Building Soil Health

Methods manual Soil Testing in India

Abstract: Soil Testing is well recognized as a sound scientific tool to assess inherent power of soil to supply plant nutrients. The benefits of soil testing have been established through scientific research, extensive field demonstrations, and on the basis of actual fertilizer use by the farmers on soil test based fertilizer use recommendations. To provide the soil testing laboratories with suitable technical literature on various aspects of soil testing, including testing methods and formulations of fertilizer recommendations etc., the Union Ministry of Agriculture have decided to bring out this manual. The manual provides elaborate information on major soil types of India, their composition, plant nutrient and their functions, typical deficiency symptoms of nutrients in plants, apart from procedure of sample collection and methods of analysis.

Author/s & Publications: Department of Agriculture and co-operation, MoA, GOI, 2011. Download/Link:


Building Soils for Better Crops Ecological Management for Healthy Soils (Topic: Plant defences management practices and pests )

Abstract: Building Soils for Better Crops is a one-of-a-kind, practical guide to ecological soil management. It provides step-by-step information on soil-improving practices as well as in-depth background—from what soil is to the importance of organic matter. It will show you how different physical, chemical and biological factors of the soil interconnect, and how management practices impact them to make your soil healthy and resilient or unhealthy and vulnerable to degradation.

Author/s: Fred Magdoff, Harold van Es, 2021. Download/Link:

Soil health management under organic production system

Abstract: Indian traditional farming system prior to the 20th century was generally organic in nature with low production potential. The chemo-centric technological advancement during green revolution period boosted the production potential and provided food security to the nation. However, over a period of time, this production system has started exhibiting its carrying capacity as reflected by production plateau in green revolution belt like Punjab, Haryana, Western UP, etc. The success of industrial agriculture and the green revolution in recent decades has often masked significant externalities, affecting natural resources and human health as well as agriculture itself. Further, increasing consciousness about conservation of environment as well as health hazards associated with agrochemicals and consumers’ preference to safe and hazard-free food shifted interest in alternate forms of agriculture in the world. The major challenge in organic farming is the availability of huge quantity of organic inputs. Use of animal excreta based manure is not sufficient for meeting the nutrients demand of crops. The present paper deals with the various options/resources available for effective nutrient management or soil health management under organic production system. 

Author/s: Sanjay Swami, 2020.  Download/Link: 

Influence of organic formulations and inorganic fertilizations on soil properties and macronutrient uptake by tomato

Abstract: Field experiments were planned and conducted during kharif 2017-18 and 2018-19 to evaluate the “Influence of organic formulations and inorganic fertilizations on soil properties and nutrient uptake by tomato”, at the research farm, College of Agriculture, Golegaon, Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Krishi Vidyapeeth, Parbhani. The experiments were laid out in randomized block design with three replications. There were twelve treatments comprising of organic formulations and inorganic fertilizers. The finding emerged out indicated that conjoint use of RDF + Beejamruth + Jeevamruth + Panchagavya significantly enhanced in nutrient uptake in tomato. Among the different applications widely applying with RDF + Beejamruth + Jeevamruth + Panchagavya followed by RDF + Beejamruth + Panchagavya to nutrient uptake. It can be concluded from these experiment that the balanced use of organic formulations with inorganic fertilizations affect the nutrients uptake on tomato plants.

Author/s: Tejswini R Kachave, AL Dhamak and Bhagyaresha R Gajbhiye (2020) Download/Link: 

JEEVAMRUTHAM: An effective activator of soil microorganisms

Abstract: Jeevamrutham is an organic fertilizer and a great replacement of chemical fertilizers. It is a very good source of biomass, natural carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium and other nutrients which are essential for plant growth and development. The microorganisms which are present in the soil are responsible for increasing the fertility of the soil and the productivity of the crops. In order to increase the microorganisms in the soil Jeevamrutham is used. Jeevamrit enhances microbial activity in soil and helps in improvement of soil fertility.

