in Erode district.
A sensitisation programme was conducted in April for officials of Agriculture Department and Village Administrative Officers for
implementation of the grid soil sample collection program in the 125 revenue villages during 2015-16. The programme was initiated at Nanjanapuram village by Joint Director of Agriculture M. Selvaraju.
To ensure precise and accurate soil sampling, Agricultural Officers’ of Soil Testing Laboratory and Mobile Soil Testing Laboratory were trained by master trainers. Soil samples will be taken before the sowing period of Kharif season, Nodal Officer of Mission on Soil health Card R. Savithiri said.
Under the Mission, soil samples are collected in representative areas or grids in every village. The samples are analysed for physical and chemical properties before issuance of soil health cards once in three years for site specific nutrient management.
Soil test-based application of fertilizers is critical to enhance efficient use of fertilizers. Blanket fertilizer recommendation that is generally followed rarely matches soil fertility. “Balanced and judicious use of chemical fertilizer along with bio-fertilizers and locally available organic manures based on soil testing values is very crucial to maintain soil health and crop productivity,” Ms. Savithiri explained.
The Mission being implemented under chairmanship of District Collector S. Prabakar with the Joint Director of Agriculture as Member Secretary envisages testing of soil in 42,000 hectares over the next three years. This year, 14,000 hectares are to be covered.
So far, a nominal Rs. 20 used to be collected from farmers to conduct macro/micro test. Under the Mission, the sampling will be conducted free of cost. Assistant Agricultural Officers have been assigned villages for testing soil with geo-tagging, replete with specification of latitude and longitude and survey number for easier location.
Collection of samples will be completed by June-end. The samples will be shade-dried and preserved for subsequent analysis.
Source : The Hindu