Status of available major and micro nutrients in soils of Kelapur block, Yavatmal district, Maharashtra

The study was conducted to evaluate the major and micronutrient status of Kelapur block, Yavatmal district, Maharashtra. A total of 3436 soil samples were collected by gird method (325×325 interval) at a depth of 0-15 cm and analyzed for soil pH,
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  Status of available major and micro nutrients in soilsof Kelapur block, Yavatmal district, Maharashtra ABHISHEK JANGIR 1 *, R.P. SHARMA 2  , G. TIWARI 1  , D. VASU 1  , S. CHATTARAJ 1  ,B. DASH 1  , L.C. MALAV 1  , P. CHANDRAN 3  , S.K. SINGH 4  , H. KUCHANKAR 5 and S. SHEIKH 6 Received: 21 June 2019; Accepted: 25 August 2019 ABSTRACT The study was conducted to evaluate the major and micronutrient status of Kelapur block, Yavatmaldistrict, Maharashtra. A total of 3436 soil samples were collected by gird method (325×325 interval) at adepth of 0-15 cm and analyzed for soil pH, electrical conductivity (EC), organic carbon (OC), availablenitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulphur (S) and micronutrients (Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn). Soilswere neutral to slightly alkaline (pH 6.6 - 8.8) and non-saline (EC <1 dSm -1 ). OC was medium to highwith a mean value of 0.83%. Among the nutrients, available N was invariably deficient (100%) anddeficiency of available Zn (70%), S (59.7%), P (37.6%) and Fe (27.9%) were observed. The available K wasgenerally high with a mean of 694 kg ha -1 and Mn and Cu were sufficient. Coefficient of variation (CV)indicated that P, K, S, Fe, Mn, Zn and Cu varied highly (CV > 35%) whereas the variability of pH and Nwas low (CV < 15%). The nutrient index value (NIV) for N and S were low (1.0 and 1.5), medium for P(1.89) and high (2.86) for K. The generated nutrient status information can serve as an effective tool forfarmers and policy makers in adoption of site specific nutrient management practices. Key words: Primary nutrients, Secondary nutrients, Micronutrients, Yavatmal, Nutrient index, Semi-arid tropical region  Journal of Soil and Water Conservation   18 (3): 241-245, July-September 2019ISSN: 022-457X (Print); 2455-7145 (Online); DOI: 10.5958/2455-7145.2019.00034.1 1 Scientist, 2 Senior Scientist, 3 Principal Scientist & Head, 4 Director, 5 Senior Research Fellow, 6  Junior Research Fellow, ICAR-National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning, Nagpur-440 033, Maharashtra*Corresponding author Email id: INTRODUCTION Nutrient imbalance is one of the main constraintin crop production and productivity enhancementin semi-arid tropical (SAT) regions of India. Theestimation of soil fertility encompasses themeasurement of available macro and micro-nutrients and evaluation of capacity of soil tomaintain and supply nutrients to plants(Deshmukh, 2012). Unlike the Indo-Gangetic plains(IGP), agricultural intensity in the SAT region ofIndia is low due to predominance of rainfedfarming and therefore there is a need to effectivelymanage the soils to meet the increasing demandfor food. Low organic carbon coupled with thedeficiency of essential nutrients such as nitrogen(N), phosphorus (P), sulphur (S) and zinc (Zn) inSAT soils is the major limitation factor for cropproduction. It was estimated that the soils of statesin the SAT region are deficiency in N (11-76%), P(21-74%), S (46-96 %) and Zn (62%) (Sahrawat andWani, 2013). Hence, the information related tonutrient limitations and their suitable managementhas greater significance to better crop productionand sustainable development of agriculture. Soiltest based nutrient management, crop rotation,scientific application of chemical and bio-fertilizersare the need of the hour to maintain soil qualityand improve the productivity (Kumar et al ., 2014).Evaluation of farm level fertility status of soilprovides the necessary information on nutrientstatus which can help the farmers to apply need based on crop and soil requirement of a particulararea. In the present study, we evaluated the nutrientstatus of Kelapur block comprising140 villages fromYavatmal district, Maharashtra. MATERIALS AND METHODS Study Area The study