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Soil assessment using Heber soil quality index for improving the cultivation of rice and sugarcane

Shanmuganathan, M., Rajendran, A.
Organic agriculture 2019 v.9 no.1 pp. 81-98
bulk density, cost effectiveness, electrical conductivity, farm management, nitrogen, organic matter, organic production, pH, phosphorus, potassium, rice, soil, soil quality, soil sampling, sugarcane, surveys, texture, water hardness, water holding capacity, India
From the extensive literature survey, it is understood that only a few soil quality indices have been formulated to check the quality of soil systems which is suitable for the cultivation of rice and sugarcane. The present work assesses the quality of the soil samples collected from 15 places of Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts, Tamil Nadu, India. Soil samples were assessed according to the Heber soil quality index (HSQI) for the following 12 parameters: available nitrogen (kg/ha), pH, water holding capacity (%), available phosphorous (kg/ha), texture, available potassium (kg/ha), organic matter (%), bacterial content (SPC/g), electrical conductance (mmho/cm), chloride (mg/L), total hardness (mg/L), and bulk density (g/m³). Each parameter was subjected to statistical Q test analysis. The information such as the test result, weighting factor, and the Q value were used to formulate the soil quality index based on HSQI. The total HSQI values of all the samples investigated in this study ranged from 72.75 to 85.72, which indicates that these soil samples are of good quality. This work will be highly useful and may result in better farm management through more cost-effective nutrient decisions.