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Soil Test-Based Fertilizer Usage: A Step Towards Sustainable Agriculture in Punjab

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D.K. Grover, J.M. Singh, Jasdev Singh, and Sanjay Kumar

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Indian Journal of Economics and Development
Year : 2016, Volume : 12, Issue : 1a
First page : ( 493) Last page : ( 500)
Print ISSN : 2277-5412. Online ISSN : 2322-0430.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2322-0430.2016.00112.8

Soil Test-Based Fertilizer Usage: A Step Towards Sustainable Agriculture in Punjab

Grover D.K.*, Singh J.M., Singh Jasdev, Kumar andSanjay
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141 004, India

*Corresponding author’s email: dkg_59@rediffmail.com

JEL Codes C81, C83, Q01, Q16, Q18

Online published on 26 April, 2016.

Abstract
The study relied on the primary data collected from the farmers for the year 2012–13. The list of farmers, who got their soils tested from the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana for the year 2011–12, was collected. Paddy and wheat crops were selected for the study and districts selected were Ludhiana and Sangrur based on the crop area share within the state. A sample of 120 soil test farmers and 60 control farmers growing both paddy and wheat crops were selected representing all the farm size categories. The analysis revealed that only 40.83 per cent soil test farmers applied recommended doses of fertilizers to paddy and wheat crops while according to farm size category; 44 per cent medium, 41.56 per cent large, 35.71 per cent small and 25 per cent marginal category farmers applied recommended doses of fertilizers to these crops. The most important constraint revealed by about 69 per cent soil test farmers in applying recommended doses of fertilizers was the difficulty in understanding the soil test report. In both paddy and wheat crops, average yield and value of output was higher on soil test farmer farms as compared to control farmers farms. The impact of application of recommended doses of fertilizers by soil test farmers in terms of adopting the soil health card recommendations was increase in yield by 3.70 per cent in case of paddy and 6.16 per cent in wheat crop. Also, there was a decline in fertilizer consumption on soil test farms for both paddy and wheat crops along with increase in yield which could be attributed to balanced use of macro and micro nutrients, especially application of gypsum and green manuring of the fields by some of the soil test farmers. The major policy issues included; more trainings, exposure visits of farmers to the areas adopting resource conservation techniques, adoption and implementation of soil health card results by farmers on their fields, visit by the scientists to the farmers fields for their motivation and involvement of Gram Panchayats in promoting soil testing can be the most desirable steps in the direction of balanced use of fertilizers for sustainable agricultural development of the state.

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