area, Kelapur block (19°47 ′ 30 ′′  to20°15 ′ 22 ′′  N latitude and 78°24 ′ 10 ′′  to 78°41 ′ 49 ′′  Elongitude) (Fig. 1) is situated in Yavatmal district,Maharashtra, India and comes under agro-ecological region (AER) 7. It comprises of 140villages, and covers an area of 81962 ha. Thecropping intensity of cultivated area is 101.4%. Themajor crops grown during south west monsoon arecotton ( Gossypium hirsutum ), pigeon pea ( Cajanscajan ), soybean ( Glycine max ) and sorghum  242JANGIR et al. [Journal of Soil & Water Conservation 18 (3) ( Sorghum bicolor ). In winter season wheat ( Triticumaestivum ) and chick pea ( Cicer arietinum ) are themajor crops. The agro-climate is characterized byhot and moist summers with mild and dry wintershaving 120 to 150 days length of growing periodwith ustic soil moisture regime and hyperthermicsoil temperature regime. The mean annual rainfall(MAR) is 1052mm with 56 average rainy dayswhich mostly occurs during southwest monsoon. Soil sampling and analysis A total of 3436 georeferenced surface soilsamples (0-15 cm depth) were collected after theharvest of crops with a grid interval of 325 × 325m(Fig. 1) according to operational guidelines given by Department of Agriculture and Cooperation,Government of India for rainfed areas (DoAC,2014). The samples were properly labelled, air driedand processed for analysis of soil parameters. Thesoil properties (pH, EC, OC) and availablemacronutrients (N, P, K and S) were determined by standard procedures (Jackson, 1973). Soilorganic carbon was estimated by wet oxidationmethod. Available nitrogen (N) was estimated byalkaline permanganate method. Soil availablephosphorus (P) was determined using sodium bicarbonate (0.5N NaHCO 3 ) extractant at pH 8.5,available potassium (K) was extracted by neutralnormal ammonium acetate and measured on flame-photometer. Available sulphur (S) was extracted by0.15% calcium chloride and turbidity wasmeasured. Available micronutrients (Fe, Mn, Cuand Zn) were extracted by DTPA extractant(Lindsay and Norvell, 1978) and determined inInductively Coupled Plasma- Atomic EmissionSpectrometry (ICP-AES).Descriptive statistics viz.  , mean, median,maximum, minimum, standard deviation,coefficient of variation (CV) and skewness weredetermined using SPSS 16.0 version. Soilparameters were classified into least (CV < 15%),moderate (CV 15-35%) and high (CV >35%) variableclasses based on CV (Wilding, 1985). Nutrient Indexwas calculated by Parker’s index method (Parker etal ., 1951) after the classification of soil samples onthe basis of soil test values of different nutrients inthree categories viz.  , low, medium and high.Parker’s Nutrient index was calculated as per thefollowing equation.Nutrient Index = (N L × 1 + N M × 2 + N H × 3) / N T where, N L  , N M and N H are the number of samplesin low, medium and high fertility classes of nutrientstatus, respectively and N T  is the total number ofsamples. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Descriptive Statistics and Variability of Soil Parameters The descriptive statistics of soil parameterswere analysed and presented in Table 1. Availablephosphorus, potassium, sulphur, iron, manganese,zinc and copper were highly variable and organiccarbon was moderately variable whereas pH andavailable nitrogen were the least variable properties(Table 1). Similar to this study, Prabhavati et al .(2015) also recorded high CV for micronutrients(62.20%, 44.62%, 59.38% and 22.22% for Fe, Mn, Cuand Zn, respectively) and Vasu et al . (2017) reported92.90% CV for sulphur. Desavathu et al . (2017)observed CV value for pH (10.22%), EC (86.96%),OC (37.73%), P (97.82%) and K (43.48%) in soils ofPaderu Mandal, Visakhapatnam district of Andhra-Pradesh. Least CV values for pH (0.25%) andnitrogen (0.32%) were also observed by Patil et al .(2011). Soil Reaction (pH) and Electrical Conductivity (EC) Soil pH directly influences the nutrientavailability in soils. The pH in the study area variedfrom 6.6 (neutral) to 8.8 (moderately alkaline), witha mean and median of 7.9 and 8.1, respectively(Table 1). Out of the total samples, 77% samplesare slightly alkaline, 21% are neutral and 2% aremoderately alkaline in reaction (Table 2). Thevariation in pH could be attributed to the nature ofparent material, geomorphic position, type offertilizer and management practices. Moreover, thehigher pH in these soils could be attributed to theprecipitation of CaCO 3 in surface soil due to higherevapo-transpiration (Pal et al ., 2014). The EC is <1.0 Fig. 1.  