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                                                               Ñf"k ,oa fdlku dY;k.k ea=kky;] Ñf"k Hkou] ubZ fnYyh 110 001
                                                                                GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
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                                                                  DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH & EDUCATION
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                   lfpo ,oa egkfuns'kd                                INDIAN COUNCIL OF AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH
                                                                     MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE
                                                                            KRISHI BHAVAN, NEW DELHI 110 001
                    FNA, FNASc, FNAAS
                                                                        Tel.: 23382629; 23386711  Fax: 91-11-23384773

                             With the recognition of the fragility of natural resources, public interest in soil health is
                             increasing throughout the world. The health of Indian soils got deteriorated over the years,
                             as evident by depletion of organic matter levels, biological degradation, enhanced soil
                             compaction,  higher  magnitude  of  soil  erosion  and  ever-widening  multi-nutrient
                             deficiencies. Majority of soils have very low organic carbon (<0.5%) content. Widespread
            deficiencies of N, P, K, S, Zn and B in the soils have been documented. The use efficiencies of applied
            nutrients, particularly those of N (30-50%), P (15-20%) and micronutrients (2-5%) continue to be extremely
            low. An unhealthy soil will not be able to perform different soil functions, and will cease to support high crop
            productivity. Any yield gain achieved on such soil owing to varietal or other interventions, except judicious
            soil management would not only be temporary but encourage further depletion of OC and native nutrient
            reserves. The physical and biological environment of a low fertility soil, that supports low yields, is often
            unhealthy because of lesser recycling of below-ground root mass.
            The problem of  nutrient depletion, and  consequently low  productivity coupled with  low  nutrient use
            efficiency is spectacular across the soil types and agro-climatic zones. In adequate nutrient replenishment,
            far below the crop removal is a major cause of soil fertility decline, although indiscriminate fertilizer use
            (especially N use) in some intensively cropped areas is also equally responsible. In both the situations, major
            fall out is over-mining of native secondary and micronutrient reserves as their application is often neglected.
            Rampant deficiencies of these nutrients (S 28.9%, Zn 36.5%, B 24.2%, Fe 12.8%, Mn 7.1% and Cu 4.2%)
            recorded across the country have led to severe losses in yield and nutritional quality of produce. Research
            evidences suggested that need-based inclusion of secondary and micronutrients in the fertilizer schedules
            would  not  only  eliminate  their  deficiencies  in  soil  but  also  enhance  the  efficiency  of  macronutrient
            fertilizers. With the Government initiative to distribute soil health cards (SHCs) to all farm holdings in a
            given time frame, soil health issues have come to the centre stage with emphasis on effective monitoring of
            soil health and soil test-based nutrient application.
            It is a matter of great pleasure that on the initiative of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, the
            scientists of AICRP on Micro and Secondary Nutrients and Pollutant Elements have prepared for the first
            time an Atlas of Micronutrients providing taluka –wise status and deficiencies of six nutrients (S, Zn, Fe,
            Mn, Cu and B) of agricultural interest. The e-publication also offers management options and solutions
            available to alleviate micronutrient deficiencies.This e-book will be highly useful to researchers, students,
            policy makers, farmers and other stakeholders including agriculture extension personnel and fertilizer
            industry. I am confident that the Atlas brought out by Dr. Arvind K. Shukla and his team will be a milestone in
            ensuring  site-specific  and  precise  nutrient  management,  thus  reducing  the  cost  of  production  and
            maximizing farm income.
            I congratulate Dr. Arvind Kumar Shukla and his team for this endeavour, and wish all success of the e-Atlas.

                                                                                         (Trilochan Mohapatra)
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