The Division of Soil Science & Agricultural Chemistry was approved as a Research Division since inception of the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research in 1968. The work initially began with the mandates to study the nutrient requirement of horticultural crops and to develop suitable agro techniques for vegetable crops.
Division was renamed in 1983 as Division of Soil Science with six laboratories viz., (i) Soil Chemistry (ii) Soil Salinity (iii) Micronutrient (iv) Leaf Analysis (v) Isotope and (vi) Water Management. In 1984 Soil Microbiology Laboratory was added and full fledged microbiology lab with all the facility was established in 2007.
Pesticide Residue Laboratory was added and the Division was renamed as Division of Soil Science & Agricultural Chemistry.
The Head of Division since incepting is listed below
- Dr. T.R. Subramanian
- Dr.Ajit Aupta,
- Dr. B.R.V. Iyengar,
- Dr. M.D. Awasthi
- Dr. M.Edward Raja.
- Dr. A.N. Ganeshamurhy ( Since September 2010)
- Carry out research on the nutrient requirement and management of different horticultural crops and to develop suitable INM packages for enhancing productivity
- Carry out the basic and strategic research to sustain soil health in horticultural ecosystems
- Development of leaf nutrient diagnostic norms and precision farming protocols for need based nutrient management.
- Utilization of microbes for improvement of crop production and residues management
- Pesticide residue management in horticultural crops and related environment.
- Teaching, training and extension of services for students and farming community
- Nutrient Management through balanced nutrition and increasing nutrient use Efficiency
- Management of soil related constraints like salinity, acidity, heavy metal toxicity and pesticide residues
- Development of crop specific and region specific soil and foliar nutrient formulations for horticultural crops
- Development of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables
- Development of microbial inoculants package for sustainable horticultural production and improving soil health
- Bioconversion/enrichment of horticultural wastes for nutrient/diseases management
- Provide food safety through management of pesticide residues in horticultural crops
- Development of precision farming protocol for nutrient management in fruit crops.
- Crop specific nutrient requirements was developed for different vegetables, fruits, ornamental and medicinal plants
- Micronutrient formulations were developed for banana, mango, citrus, and vegetables and commercialized
- Bunch feeding of nutrients in banana developed and popularized
- Boron foliar nutrition in cucurbits and melons, standardized, evaluated and popularized
- Litter nutrient dynamics and nutrient accretion in mango quantified
- First Leaf analysis laboratory for horticultural crops was established to analyze farmer’s samples for need based fertilizer recommendation.
- Leaf nutrient diagnostic norms were developed for major fruit crops and selected ornamental crops for need based nutrient management and this will help in reducing fertilizer cost
- Nutrient management strategies for important fruit crops like banana and mango are developed using GIS technique.
- Fertilizer prediction equations for targeted yields of open pollinated vegetable varieties were developed for nine crops.
- Fertilizer prediction equations for targeted yields based on soil test values developed for F1 hybrids of nine vegetable crops
- Worked out scattered distribution of roots in sapota, mango, guava, banana, citrus and annona using 32P tracer
- Worked out effect of seasonal variations on root activity for application of fertilizers in grapes, mango, citrus, banana and annona using 32P tracer.
- Worked N and P use efficiency in vegetable crop such as chilli, tomato brinjal, onion, french bean and okra using 32P and 15N tracer
- Worked out N and P budgeting in chilli, tomato, brinjal, onion, French bean and okra using 32P and 28N tracers
Management of Problem soil and heavy metal toxicity
- Salt tolerant root stocks/cultivars were screened in mango (Bappakai & Olour), Grape (Dogridge and 1613) and citrus (Rangpur lime/Cleo Alva Mandrin) banana (Karpooravalli and Poovan), acid lime (Tenali) and papaya (Washington & Waimando) were screened.
- Dogridge was identified as salt and drought tolerant root stock, released and popularized among the grape growers of southern states including Maharashtra.
- Tenali cultivar of acid lime is identified as salt tolerant variety and is suitable for direct planting on saline soils in southern region.
- Salt tolerant varieties in tomato, brinjal, chilli, french bean, cabbage, Cauliflower, Capsicum, onion, were identified.
- Periurban areas of Bangalore were monitored for heavy metal contamination and toxic levels of Cd,Pb,Cr and Pi were recorded.
- Alternate land use including cultivation of flower crops for peri urban area was suggested
- Measures like use of liming and FYM to reduce Cd uptake in leafy and root vegetables were determined.
- Vegetable varieties with lower heavy metal absorption capacity in Amarathus(local), radish( Arka Nishant carrot (Early Nantes & Palak(Arka Anupama) were screened
Management of pesticide residues
- The Pesticide Residue Laboratory is accredited by NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories, Department of Science and Technology, India in accordance with the standard ISO/IEC 17025:2005 in the field of pesticide testing in food commodities.
- Pre-harvest interval (safe waiting period) of pesticides on horticultural crops were recommended.
- Bioremediation of persistent pesticides were carried out.
- Degradation of pesticides as influenced by poly house microclimate was studied.
- Protocols for analysis of new generation pesticides developed
- Arka Microbial Consortium for vegetable crops developed, evaluated and commercialized
- Arka Fermented coco- peat technology developed for nursery use, evaluated and commercialized
- AM fungal package has been developed for nursery seedling production of guava and sapota
- Microbial products viz., Azospirillum, Azotobacter, phosphobacteria and AM fungi were developed and being supplied through ATIC for different horticultural crops
Dr A.N. Ganesha Murthy
Principal Scientist & I/c. Head
Division of Soil Science & Agrl. Chemistry
IIHR, Hessaraghatta Lake Post
Bangalore – 560 089.