DESCRIPTION OF COURSES

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AG 502 / SSAC 502 / AP 502 SOIL FERTILITY AND NUTRIENT MANAGEMENT                                                                               (3L+1P) III

Objective
  To teach basics of soil fertility, techniques of soil fertility evaluation, plant nutrients, integrated approach of plant nutrition, and environmental quality

Theory

UNIT I
  Historical aspects of soil fertility, essential plant nutrients - criteria of essentiality, classification, functions, deficiency and toxicity symptoms, beneficial elements.

UNIT II
  Carbon cycle in nature, carbon stocks, sequestration, greenhouse effects, different carbon pools in soil and their role in maintaining soil quality and productivity; soil organisms and their role in soil fertility.

UNIT III
  Transformations and dynamics of major-  and micro-nutrients in soils and their availability to plants.

UNIT IV
  Nutrient interactions in soils and plants: concept, different types of interaction, interaction among essential plant nutrients, law of minimum and maximum.

UNIT V
  Commercial fertilizers, new fertilizer materials and principles of their evaluation, crop response to fertilizer application and use efficiency, economics of fertilizer use, nutrient requirements of crops and cropping systems in sustainable agriculture and quality of the produce, foliar nutrition of crop plants.

UNIT VI
  Soil fertility evaluation: different approaches, soil and plant tests, biological tests, hidden hunger. Critical nutrient concentration - concept and determination (graphical and statistical procedures), critical nutrient range, diagnosis recommendation and integrated system (DRIS).

UNIT VII
  Integrated nutrient management - concept, objectives and components; organic farming: principles, practices and its impact on soil processes; precision farming - concept and practices. Organic manures including compost, farmyard manure, green manure and crop residues.

UNIT VIII
  Fertilizer x water interactions, crop production under fertilizer / water constraints, site-specific nutrient management - concept and practices; summary of long-term fertilizer experiments.

Practicals
  Soil and plant sampling, and processing for chemical analysis. Determination of soil pH, total and organic carbon in soil. Chemical analysis of soil for total and available nutrients (major and micronutrients). Analysis of plants for essential elements (major and micronutrients).

Suggested Readings