BARC (Baba Atomic Research Centre) ,NABTD, GB Pant University of Agriculture, Pantanagar and Indian Agriculture Research Institute have jointly developed a novel universal multi-nutrient soil extractant for assessing bio-availability of nutrients in soil. The process has been patented and found to be very useful for the farmers, soil testing laboratories and fertilizer industries.
The present soil extractant formulation is based on the findings of the availability of nutrients from soil to plant roots is governed by rhizospheric environment rather than the chemical environment of the bulk soils. Therefore, the advancement for the first time has been able to create a similar environment for extraction of the nutrients which is surprisingly found to provide more accurate data for bioavailability of the nutrients where bioavailability of plant nutrients is a function of chemical environment in the rhizosphere rather than mere solubility of the nutrients in the bulk soil. Accordingly, the present formulation proposed for the first time dominant low molecular weight organic acids and a chelating agent (ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid) and 2-(N-Morpholino) ethane sulphonic acid (MES) buffer as a soil extractant adjusted to pH about 6.0. A non-ionic water soluble polymer was considered as flocculating agent in the proposed extractant at certain concentration. Importantly, the thus developed soil extractant of the present advancement selectively involves reagents wherein none of the reagent should interfere during estimation of any nutrient. Thus proposed extractant should likely to be economical as well as a substitute of multiple soil tests separately performed for different nutrients. Importantly also, it is found by way of the present advancement that the proposed method can even be extended to soil N in conjunction to readily oxidizable organic carbon content, if estimations are limited to NH4+- and NO3- – N. The proposed method can also be extended to pollutant elements (Ni, Cd, Pb, Cr and As etc.).
For further details contact:
Head, Technology Transfer and Collaboration Division
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,
Trombay, Mumbai 400 085.