Location map and adopted grid sampling scheme ofstudy area  STATUS OF AVAILABLE MAJOR AND MICRONUTRIENTS IN SOILS243 July-September 2019] Table 1.  Descriptive statistics of soil parameters (Data size- 3436)ParametersMeanMedianMinimumMaximumStd. DeviationSkewnessCV (%)pH7. (dSm -1 ) (%)0.830.840.201.500.270.0632.8Av N (kg ha -1 )119.3119.250.2197. P (kg ha -1 )16.513.90.750.411.60.870.6Av K (kg ha -1 )694.2601.847.61497.5329.50.547.5S (kg ha -1 ) (mg kg -1 ) (mg kg -1 ) (mg kg -1 ) (mg kg -1 ) dSm -1 indicating that the soils in the study area arenon-saline (Table 1). Similar results were reportedin black soil region of Andhra Pradesh (Desavathu et al ., 2017), Gujarat (Sharma et al ., 2018) andMaharashtra (Naitam et al ., 2018). Organic Carbon (OC) The OC content varied from 0.20 to 1.50% withmean value of 0.83% and about 60% soils were highin OC whereas ~12% soils had low OC (Table 2).Singh et al . (2016) also reported high OC content insurface soils of Boolpur Taluka of Kapurthaladistrict. Low OC in Kelapur soils could beattributed to high decomposition rate of organicmatter due to high temperature and erosion of topsoils. The high OC content is due to intensivemanagement practices such as incorporation ofcrop residues and application of farmyard manureand organic manures (Sharma et al ., 2009). On the basis of long term fertility experiment on rice-wheatcropping system, Ladha (2003) observed that theOC status remains unchanged for the last 25-30years and according to Bhattacharya et al . (2007)the soil organic carbon stock increased in last 25years (1980- 2005) in the Indo-Gangetic plains andthe black soil region of SAT. They proved that theSOC status of soil can be maintained by applyingsuitable agricultural management practices.  Available Macronutrients (N, P, K & S) The available nitrogen was deficient (<280 kgha -1 ) in all the samples (Table 2) of Kelapur blockand it varied from 50.2 to 197.6 kg ha -1 with meanvalue 119.3 kg ha -1 (Table 1). Vasu et al . (2017) alsoobserved that about 96% area of ThimmajipetMandal, Mahabubnagar district, Telangana wasdeficient in nitrogen. Low N content in soils wasmainly due to its low addition, higher mobility and Table 2.  Frequency distribution of soil parametersParametersClassRatingNo of samples% of total samplespHNeutral6.5-7.571221.0Slightly alkaline7.5-8.5264777.0Moderately alkaline8.5-9.5772.0Organic Carbon (%)Low< 0.5040511.8Medium0.50-0.7596928.2High> 0.75206260.0Available Nitrogen (kg ha -1 )Low< 2803436100Medium280-56000.0High> 56000.0Available Phosphorus (kg ha -1 )Low< 11129137.6Medium11-22123535.9High> 2291026.5Available Potassium (kg ha -1 )Low< 140341.0Medium140-33640211.7High> 336300087.3Available Sulphur (kg ha -1 )Low< 10.0205059.7Medium10.0-20.0103730.2High> 20.034910.2 Source:  Vasu et al. (2016)  244JANGIR et al. [Journal of Soil & Water Conservation 18 (3) losses through ammonia volatilization, leachingand runoff, denitrification, microbial and chemicalfixation (De Datta and Buresh, 1989).Available phosphorus (P) varied from 0.7 to 50.4kg ha -1 with mean value of 16.5 kg ha -1 (Table 1).Results indicate that about 37.6% of the soils werelow, 35.9% soils were medium and 26.5% soils werehigh in P content (Table 2). Desavathu et al . (2017)also reported similar result. The low P availabilityin these soils may be attributed to their low P status(inherent), fixation with sesquioxides (Fe and Aloxides and hydroxides) and formation of calciumphosphate in calcareous soils (Meena et al ., 2006;Bhattacharyya et al ., 2007).Available potassium was high (>336 kg ha -1 ) in87.3% soils and medium (140 -336 kg ha -1 ) in 11.7%soils (Table 2) that ranged between 47.6 and 1497.5kg ha -1  with an average of 694.2 kg ha -1  (Table 1).Patil et al . (2011) also recorded high available K insoils Navalgund taluka of Karnataka. This highlevel of available K in