Coconut farming affected by Boron deficiency. Studies by KAU scientists reveal that Coconut, banana and even ornamental plant cultivation in the State suffer from micronutrient deficiency.– Photo: By special arrangement
The Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has launched ready-to-use kits for solving micronutrient deficiency in soil. Solid and liquid formulations are on offer.
KAU Vice Chancellor Dr.P. Rajendran said that scientific analysis of soil samples across the State had revealed alarming levels of nutrient deficiency.
“Boron, Zinc, Molybdenum, Copper and Manganese as well as secondary nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and Sulphur are found deficient in Kerala soil,” he added.
He stated that micronutrient deficiency contributed to crop losses, and combating it assumed great importance.
“Recent studies highlight the need for boosting micronutrients such as Boron and zinc. There is sporadic occurrence of manganese deficiency in coastal sandy soil. This affects cultivation of pulses and vegetables. The commonly seen excess iron content leads to induced deficiency of Zinc, Copper and Manganese. Copper deficiency is prevalent in 31 per cent of soils while deficiency of Zinc is found in 34 per cent and deficiency of Boron is around 30 per cent,” he said.
Studies by KAU scientists reveal that Coconut, banana and even ornamental plant cultivation in the State suffer from micronutrient deficiency.
“Distribution of soil health cards based on detailed analysis of soil samples has been initiated in regions such as Kuttanad. Foliar application is better in most cases as it enhances micronutrient absorption. Care should, however, be taken so that extra doses are not applied. Extra doses may have a negative impact,” pointed out the Vice Chancellor.
Farmers should initiate soil test-based liming before the forthcoming showers, said P. Sureshkumar, Head, KAU’s Radio Tracer Laboratory. “The Kerala soil is generally acidic and its correction helps better nutrient uptake by all crops. Adding enough organic manure later will boost crop productivity,” he added.
The KAU kits may be used for organic farming. “They guarantee enhanced yield and crop quality. The Thrissur Krishi Vigyan Kendra under the University has begun distribution of kits for boosting vegetable productivity. This special formulation helps in vigorous growth, pest and disease tolerance and enhanced yields. The dosage and modes of use for different vegetable crops are displayed on the packets,” said KVK head Ranjan S. Karippai. For details, contact 0487-2375855.