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Loss of soil organic carbon (SOC)

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  •  In India SOC content is most of the soils range from 0.2 to 0.5% (2-5 g/kg soil) which works out to 21 and 156 billion tons up to 30 and 150 cm soil depth, respectively while total soil inorganic C pool (SIC) is about 196 billion tons. 
  • Loss of SOC is alarming due increasing atmospheric temperature and changing rainfall pattern.
  • Extensive mining of soil fertility, removal or burning of crop residues, soil degradation, inappropriate soil tillage and poor crop management, besides accelerated soil erosion (34 – 50 Tg C/yr) are the major reasons for loss of SOC and decline in crop productivity.
  • Technological options for soil C sequestrations in India include INM, green manuring, mulch farming, conservation tillage, residue recycling, and choice of cropping systems, balanced nutrient use with high nutrient use efficiency etc. 
  • Available information on loss of productivity due to soil degradation indicates that it is higher in red soils compared black and alluvial soils.
  • This warrants a knowledge based alleviation of soil problems, and management of soils and inputs keeping in view the resource quality, cropping system, and nutrient flows in the system for the overall sustainability. 
Table :9 Expected loss of productivity due to soil acidity

Soil pH

Degree of acidity

Loss in
Productivity (%)

>6.5

Nil

Nil

5.5-6.5

Slight

Upto 10

4.5-5.5

Moderate

10-25

3.5-4.5

Strong

25-50

<3.5

Extreme

>50
File Courtesy: 
Brajendra and Vijai Pal Bhadana Directorate of Rice Research, Hyderabad - Published in Rice Knowledge Management for Food and Nutritional Food Security
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