Soil fertility status of cultivated lands in different agro-ecological zones of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

Mohammad Almas Abbasi, Mohammad Bashir Butt

Abstract


Soils need to be properly surveyed and balance and adequate fertilization of crops is necessary for making soil resources sustainable. The State of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) is divided into eight agro-ecological zones that start from glaciers & ice caps which are covered with snow throughout the year (Zone 1),Very cold temperate non-monsoon alpine zone (Zone 2), Cold temperate non-monsoon (Zone 3), Very cold temperate monsoon alpine zone (Zone 4), Cold temperate monsoon alpine zone (Zone 5), Moist warm temperate (Zone 6), Humid warm sub-tropical (Zone 7) and Sub-Humid hot sub-tropical(Zone 8) starting from north to south of AJK.In this study composite soil samples were collected at a depth of 30cm from 3,5,6,7 & 8 agro-ecological zones in 2015-16 and were analyzed for physical & chemical properties of the soil. Results showed a significant difference in soil physical as well as chemical properties. The agro-ecological Zone-3 showed a higher fertility status as compare to other Zones. Soil pH in Zone-3 was acidic (pH 6) as compared to the cultivated lands in zones 6, & 8 which were slightly alkaline in nature (pH greater than 7.4). The overall comparison of fertility status of cultivated lands in AJK showed that the cultivated land was deficient in organic matter, available phosphorous and potash by 30, 37 & 23 percent respectively. Therefore, it can be inferred from this study that fertilizer recommendations can be based on agro-ecological zones in AJK.

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