Deepthi Kaviraj, Raj Kumar R
Abstract: Maintenance of soil health is an important factor that influences crop productivity in small growers tea gardens in the Nilgiris. An attempt was made to analyze the data of Nilgiri soils and to establish the small growers receptivity on recommendations issued by UPASI Scientific Department. Soil pH of the small growers gardens ranged from very low to medium level where most of the soil samples analysed indicated that the soils were extremely acidic. Less than 8 % of the soil recorded as high EC values which indicated that the extent of adoption of recommendations was very poor. About 65 % of the soils registered low organic matter (OM) while 32 % possessed medium OM. Organic matter levels are known to affect physico-chemical properties of the soil. Problem of imbalanced fertilizer use has also been stressed on three interpretations, with intensive cropping, nutrient removal by crops from soil and exceeded replenishment through chemical fertilizers. These factors causing imbalance of soil nutrients and thereby soil health. The study revealed that there is lack of awareness among small growers with reference to importance of adoption of cultural operations besides integrating the farming practices in view food safety and environmental concerns. There is an ample scope for addition of soil organic manures to improve the soil health and to enhance crop productivity.
Keywords: soil health, organic manure, organic matter