Diagnosis of Secondary and Micronutrient Deficiencies and Their Management in Rainfed Agroecosystems: Case Study from Indian Semi-arid Tropics

Sahrawat, K L and Wani, S P and Pardhasaradhi, G and Murthy, K V S (2010) Diagnosis of Secondary and Micronutrient Deficiencies and Their Management in Rainfed Agroecosystems: Case Study from Indian Semi-arid Tropics. Communications in Soil Science and Plant Analysis, 41. pp. 346-360. ISSN 0010-3624

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Rainfed agriculture in the semi-arid tropical (SAT) regions of India is greatly influenced by water shortages caused by low, highly variable, and erratic rainfall. However, apart from water shortages, crop productivity in these regions is also affected by low fertility. Little effort has been devoted to diagnosing and managing the nutrient-related problems in farmers’ fields in the SAT regions of India. The ongoing integrated watershed management program by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics and its partners provided the opportunity to diagnose the soil infertility-related problems by soil testing, develop nutrient management protocols, and determine on-farm crop responses to fertilization in the SAT zone of India. This article discusses examples from recent research on the diagnosis of multinutrient deficiencies and on-farm crop responses to fertilization. Results of analyses of soil samples from farmers’ fields in several districts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh states and Junagarh district, Gujarat, showed that almost all farmers’ fields had low organic carbon (C), low to moderate available phosphorus (P), and generally adequate extractable potassium (K). However, the widespread deficiencies of sulfur (S), boron (B), and zinc (Zn) were most revealing; their deficiencies varied with nutrient, district, and state. On-farm trials conducted during three seasons (2002–2004) in three districts of Andhra Pradesh showed significant yield responses of maize, castor, groundnut, and mung bean to the applications of S, B, and Zn over farmer’s input treatment, and the yield responses were larger when these nutrients were added along with nitrogen (N) and P. It is concluded that the deficiencies of nutrients such as S, B, and Zn are widespread and are holding back the potential of rainfed production systems. Clearly, nutrient deficiencies can be diagnosed by soil testing.

Item Type: Article
Agro Tags: <b>Agrotags</b> - soil | nutrients | farms | farmers | crops | yields | sampling | extraction | productivity | irrigation <br><b>Fishtags</b> - drying <br><b>Geopoliticaltags</b> - india | andhra pradesh | madhya pradesh | karnataka | rajasthan | americas | tamil nadu | france | gujarat
Subjects: Others > Soil Science
Depositing User: Library ICRISAT
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2011 11:02
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2011 11:07
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/179
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00103620903462340
Funders: Government of Andhra Pradesh, Department for International Development, World Bank Special Fund for Watershed Development, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Asian Development Bank
Acknowledgement: We thank the Andhra Pradesh Rural Livelihood Program (APRLP) of the government of Andhra Pradesh, the Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank Special Fund for Watershed Development, the government of Karnataka, the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, and the Asian Development Bank for the financial support of various projects under which the studies were undertaken. We are also grateful to all farmers who participated in these studies.
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