Get a Soil health card – Keep your soil guard…

Soil health card is “Printed report about nutritional status of soil in farmer’s field.’ It measures various parameters, viz. Macro-nutrients like N,P, K, Micronutrients as Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn & Bo, Secondary nutrients like S & other physical parameters like pH, EC, Organic matter content. Based on these parameters’ value, Sail health card also provides information on recommended dose of fertilizers & corrective measures to improve nutritional status of soil.

Soil Health card scheme is launched by Govt. of India in 2015 with motive of ‘Healthy soils for a healthy life!’ Under this scheme farmer will get soil Card once in every 3 years from government approved district soil labs, after analyzing soil for above mentioned 12 parameters. Soil samples are taken generally two times in a year, after harvesting, of Rabi & Kharif crops resp. or when there is no standing crop in the field. Soil Samples will be collected by a trained person from a depth of 15-20 cm by cutting the soil in a “V” shape. It will be collected from four corners and the center of the field and mixed thoroughly and a part of this picked up as a sample. Areas with shade will be avoided. The sample chosen will be bagged and coded. It will then be transferred to soil test laboratory for analysis.

To facilitate an easy access to soil health card, mobile application is launched. This app avails auto selection of latitude & longitude of the location, generation of QR code to link with sample & test results of all samples directly on portal from geo-mapped labs, without any manual intervention.

This scheme is very beneficial for farmers because it guides them scientifically about nutritional status of soil, which types of crops they should grow to get maximum yield. It will advise farmers on fertilizers & their quantities need to apply, requirement of soil amendments e.g. gypsum application for acidic soil etc. to attain optimum yields. This will help farmers while crop planning where they can skip particular crops which is not suitable for their farm soil.

The key motive behind this scheme is to identify type of soil & provide suitable soil management practices. Soil health card is also mandatory while availing input credits from banks.

Writer –
Rutuja Chougale
M.Sc. (Soil Science)

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