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Soil nutrient status of mulberry (morus species) growing fields in West Bengal, India

Author: 
Vijay Vrajan, Mahesh, R., Sayantan Manna, Arunima Banerjee, Anil Pappachan, Manjunatha, G. R., Soumen Chattopadhyay and Sivaprasad, V.
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: West Bengal with 15734 hectares of mulberry plantation is ranked fourth among the 26 states practicing mulberry sericulture in India. The mulberry leaves are utilized as feed for rearing silkworms and produce raw silk. Because of zilch to limited practice of soil test report based fertilizer application among the sericulture farmers of West Bengal, they are prone to get suboptimal crop yield. In order to streamline the fertilizer application among the farmers, Government of India (GoI) in 2015 launched a flagship programme called ‘Soil Health Card’ (SHC) scheme for monitoring health of Indian soils. Objective: Analysis of nutrient status and soil parameters of composite soil samples from five major sericulture districts of West Bengal. Methods: The soil samples were analysed following standard procedures prescribed in a quantitative soil test minilab kit. Further classification of soil nutrient status was prepared in accordance with the SHC Portal of GOI and the results were analysed. Results: The mulberry growing soils in studied areas were predominantly acidic (pH ≤ 6.5; 67.5% samples) and deficient in sulphur [Nutrient Index Value (NIV) = 1.53; 67%], followed by potassium (NIV = 1.56; 53%) and boron (18%). Further Karl Pearsons’ correlation analysis explicated that soil pH and OC has negative and positive significant correlation with most of the nutrients in the studied area, respectively. pH has significant negative correlation with N, P, K, Fe, Mn and Cu and positive correlation with S and B in the plains of West Bengal; and OC significantly correlated negatively with B and positively with N, K, Zn, Fe and Mn. Conversely, pH has significant negative correlation with Zn, Fe, Mn and Cu; positive correlation with P and S; and OC has significant positive correlation with N, B and Mn in the hills of West Bengal. Conclusion: Based on the results, block wise soil test based dose of fertilizers and chemicals were prescribed to ameliorate problematic soil parameters of the reported locations.

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