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Soil and water testing Laboratory of Krishi Vigyan Kendra,

Kapurthala, Punjab
Rajan Bhatt
Assistant Professor (Soil Science)
Krishi Vigyan Kendra,Kapurthala

Soil testing is the only way to determine the fertilizer needs of a crop in a
particular field. Soil test is the analysis of soil sample to determine the available nutrient
status and physico-chemical properties of soil. The prime step in the soil-testing
programme is the collection of soil sample. The fertilizer recommendations for the field
crop are generally given on the basis of only a small amount of soil used in the
laboratories. Actually, the one to ten grams of soil used for each chemical analysis should
represents as accurately as possible the entire six inches (top six inches) of soil, weighing
about one million kilogram per acre.

Fig 1 Technique to collect soil sample for orchard plantation

Therefore, it is important that soil samples should be a true representative of the

field. Soil sampling for fertilizer recommendation for the field crops is performed up to a
depth of top six inches because the top six inch soil is the area that has the majority of the
root activity and secondly the fertilizer application and cultivation operations are mainly
confined to this depth. While taking the sample, the surface litter (if any) is removed with
a trowel or spade and the soil is collected from the surface to plough depth (0-6 inches)
from 8-9 random spots in a field by giving ‘V’ shape incision. A uniform 2.5cm thick
slice of soil from top to bottom (6 inch depth) is removed and collected in a clean bucket
or wide container. To obtain a representative sample from bulk soil collected from
different spots, the soil is poured from bucket or to a piece of clean cloth or paper and is
mixed thoroughly. Quartering is then performed to reduce the soil to about 500 g.
Quartering is done by mixing sample well, dividing it into 4 equal parts, then rejecting
two opposite quarters, mixing the remaining two portions, again dividing into 4 equal
parts and rejecting two opposite quarters, and so on. If the soil sample is wet it may be air
dried in the shade before packing it in the cloth bag. Care should be taken to avoid soil
sampling from unusual areas viz. recently fertilized, old bunds, marshy spots, under the
trees, composed pits etc. The cloth bag should be properly marked to identify soil sample.
The information sheet encompassing the information like name and address of farmer,
depth of soil sampling, crop rotation, irrigation facility, crop history, the fertilizer applied
to the previous crop etc. should be enclosed in the cloth bag.

Soil and water testing Laboratory of Krishi Vigyan Kendra,


Soil and water testing lab of KVK, KAPURTHALA starts working the year 2006 and it
stood 1st among all the newly opened labs in Punjab and 3rd among all the
outstations of Punjab Agricultural University upto now followed by Gurdapur and
Bathinda (Regional stations) (Source: Annual reports of KVK’s zonal-1) In the very
first year, we received 152 samples from the farmers of the district which increased
considerably from then upto now and this is because of the awareness created by our
KVK among the farmers through the lectures which we delivered from time to time in the
different functions organized by the state government and by our KVK (Photo no.1 to 4
and newspaper coverage from 1 to 4)
Table1: Table depicting the performance of the Soil Lab of KVK, Kapurthala

Year Number of samples (Soil and Percent increase in samples

water)received received
2006 152 --
2007 292 92.1%
2008 381 30.5%
2009 559 46.7%

We can also display this graph as following. Graph clearly depicts the increase in
the no of samples received by the farmers showing their interest in knowing the inherent
soil fertility of their field so that they can apply the fertilizers accordingly as fertilizers
arequite costly and further it is difficult to arrange higher doses of the fertilizers in the
main season.Further it is worth to mention that we also received the samples from the
neighbouring districts viz. Jallandhar etc.


nriKx kIqy nmUinAW dI sMiKAw






150 152



2006 2007 2008 upto june 2009


Graph 1: Performance of soil testing lab of KVK, kapurthala over the years
Inspite of analysing these samples , we also prepared the soil fertility map of KVK ,
Kapurthala depicting low O.C (%), Low Phosporus and low in Potash status.

After selecting the farmer for a particular demonstration , we are quite interested in
knwoing the inherent fertilty status of his field so that he can be well guided regarding the
balanced use of the fertilizer. From the year 2006, upto now we had analysed 112 soil
samples of front line demonstration plots(free of cost). This we done only for the farmer
which we selected for carrying out a particular demonstartion.
Table no 2: Table depicting the samples analysed free of cost unedr
Years Crop Samples analyzed
2006-07 Gram 04
Gobhi-sarson 09
Sunflower 20
Neem coated urea 04
2007-08 Demonstrations of Potash 05
Neem coated urea 05
Gobhi-Sarson 09
Gram 05
Sunflower 14
Groundnut 01
Moongi 02
2008-09 Sunflower 11
Gram (GPF-2) 08
Gobhi-sarson 10
Granm (PBG-%) 05
Total samples analysed 112

Thus in the nutshell we can say that Soil and water testing lab of Krishi Vigyan Kendra,
kapurthala working in the right direction by getting higher number of soil samples from
the farmers of the district. We had also finished one project by working with one of the
NGO named DHARTI BACHOA of Amritsar in which we took 79 soil samples from the
farmers fields from the villahe Nabipur and got it analysed. We have also good
collabartion with amny other organisations viz IFFCO, KRIBHCO, NFL, NABARD etc.
With whom we organised soil testing compaigns in different villages of our district and
thus trying to duide the farmers in the right direction regarding the judicious use of
Photoes depicting the mission of KVK, kapurthala for encourging the farmers to
test their soil prior to fertilizer application.
Answering enquiry of Farmers about Balanced fertilize use in TV
Program Aahmne Sahmne at Village Thatta (District : Kapurthala, Punjab)

Demon strating the Technique of Soil Sampling at Village Kanhan

Soil Tes ting Cam (Di strict
paign : Kapurthala, Punjab)
at Village
De m on stra ting the te chnique of soil sa m pling to fa rm e rs ge
a t villa
Ka nha n(District : Kap urthala, Pu njab)

Guiding the farmers to regarding the technique of soil samplingat

Village Sidhwan Dona (District : Kapurthala, Punjab)
Some of the newscoverages depicting agenda of KVK, Kapurthala to
encourage the farmers towards Soil testing