Kelapur taluka may be dueto the presence of potassium rich parent materialand clay minerals biotite and smectite in the soilsand dissolution of K bearing minerals underalkaline conditions (Patil and Sonar, 1993).An available S varied from 0.1 to 59.6 kg ha -1 with mean value of 10.0 kg ha -1 (Table 1). It waslow to medium in Kelapur block. About 59.7% ofsoils had low S (<10kg ha -1 ), 30.2% medium (10-20kg ha -1 ) and 10.2% high S content (>20 kg ha -1 )(Table 2). The poor availability of S was due to lowOM (Kumar et al ., 2014) and adsorption by calciumcarbonate. Moreover, as farmers mostly apply NPKfertilizers, S is not replenished in the soils after plantuptake which causes its deficiency.  Available Micronutrients (Fe, Mn, Cu & Zn) The available Zn and Fe content in Kelapur soilsvaried from 0.1-8.1 and 0.2- 46.3 mg kg -1  with anaverage of 0.6 and 9.0 mg kg -1  , respectively (Table1). Nearly 70 and 28% of the soils were deficient inavailable Zn and Fe content, respectively (Table 3).Sahrawat and Wani (2013) reported that 69% soilsin Andhra Pradesh, 66% soils in Madhya Pradesh,61% soils in Karnataka and 40% soils in Rajasthanwere deficient in zinc. The study area does not showthe deficiency of available Cu (varied from 0.2–10.0mg kg -1 ) and Mn (varied from 0.5–60.0 mg kg -1 )(Table 1&4). Similar to this study, Prabhavati et al .(2015) observed that the soils of Yadawad, Hukkeriand Khanapur micro-watersheds of Belgaumdistrict, Karnataka under different agro-climaticconditions were sufficient in Mn and Cu content but in Khanapur micro-watershed, 22.6% area isshowed Cu deficiency. Sharma et al . (2003) reportedsimilar results in soils of Nagaur district ofRajasthan. Soil Nutrient Indices Parker’s nutrient index was used to comparethe level of soil fertility in the study area as it is themeasure of nutrient supplying capacity of soils. Thenutrient index value (NIV) of organic carbon (2.48)and available potassium (2.86) were high in Kelapur block. NIV of P was medium (1.89) while N and Swere low with values of 1.00 and 1.50, respectively(Table 4). Pathak (2010) also reported similar resultswhile assessing temporal soil fertility changes inMaharashtra. CONCLUSION The study indicated that the soils of Kelapur block are neutral to slightly alkaline in reaction withsafe limit of soluble salt content. The OC wasmedium to high and low in available N. The area Table 3.  Frequency distribution of micronutrients (mg kg -1 )MicronutrientClassRatingNo of samples% of total samplesIron (Fe)Deficient  ≤  4.596027.9Sufficient> 4.5247672.1Manganese (Mn)Deficient  ≤ 1.0160.5Sufficient> 1.0342099.5Zinc (Zn)Deficient  ≤  0.6240069.9Sufficient> 0.6103630.1Copper (Cu)Deficient  ≤ 0.220.1Sufficient> 0.2343499.9 Table 4.  Nutrient Index value of soil parametersParametersParker indexClass/remarkOrganic Carbon2.48HighAvailable Nitrogen1.00LowAvailable Phosphorus1.89MediumAvailable Potassium2.86HighAvailable Sulphur1.50Low  STATUS OF AVAILABLE MAJOR AND MICRONUTRIENTS IN SOILS245 July-September 2019] showed low to medium in available P and S andhigh in available K content. The DTPA extractableZn and Fe was deficient and Mn and Cu weresufficient in the area. The NIV for N and S werelow, medium for P and high for K. The results ofthe study area having potential to identify sitespecific nutrient management practices, which can be help in improving socioeconomic status offarmers in rural areas by enhancing fertilizer useefficiency and minimizing cost of cultivationwithout affecting the environment. REFERENCES Bhattacharyya, T., Pal, D.K. and Easter, M. 2007. Modelledsoil organic carbon stocks and changes in the Indo-Gangetic plains of India from 1980 to 2030.  AgricultureEcosystem Environment 122:  84-94.De Datta, S.K. and Buresh, R.J. 1989. Integrated NitrogenManagement in Irrigated Rice. In: Stewart, B.A., Ed.,  Advances in Soil Science  , Springer, New York, 143-169. Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DoAC)Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, 2014.National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture.Operational Guidelines., R.N., Nadipena, A.R. and Peddada, J. 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