Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology (CSUAT), Kanpur

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Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry


The present Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry is an outcome of a steady metamorphosis from an old and rich heritage of the past and has made excellent contribution in the domain of Soil and plant research. The research component of the Department is one of the oldest one in the country starting way back in the year 1883 when the first permanent manurial experiment of the country was initiated at Kanpur to compare relative efficacy of organic manures vis-à-vis inorganic fertilizers on maize and wheat crops.

Courses Offered :

=> B.Sc. Agriculture
=> B.Sc. Horticlture
=> M.Sc. Agriculture
=> Doctor of Philosophy

Research :

Soil Survey and Soil Work :
=> Pedogenesis, survey and classification including soil mapping studies in U.P. initiated as early as 1940.
Clay mineralogical studies including XRD studies undertaken in Dhankar, Karail, Bundelkhand, alluvial, saline sodic and Vindhyan soils of the state.
=> Detailed soil survey and interpretive surveys of the university farms and specific project sites undertaken.
Simple fertilizer trials conducted at farmers’ fields on different soil types/associations to evaluate their nutrient responsiveness to crops for an efficacious and judicious fertilizer use.
=> Quality appraisal of irrigation waer from various sources for their efficient utilization in crop production.

Soil Testing :
=> Soil testing for major, secondary and micronutrients from farmers’ fields for an economical and balanced fertilizer use.
=> Evaluation of fertility status of 4 development blocks of Kanpur district and 27 university farms including computation of nutrient index and preparation of soil fertility maps.
=> Studies on crop responses under graded fertilizer doses, adhoc recommendations vs STR, Soil test crop response relationship in rice-wheat and maize-mustard crop rotations undertaken.
=> Targetted yield experiment conducted on wheat and equations developed showing fertilizer dose vs. targetted yields.
=> Soil Testing method of alkaline permagnate ext. N found to be well correlated by Walkley and black’s organic carbon values (r = + 0.62** to +0.91***) in Bundelkhand and Alluvial soils of the state.

Soil Fertility :
=> Studies on long term manurial cum fertilizer trials (rice-wheat) conducted to obtain basic information on integrated plant nutrient management system for sustainable crop production and maintenance of soil health.
=> Evaluation of major, secondary and micronutrient status of the soils.
=> Studies pertaining to response of nutrients to crops/cropping systems and crop quality.
=> Basic soil studies on humic matter fractions, P and K contents in mechanical separates and forms of P and K in soils of U.P.
=> Evaluation of various green manure crops (dhaincha, sanai, guar, urd, lobia and mung) for fertility build up and yield response of sugarcane, paddy and wheat when used alone or in conjuctive use with inorganic fertilizer.

Soil Microbiology :
=> Isolation, characterization and testing of a large number of rhizobium strains for identifying promising rhizobium strains for different pulses.
=> Yield responses of various pulse crops and legumes to rhizobium inoculation recorded.
=> Studies on rhizobial responses to added fertilizer nutrients, carrier materials, fungicides, insecticides, intermittent inoculation and delayed sowing.
=> Studies on biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) through rhizobium inoculation under an adhoc project (1993-96). Of DBT, New Delhi.
=> Under non symbiotic N-fixation, screening of nine Azotobacter strains for their yield responses on cereals (rice and wheat) and vegetables (brinjal, tomato and cabbage) recorded.
Studies on phosphorus solubilizing microbes(PSMs) revealed yield responses in rice, wheat and chickpea particularly in P-deficient soils.
=> Studies on yield responses of rice to BGA, isolation of 11 effective genera and their maintenance as unialgal cultures, mass production of BGA, multi-strain inoculant for farmers use are among some of the important achievements under an adhoc project on BGA(1993-98) of DBT, New Delhi.
=> Field studies on combined use of VAM and PSB on wheat and chickpea, Azotobacter and PSB on wheat, Azotobacter and Azospirillum on barely, PSB and rhizobium on wheat showed significant yield responses to inoculation in these crops.
=> At higher salinity levels, nitrite formers and bacterial spores were found to be higher. Ammonification rates outstripped that of nitrification in sodic soils. However, S oxidizing power of sodic soils(37.5%) was better than the normal ones (28.7%).
=> N-enriched phosphocompost and phospho-compost prepared and crop responses to wheat and succeeding rice crop were encouraging.

Salt affected soils :
=> Characterization and classification of salt affected soils of the State.
Studies on comparative efficiency of soil amendments viz. gypsum, sulphuric acid and iron pyrites showed gypsum to be a better amendment.
=> Studies on frequency of gypsum application revealed maximum yield responses to rice grain yield when gypsum @ 75% G.R. was applied in 2 splits (50% GR in first year and 25% in second year).
=> Green manuring of Sesbania in combination with gypsum found most beneficial on rice grain yield alongwith soil properties.
=> Use of crop residues such as rice straw and fly ash found beneficial in improving sodic soils.
=> Widespread deficiency of organic matter, nitrogen and zinc found in sodic soils. However, phosphorus deficiency and yield responses to P-application limited to partially reclaimed sodic soil on progressive cropping. Integrated reclamation management package for sodic land was developed involving locally available organic wastes viz. rice straw, press mud and waterhyacinth alongwith decomposing bioinoculation + gypsum @ 25% G.R.
=> Screening of salt tolerant varieties of rice,pearl-millet, sorghum, oats, barely, wheat, Egyptian clover, Indian mustard and linseed done successfully.
=> Screening of elite varieties of nonconventional crops for sodic soils such as tomato, fenugreek, cabbage & cauliflower, garlic and onion, chilli and lemon grass done is under progress.
=> Among fruit crops, the relative tolerance for sodic conditions was found in the order: Pomegranate Guava.
=> Survey and characterization of ground waters of Kanpur district revealed that 11% samples were marginally alkali type with E.C.iw and SAR iw < 4 dSm-1 and < 10 respectively and RSC (meL-1,) ranging between 2.5-4.0.
=> Utilization of high RSC irrigation water was successfully achieved by passing these waters through gypsum beds. Amended waters improved significantly waters besides improving soil properties.

Quality testing of fertilizers, manures and pesticides :
=> Qualities testing of fertilizer, manures and allied chemicals have been doing as per fertilizer control order.
=> Quality testing of pesticides is under taken as per Bureau of Indian Standard specifications (BIS) under Insecticide Act Govt. of India. The quality testing laboratory is equipped with modern equipments like AAS, GLC, HPLC, UV- spectrophotometer etc.
=> AINP on pesticide residues is running since 1984 with objectives:Monitoring pesticide residues in biotic and abiotic component. Supervised field experiments on pulses, oil seeds, cereals, vegetables and sugarcane to evaluate the persistence of various insecticides on these crops at different days and maturity stage. Modem equipments such as GLC, HPLC and G.C-MS etc. are available in the pesticides residue lab for analysis.

Testing of Pesticide Residues :
=> Monitoring of pesticide residues in food ( milk, wheat flour, rice, vegetables, fruits, butter and honey, animal feed and water revealed contamination with HCH, DDT, monocrotophos, endosulfan, dicofol, chloropyrophos, chlordane and aldrin etc. but none of the sample contained more than the permissible maximum residue limit.
=> Supervised field experiments on pulses, oil seeds, cereals, vegetables and sugarcane have been conducted to evaluate the persistence of various insecticides and fungicides on these crops at maturity.

Trainings :

Short training imparted to research personnel and extension agencies in the fields of soil testing, preparation and use of microbial cultures, improved composting methods, fertilizer use efficiency and judicious use of biocides for environmental safety.


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