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Posted at: Oct 16, 2017, 2:06 AM; last updated: Oct 16, 2017, 2:06 AM (IST)

PAU’s nitrogen use practice gets thumbs up at Delhi meet

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15

The Indo-UK Nitrogen Virtual Joint Centres have declared the Punjab Agricultural University-Leaf Colour Chart (PAU-LCC) technology as the best nitrogen management practice to improve nitrogen use efficiency. They have also recommended it, ensuring the supply of the chart to all farmers in India.

Four scientists of the PAU, namely Dr Parveen Chhuneja, Dr Varinderpal Singh, Dr Satinder Kaur and Dr Jayesh Singh, represented the university at a meeting of the Indo-UK Nitrogen Virtual Joint Centres, held at the National Agricultural Science Complex, New Delhi, from October 3 to 5. The meeting aimed at discussing ‘Challenges and opportunities in agricultural nitrogen science in India.’ This was followed by a meeting of ‘Cambridge India network for translational research in nitrogen (CINTRIN)’ in Hyderabad from October 5 to 7. More than 90 researchers from 46 research institutes across the globe discussed their works to improve the fertiliser nitrogen use efficiency.

Dr Varinderpal Singh, senior soil chemist, PAU, presented the university’s work and discussed PAU-Leaf Colour Chart as a diagnostic tool to improve the efficiency and reduce escape of nitrogen from soil plant system to atmosphere. He said originally, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)-LCC was adopted by the PAU for need-based fertiliser nitrogen management in rice, maize and wheat. However, the colour strips of the IRRI-LCC could not precisely measure the leaf greenness differences of less than 10 SPAD (Chlorophyll metre) units and thus, restricted its wider application for need- based nitrogen management. The Department of Soil Science, PAU, modified the IRRI-LCC and improved the precision by introducing new colour strips (differing by 5 SPAD units) in PAU-LCC, he said. Discussing the benefits of PAU-LCC, he said it could be used for precision nitrogen management in rice, wheat, maize and basmati rice to achieve potential yield.

Dr Varinderpal Singh further said farmers in Bassian village were happy with the use of PAU-LCC in rice and had saved 50 to 75 kg urea per acre in comparison to farmers’ practice of applying 150 kg urea per acre.

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