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How to know what fertilizers are to be applied to your next crop ?

There are two simple methods by which farmers can know what fertilizers are to be applied to the crop . First one is by soil testing and other method is by leaf petiole testing.

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Soil testing – Importance

Soil testing – Importance

A proper soil test will help ensure the application of enough fertilizer to meet the requirements of the crop while taking advantage of the nutrients already present in the soil. It will also allow you to determine lime requirements and can be used to diagnose problem areas.

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Best timing to do soil testing

Best timing to do soil testing

It is very important that your sampling technique is correct as the results are only as good as the sample you take. Now most of the farmers are planning to soil testing in their fields. The best time of year to soil sample is after the crop is removed or before crop is planted. Since results can vary depending on the time of year, it is best to sample at the same time each year. Soil tests should be completed every 2-3 years for most crops.

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Soil Sampling Steps

Soil Sampling Steps

➥ Samples should be taken randomly throughout the entire area, traveling in a zig zag pattern to ensure uniform distribution.

➥ Samples are to be taken at 20 different places

➥ Take samples using your soil probe at a depth of 15- 20 cm for most of the crops.

➥ Place samples in a clean plastic bucket. Remove plant material, and rocks, break clumps and mix well.

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➥ If the sample is wet it will need to air dry in before the sample can be mixed and a composite was taken.

➥ The composite sample should be about 2 cups in size.

➥ Place the sample in the box labeled with the sample number, field number, and your address.

➥ Fill out the form for sample submission. Select the crop name on the back of the form in order to receive a fertilizer recommendation.

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Leaf Petiole Test

Leaf Petiole Test

On standing crop and Horticulture crops like Grapes petiole test can be used to quickly check status of nutrients.

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Leaf petiole test – Steps

Leaf petiole test – Steps

➥ A leaf or blade sample should consist of 15 samples taken at random throughout the area being sampled.

➥ A petiole sample should be taken from 25 or more sub-samples taken at random.

➥ Take most-recently-matured leaves those leaves that have reached maximum size.

➥ Avoid sampling along dusty roads.

➥ Do not take samples after foliar application.

➥ Place sample in paper bag and ship to the laboratory with a leaf or petiole sample submittal form.

➥ Do not use plastic bags or other air-tight containers.

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Apart from above the Government of India has stored soil information village wise under soil helath card scheme. Farmers can go to the website and check the nutrient requirements for different crops for their village. Please visit https://www.soilhealth.dac.gov.in/ for further details

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