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Scenarion of Potash in the Kapurthala district of Punjab

Scenarion of Potash in the Kapurthala district of Punjab

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I have written a research paper on potash on the basis of the work carried out at soil and water tseting labortary of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, kapurthala and it is concluded that farmers must go for potash but on the basis of soil testing reports.
I have written a research paper on potash on the basis of the work carried out at soil and water tseting labortary of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, kapurthala and it is concluded that farmers must go for potash but on the basis of soil testing reports.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Rajan Bhatt, M.Sc (Soil Science) on Sep 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Rajan Bhatt and Manoj Sharma
 Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kapurthala (Punjab)rajanbhatt79@rediffmail.com
ABSTRACTPotassium scenario is changing day by day. Generally it is assumed that in the indo-gangetic plains of Punjab, Haryana potassium is in ample amount but latest reports revealed that potassium status startsdeclining because of it’s excess removal in the exhaustic cropping patteren. At Kapurthala district of Punjab,we analyzed 2026 soil samples in the soil and water testing lab of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra and it is reportedaround 65% of the samples falls in lower status (K<137.5 Kg/ha). In these fields, it is economical to go forPotash application @50 kg/ha. Thus, to demonstrate the effect of potash, we selected 19 fields where potashstatus is low and laid out our demonstration. The response of grain yield in the treated plots varied from 2.8to 6.3% as compared to the control plots. Thus, it is strongly advised to for potassium on the basis of the soiltest reports to have the potential yield.Key words
: Potassium, Soil testing, fertilizers, Indo-gangetic plains
is the third most important plant nutrient which is required by the plant for carrying out it’sdifferent metabolic activities and to complete it’s life cycle. The issue discusses the importance of potassium asa key plant nutrient and problems associated with deficiencies of potassium in the plant. Potassium is second tonitrogen in plant tissue levels with ranges of 1 to 3% by weight.
 As a trivia, potassium is the only essential plant nutrient that is not a constituent of any plant part.
Potassium is a key nutrient in the plants tolerance to stresses such as cold/hot temperatures, droughtand wear and pest problems.
Potassium acts as catalysts for many of the enzymatic processes in the plant that are necessary for plantgrowth to take place.
Another key role of potassium is the regulation of water use in the plant (osmo-regulation). Unlesstruly deficiency occurs, potassium has very little effect on quality such as colour and density.However, once potassium deficiency occurs, it can have a dramatic affect on the plants ability to surviveand function during stress periods such as high temperatures, drought and wear 
. Initial potassium deficiency shows up as yellowing of older leaf blades, lower leaf blades, which is then followed by dieback of the leaf tipand scorching of leaf margins as the deficiency problem becomes worse
. There are four different sources of  potassium in the soil. The largest soil component of Potassium, 90 to 98%, is the soil minerals such as feldspar and mica. Very little of this Potassium source is available for plant use. The second soil potassium source is the Non-exchangeable potassium, 1 to l0 %, and is associated with the 2: 1 clay minerals. Here one Aluminiumlayer is sand-witched in between two silica layers e.g Montmorillonite, Beidellite, Vermiculites. The Non-exchangeable potassium source acts as a reserve source of potassium in the soil. The third soil potassium source,1 to 2%, is called the exchangeable or readily available potassium and is found on the cation exchange sites or in the soil solution.
Generally, It is assumed that in the indo-gangetic plains of Punjab, potassium is in sufficent amount but latestreports and the work done at the Soil testing laboratory of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kapurthala revealed that potassium status starts declining in the soils particularly in the central Punjab because of it’s excess removal inthe intensive cropping pattern and the soils having low range of Potash shows it’s response in terms of grainyield. It was reported from on-farm trials conducted in six states within the All India Coordinated AgronomicResearch Project, that the recommended use of N+P+K led to increased yields of wheat by almost 800 kg/haand of rice by more than 500 kg/ha (Shukla
et al.*
1998). Similarly, Tandon and Sekhon (1988) suggested thatsoils with low available potassium are expected to readily respond to potassium application. Experimentscarried out by Kapur 
et al.
(1984) revealed that wheat responded up to a dose of 75kg K ha–1 on low potassiumsoils and up to 50 kg K ha–1 on medium and high potassium soils. On the same lines, Azad
et al.
(1993)observed that whereas wheat yield increased significantly up to 75 kg K ha
on soils testing low in available potassium, significant increase in wheat yield was observed only at 25 kg K ha
on soils testing medium as wellas high in available K. Based on results of more than 2200 trials with wheat, similar relationship was observed by Tandon (1980). Tandon and Sekhon (1988) concluded that response of high yielding varieties of rice andwheat to K application in soils rated medium in available K were only marginally lower than responses in low K soils. Such results emphasize the need for fresh look at soil fertility limits used for categorizing soils into low,medium and high with respect to available K, particularly for highly productive rice-wheat cropping system.Thus soil testing is a must prior to the fertilizer a application.
Kapurthala (A formerly princely state) is one of the smallest districtsof Punjab both in terms of area and population. The district is dividedinto two non–continuous parts viz. Phagwara block in one part andthe remaining four blocks in the other part. The agro-climaticconditions of the district Kapurthala coincide with the Central Punjabwith smooth-plain topography. Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kapurthala isestablished on April 1991 and is located at 31
36’ North and 75
37’East on the sultanpur road at an attitude of 221 meters. Soil and water testing laboratory of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kapurthala established inthe year 2005 and it starts working on 2006. It stood 3
in the stateand 4
in the North Zone of India after analyzing (1673+353*) 2026
samples and thus guiding the farmers regarding the judicious use of fertilizers in agriculture. Following tableclearly depicts the block-wise description of all the five blocks of Kapurthala district along with their fertilitystatus w.r.t Potash as analysed by Soil and Water Testing Lab of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kapurthala
Table 1: Block wise detail of all the blocks of Kapurthala districtt along with fertility status w.r.t Potashstatus
Sr.NoName of theBlock Agro-ecologicalSituationPercentageof GeographicalArea of theDistrictTotal number of soil samplesanalysed at soillabSampleshaving lowPotash (
Sampleshaving highPotash (
>137.5 kg/ha)
1KapurthalaAES I : Sandyloam soils,assured irrigationand good qualityundergroundwater 66.842763.7%36.3%5SultanpuLodhiAES II : Kallar soils, assuredirrigation withvariable qualityof water 29.642148.2%51.8%3PhagwaraAES II : Kallasoils, assuredirrigation withvariable qualityof water 11166.6%33.4%4Dhilwan AES III : Flood prone area, sandyloam soils, goodquality irrigationwater 3.61894.4%5.6%5NadalaAES III : Flood prone area, sandyloam-- -- --Samples having low Potash status increased as 63.7, 48.2, 66.6 and 94.4% of the samples received from thedifferent blocks viz. Kapurthala, Sultanpur, Phagwara and Dhilwan falls in the lower category (Table 1). Insteadof this we had also analysed 696 soil samples from the different villages of nakodar and Jallandhar distraict ondemand basis. It was observed that Samples having low Potash status increased as 65, 42, 84, 71 and 60% of the samples received from Bajwa-Kalan, Adampur and Alampur of Jallandhar district and jarkpur of Nakodar district (Table 2).

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