In order to assess soil health of Kharkhoda and Gohana blocks of Sonipat district (a part of western Yamuna canal irrigated region), important parameters namely pH, electrical conductivity (EC), texture, bulk density (BD), saturated hydraulic conductivity (HC), soil organic carbon (OC), available water retension capacity (AWRC) and non capillary pores (NCP) were measured by collecting undisturbed soil samples in nearly 66 villages. Soil physical rating index (PI) method was used to compute PI which was an indicator of soil physical health of that
region. Results revealed that in Gohana and Kharkhoda blocks, nearly 90% area had pH <8.0 and EC>4 dS m-1, which indicated that soils were saline. Prediction maps of soil BD showed that 75% of the total area in 15-30 cm soil layer had BD above >1.6 mg m-3, which indicated the presence of hard pan in subsurface. HC data of subsurface layer also showed that 60% of the area had values<0.5 cm hr-1 which reconfirmed the presence of hard pan. For both surface as well as subsurface soil layers, mostly AWC was >10% which indicated adequate water retention capacity of these soils. However 85% of subsurface had poor soil aeration capacity as indicated NCP range < 10 %. Prediction map of PI for subsurface layer showed that majority of area had PI<0.4 which indicated that expected yield of the crop cannot be more than 70% of the potential yield even under normal or higher levels of fertilizer and water inputs.
Soil physical health, Soil physical rating index, Sub surface compaction
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