Essay on Soil Improvement: 1. Management of Sandy Soils 2. Management of Clayey Soils 3. Reclamation of Acidic Soils 4. Reclamation of Salt Affected Soils
Essay # 1. Improvement of Sandy Soils:
a. Incorporation of 45-50 day’s old green manure crop of dhaincha/sunhemp helps in improving the sandy soils.
b. Application of well decomposed organic manures viz. farmyard manure, poultry manure, pig manure and compost etc. followed by their proper mixing in soil is beneficial.
c. Cultivation of leguminous crops improves nitrogen availability in these soils.
d. Proper leveling and small plot size (Kiara) improves irrigation water use efficiency of Essandy soils.
e. Incorporation of clay soil or village pond soil improves sandy soils.
f. Sandy soils can also be improved by removing their surface layer from the top with the help of tractor operated scrapper (karaha).
Essay # 2. Improvement of Clayey Soils:
a. Application of organic and green manures makes the soil slightly fluffy which improves the aeration and water infiltration rate of clayey soils.
b. Incorporation of crop residue improves the clayey soils.
c. Ploughing the field at proper moisture content (near filed capacity) prevents formation of large sized clods.
d. Proper drainage system should be made to drain out excessive amount of water.
e. Rice cultivation should be preferred in clayey soils.
Essay # 3. Reclamation of Acidic Soils:
Acidic soils are reclaimed with the addition of lime. Lime requirement of the soil vary with the extent of acidity and soil texture. Application of press-mud and saw dust helps in reclaiming acidic soils. Application of liming amendment improved physico-chemical environment of the soil and also increased availability of essential nutrients to crop.
Essay # 4. Reclamation of Salt Affected Soils:
There are few factors which need to be considered before reclamation of salt affected soils: These factors are sub-soil water level, irrigation water quality, availability of canal water, presence of hard pan in soil profile, drainage conditions, degree of salinity and alkalinity.
Based on these factors, reclamation of saline and alkali soils can be done as given below:
a. Reclamation of Saline Soils:
Ploughing of flooded field is recommended to leach down the salts from upper layer. Ploughing in flooded field is known as puddling (kaddu karna). If good quality irrigation water is not available, scrape the upper salty layer of soil with help of tractor operated leveler (karaha). Scrapped soil should be dumped deep into soil profile.
b. Reclamation of Alkali Soils:
i. Level the field properly for equal distribution of water throughout the field.
ii. Make the strong bunds around the field to prevent outflow of water containing dissolved salts to adjoining fields.
iii. Get the soil and water tested to know the gypsum requirement.
iv. Broadcast the recommended dose of amendment (gypsum) as per the soil test and mix it thoroughly with shallow ploughing.
v. Irrigate the field to allow the seepage of salts from the surface layer.
vi. Practice green manure of dhaincha before rice transplanting in such fields.
vii. Application of organic manures also helps in improving physico-chemical properties of alkali soils.
c. Reclamation of Soils in Water Logging Areas:
In some areas of Punjab level of underground water table is high. As a result, the soils remain continuously wet due to filling of soil pores and soil air spaces with stagnant water. Such problematic soils are referred as water logged soils. Such a condition is found in some areas of Muktsar districts and along river banks.
Due to lack of availability of air and oxygen to the roots, plant growth is retarded and farmers fail to raise a normal crop. Draining out stagnant water, lowering of underground water through tube wells and plantation of water loving crops such as eucalyptus, rice and sugarcane and use of canal water for irrigation may be adopted as measures to reclaim such soils.