Author/s : Andrea Beste, 2019. Download/Link: 

Soil health sustainability and organic farming: A review

Abstract: The need of sustainable agriculture is universal and way to achieving it has been defined through intensive empirical research. Several indicators for the sustainability of agricultural systems have also been developed. Use of synthetic fertilizers and their effects on crop production, soil health, environmental quality, biodiversity conservation and self-reliance of farming system have been discussed in the context of agricultural sustainability. Degradation of soil fertility due to use of synthetic agro-inputs is considered as one of the most important factors affecting sustainability of agricultural systems. Presence of soil organic matter and soil microbial population are primarily useful indicators of soil health and productivity of both crops and livestock. A long-term integrated approach will be an appropriate solution for standardizing fertility management in organic farming considering the complex interactions among different components of this system. A comprehensive and systematic review on different qualitative and quantitative changes of soil health parameters for improved nutrient management supports these observations.

Author/s: Sudarsan Biswas, Md. Nasim Ali, Rupak Goswami and Somsubhra Chakraborty (2014). Download/Link: 

Soil Health Assessment and Its Sustenance

Abstract: The health of soil determines agricultural sustainability. A healthy soil - supposed to have values of key soil functions in the desirable and optimum range. The soil functions can be weighted according to the relative importance of each function in fulfilling the management goals based on expert opinions. For assessing the soil health, method like Minimum Data Set should be adopted. Since an empty soil cannot support or give rise to a high civilization and culture, there is a need for holistic management approaches for sustenance of soil health which optimize the multiple functions of soil, conserve soil resources, support strategies for promoting soil health is important.

Author/s:  Radhika Mankotia, Rakesh Sharma, Swapana Sepehya, Raj Saini and Anil Kumar. Download/Link: 

Soil Health in Cropping Systems: An Overview

Abstract: Soil health has existed as an integrative property that reveals the capability of soil to react to agricultural interference, so that it persistently supports mutually the agricultural production and the stipulation of other ecosystem services. The key confrontation within sustainable soil management is to safeguard the ecosystem service besides optimizing agricultural yields. It is anticipated that soil health is reliant on the preservation of four foremost functions: carbon alterations, biogeochemistry mediated nutrient cycles, soil structure continuance and the directive of pests and diseases controlled by cropping system. Every one of these functions is marked as a comprehensive of a variety of biological processes provided by a multiplicity of interacting soil organisms under the authority of the abiotic soil upbringing which dictate assessment and management of soil health.

Author/s: Subhadip Paul, Neha Chatterjee, J. S. Bohra, S. P. Singh, D. Dutta, Rajesh Kumar Singh, and Amitava Rakshit (2019) Download/Link: 

Cropping systems in agriculture and their impact on soil health-A review

Abstract: In recent years, biological properties such as soil microorganisms were considered as an essential composition in soil health as well. However, systematic reviews of soil health and its potential feedback to human society under different cropping practices are still limited. In this review, we discussed 1) the impact of common and novel cropping practices in agro-systems on soil health, 2) the evolution of plantemicrobeesoil complex and the biochemical mechanisms under the pressure of agriculture that responsible for soil health, 3) changes in the concept of soil quality and health over recent decades in agro-systems and the key indicators currently used for evaluating soil health, and 4) issues in agroecosystems that affect soil health the most, particularly how various cropping practices have developed over time with human activities in agroecosystem.

Author/s & Publication: Tony Yang, Kadambot H.M. Siddique, Kui Liu (2020). Download/Link: 

Cropping Systems Effect on Soil Biological Health and Sustainability

Abstract: The influence on the chemical and physical soil composition, exerted from the applied cropping system, is dominated by the amount and kind of residual plant material. The cropping system, defined by the cropping sequence and type, as well as by plant residual management and natural and/or artificial fertilization, shapes the biological soil activities and environment for the soil micro-biotic habitat. Also climate and soil type exert an influence on the soil’s biological activity in a significant amount. The effects, exerted from the farming practice on the soil microbial biomass, accumulate in a slow way and are often measureable only in the late stage, when changes in the microbial biomass already negatively affect fertility and stability of the soil ecosystem. Measuring the classical soil nutrition parameters does not always reveal these changes, and suitable soil health indicators are not established as a common standard. Soil microbial biomass turns out to be a good indicator for changes in the soil composition and shows potential for an early soil health indicator.

Author/s & Publication: Krishna Saharan, Ummed Singh, K. C. Kumawat, and C. S. Praharaj (2019). Download/Link: