DESCRIPTION OF COURSES

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SSAC 510/AG 510/ WST 510 MANAGEMENT OF PROBLEM SOILS AND WATERS                                               (3L+1P) I

Objective
To educate students about basic concepts of problem soils and brackish water, and their management. Attention will be on management of problem soils and safe use of brackish water in relation to crop production.

Theory

UNIT I
Area and distribution of problem soils – acidic, saline, sodic and physically degraded soils; origin and basic concept of problem soils, and factors responsible.

UNIT II
Morphological features of saline, sodic and saline-sodic soils; characterization of salt-affected soils - soluble salts, ESP, pH, physical, chemical and microbiological properties.

UNIT III
Acid soils - nature of soil acidity, sources of soil acidity, effect on plant growth, lime requirement; management of acid soils, biological sickness of soils and its management.

UNIT IV
Management of saline and sodic soils; salt tolerance of crops - mechanism and ratings; monitoring of soil salinity in the field; management principles for sandy, clayey, red lateritic and dry land soils.

UNIT V
Agronomic practices in relation to problem soils; cropping pattern for utilizing poor quality ground waters.

UNIT VI
Quality of irrigation water; management of brackish water for irrigation; salt balance under irrigation; characterization of brackish waters.

UNIT VII
Salt stress: Meaning of salt stress and its effect on crop growth; salt stress injury and resistance in plants; practical ways to overcome the effect of salt stress through soil and crop manipulations.

Practicals
Characterization of acid, acid sulphate, salt-affected and calcareous soils; cations (Na+, K+, Ca++ and Mg++) in ground water and soil samples; anions (Cl-, SO4 —, CO3 — and HCO3 -) in ground waters and soil samples; electrical conductivity and gypsum requirement of salt-affected soils; soil pH
and lime requirements of acid soils; salt stress / injury on plants under laboratory conditions; visit to salt-affected / acid soil areas (CSSRI / CPRI).

Suggested Readings