Category Archives: Soil Doctor

Why and how to get Soil testing services using My Farm Info Soil Doctor?

India is ranked second in global farm output. India’s arable land area of 394.6 million acres is the second largest in the world. Its gross irrigated crop area of 215.6 million acres is the largest in the world. Still we are way behind in adapting technology and making our practices sustainable.

Current agricultural practices are neither economically nor environmentally sustainable and India’s yields for many agricultural commodities are low. – World Bank: “India Country Overview 2008

Much of the role here is played by condition of the soil. Be it due to rampant use of chemical fertilizers and ill-advised use of pesticides or just common erosion, the soil undergoes a lot of changes. Not knowing about the health and condition of your soil can incur unnecessary costs and also not deliver the expected  production. Hence, soil testing and diagnosis are considered important aspect of productive and sustainable farming.

Now, with MyFarmInfo Soil Doctor farmers can procure the benefits of on-demand nation-wide soil testing service.

Why Test your Soil?

A Soil test refers to the analysis of a soil sample to determine various characteristics like

  • Nutrient content: Plants require multiple nutrients to grow.

    Laboratory tests often check for plant nutrients in three categories:

    • Major nutrients: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K)
    • Secondary nutrients: sulfur, calcium, magnesium
    • Minor nutrients: iron, manganese, copper, zinc, boron, molybdenum, chlorine.

Soil tests determines the nutrient content of the soil sample and thus allow us to make better decision in terms of adding the nutrient substitutes which are lacking.

  • Composition: Soil composition determines its characteristics and behavior. A soil with more sandy content behaves very differently than a soil with high amount of fine soil particles. Study of composition allows for getting an insight into soil behavior and thus help make better decision about crop selection.
  • Acidity or pH level: pH level indicated the acidity levels of the soil. A pH range of 6-7 is considered neutral or normal and good for cultivation. But blatant use of chemicals can alter the pH range. pH level below 6 indicates acidic soil and pH level above 7 indicates alkaline soil both of these conditions are unsuitable for cultivation.
  • Moisture content: Knowing the moisture content allows for farmers to better plan their irrigation methods. Knowledge of moisture content also allows for better crop selection.
  • Fertility: This determines the expected soil growth potential and indicates nutrient deficiencies, potential toxicities that may be present due to excessive fertility and any inhibitions from the non-essential trace minerals.

Frequent soil testing aids farmers to decide whether their current farm management is robbing them of future productivity and profits. When combined with local calibration data, soil testing is the best guide for determining nutrient needs for crops.

Soil testing as a tool to provide balanced fertility program is a vital component for sustainable farming that is profitable, efficient yet environmentally responsible.

How do I Use My Farm Info Soil Doctor:

Head over to MyFarmInfo.com and check the Useful Services section. To head over right now click My Farm Info Soil Doctor. This will open up a form.

Fill up this form to avail benefits of My Farm Info Soil Doctor.

Enter your Name, Phone Number, E-mail, Address and your Message and the My Farm Info team will connect with you. It is as easy as that.

A soil sample will be collected and tested upon completion of which a detailed report will be generated. This report will highlight all the factors and give a status of the soil’s health.

The standard way to go about soil testing has also changed with the advancement in technology. Now with the services of global positioning system (GPS) easily available to anyone, farmers can be smarter about how they conduct soil tests.

 

Soil Testing Pro tips for Farmers:

Time:

Soil constantly undergoes change. As biological and chemical processes in the soil break down or combine compounds, its chemistry changes over time. These processes experience a change once the soil is removed from its natural ecosystem and environment.

Thus, if the soil is analyzed soon after its extraction( usually within a time-period of 24 hrs), the accuracy of chemical composition analysis is a lot better.  In case of apparent delay, the chemical changes in the soil can be slowed by freezing it during storage and transportation.

Soil Sampling

The right time to take soil samples is in rhythm with the crop rotation. Its best to carry regular tests to compare fields and pick out trends over time. Previously, soil samples were taken almost at random across a field, mixed together, and sent to the lab. Now, with GPS capabilities, grid sampling has become the more favored technique.

Soil sampling during the process of soil testing is the foundation for understanding the variation in yield potential across a field and improve efficiency.

So get comfortable with Soil Testing and connect with My Farm Info Soil Doctor for help anytime on-demand.

 

 

 

 

The key to soil success – Helping farmers make optimum cultivation decisions

We all know that soil is the most important factor in agriculture. Healthy soil is the foundation of our food system as it produces healthy crops that in turn nourish people. There are two important aspects as far as soil properties are concerned. One is the ability of the soil to manage, hold and drain water. The other is nutrients management that includes Cation Exchange Capacity, Clay Content and Soil pH.

Soil Knowledge

Our planet is known to have over thousand different types of soil. Each soil needs to be treated differently. The soil is a living, dynamic ecosystem and its quality can vary greatly even within a region or a ­single field. How a farmer manages the farm can have crucial impacts on the environment. Most times issue rises because farmers are not aware of the best practices in soil management. The beauty about soil is that it can be regenerated and reproduced for repeat agriculture. Therefore, it is important for farmers to focus on preserving it. Farming is a continuous and complex process that also needs close monitoring, studying with a constant exchange of information. One of the primary, most obvious way to improve soil health is by growing crop on the ground at all times. Reducing tillage is another way to allow the soil to improve as organisms in the soil flourish.

How to keep your soil healthy?

It is important to consider the following in order to take good care of the soil.

