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An IIT Kharagpur research team has created a repository of some 1,700 soil samples from across the country to assess their properties and advise farmers on judicious use of fertilisers. IIT-KGP's Agricultural and Food Engineering Department Professor Bhabani S Das said today he, along with a team of students, used Soil Spectroscopy technique for analysing the soil samples of about 137 million land holdings across different states. "We thought if we were to analyse multiple soil samples, we need new technology.
Soil Spectroscopy was a possibility for us," Das said adding soil scientists around the world are using the new technology. Apart from determining the health of the soil, the Soil Spectroscopy technique measured the grain size of the soil, the soil moisture level and the weathering index on how the soil was formed. "Imagine a light green colour of leaf that turns deep green if you apply nitrogenous fertilisers to an agricultural field from where that leaf came from. This means, I can know how much nitrogen is present in a leaf by testing the intensity of the green colour of the leaf," Das explained. "Thus, we can measure many shades of a colour in great precision now" and measure the extent of fertiliser use, he said.
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