  • Continuous monitoring of soil’s nutrients level
  • Use of precision agriculture practices to apply nutrients when necessary
  • Choose the right crop based on the soil composition
  • Rotation of crops to improve diversity
  • Reduce tilling
  • Reduce soil erosion and
  • Monitor soil moisture levels

To keep your soil healthy, it is important to have a well-drained soil. In a well-drained soil, optimal root growth happens without drainage problem. Efforts need to be taken to avoid erosion as the loss of nutrients in erosion can be up to 70%. Repeat soil testing and use appropriate fertilizer to help grow your drop.

Existing farming systems, due to repetitive harvesting reduces the nutrients and the organic matter and inadequate effort to replenish nutrients result in poor quantity and quality of harvest for the farmers. Understanding the soil helps farmers take informed decisions on what variety of crop to sow in which area and at what time. While this has been done the old fashioned way with sheer experience, IT has made farming easier in this day and age. Technology has created a revolution in Agriculture and with digital information on weather, soil, health, diseases, crop management etc, farmers are better equipped to face challenges ahead in time. They are therefore able to optimize their harvest yield to get larger outputs.

Did you know?
Excessive use of chemical fertilizers has impacted soil fertility in Punjab that has led to an increase in cancer.

My Farm Info is one such tool on agriculture information system created to help farmers maximize their income by providing them ways to increase their yield and help them get the best price for their produce. This software allows farmers to access key farm information and take necessary action when it matters most. With this tool, farmers can view their fields and crop plans on the map once the geotag their farm on the website. It also allows farmers to connect with a farm doctor through SMS or WhatsApp to get details on weather, soil etc.

‘’The more a farmer knows about his soils, the better equipped he is to decide which varieties to sow in a certain area to produce optimal yields’’
Tobias Menne, head of Digital Farming at Bayer’s Crop Science Division.

My Farm Info also suggests the right crops based on long-term forecasts of that specific field & soil moisture maps. Soil humidity index provides information about the water storage capacity of the soil and recommended the optimal fertilizer needed to improve along with the best time to irrigate.

In the Citrus fields in Abohar, India, My Field Info helped farmers using their soil moisture sensor technology in taking impactful action in their field. By providing soil information including Cation Exchange Capacity, Clay Content, Soil pH and comprehensive soil data, we were able to help the farmer make optimum cultivation decisions.

Soil Moisture Data in this tool also provides optimum field irrigation schedule for the farmers. This kind of information helped farmers plan their cultivation at ease. We were able to optimize the soil choice by understanding the soil matter content in taking planned decisions.The tool also offers Crop Management Solutions by providing nutrition advisory ensuring that the farmer has access to crop nutrition oversight throughout its life cycle.

Why use MyfarmInfo?

My Farm Info aims to show results within a season and by using this platform, farmers will now be able to reap benefits within the same season. Farmers are geo-tagged for and their precise field details can be viewed by hovering over the farm location on Myfarminfo.

The Importance of Soil Moisture Sensors for farmers and how it can increase profitability

70 percent of the world’s freshwater withdrawals go towards irrigation uses. Close to 90 percent of freshwater is used for irrigation in India. It is recorded that only 5 percent of water gets used for domestic purpose in India. Despite that, farmers often obtain sub-optimal yields from their crop due to improper irrigation management practices. What if farmers could monitoring soil moisture in their fields? It would help them take has informed decisions on irrigation and be cost-effective too. By monitoring soil moisture, farmers can now optimise their water usage, increase produce yield, produce high quality crops, reduce water resource degradation and save a lot of money.

I can’t take the risk of leaving too much moisture in the pitch. At this time of the year, one does not know how quickly it’s going to dry out.” – Christo Erasmus

In West Bengal, farmers sell potatoes to Pepsico for their potato wafers plant. The quality of the produce is set by the company and farmers key struggle has been to deliver potatoes based on the quality requirement and therefore face a high rejection rate. The issues farmers face in West Bengal are plenty. They hold small farms and hence the quantity of their produce is also small. They lack good machinery for managing cultivation and have poor to no on-farm support as far as crop planning is concerned. No access to right agriculture information leads to heavy losses.
Their potato produce are greenish in color, high in water and sugar content and the reason for poor quality of the produce is because of improper irrigation management that leads to sub-optimal yields. PEPSICO’s high standard of quality expectation leads to direct rejection of the produce.


Monitoring soil moisture will help farmers understand the actual soil water condition and how much their crops need to use. Soil moisture sensors enable in taking informed irrigation decisions on when to irrigate and how much water has to be supplied to avoid low quality production. With the help of soil moisture sensors, some of these questions that are commonly asked by farmers are easily addressed –

  • When is the best time for irrigation?
  • How do I know if enough water has infiltrated the soil?
  • What is the soil depth reached by irrigation water?
  • Am I using too little water? Too much or just right?
  • How much water loss can i expect due to soil evaporation?
  • Has the crop roots absorbed enough water
  • During days of no irrigation, how much reserve will be available for my crop?

Let us take the example of the Potato farmer in West Bengal. If the farmers on-farm support in crop planning and irrigation practice,they would have been able to produce better quality yield of potato their produce may not have been rejected by PEPSICO. What if there is a platform is build to support farmers and help them increase their productivity? MyFarmInfo is an agriculture information system and platform to help farmer maximize their income by providing ways to increase yield and help them get the best price for their produce.


In the crop feasibility section, farmers can find the feasibility of growing any crop in their farm. With the help of the feasibility section, farmer can grow those crop that will produce maximum yield. They can decide based on the feasibility which are the crops to avoid based on the soil, weather condition of their area. Another section called farm management, allows farmers to save their farm information in the website. Once that is done My Farm Info will provide farmers with the optimum NPK application, nutrition information and optimal mandi for the crop to take calculated decisions.
Farmers can also use the crop scheduler function to help them keep track of all stages of crop life cycle. Farmers will receive messages according to the schedule regarding upcoming crop stages. Forecast and disease alerts will also be sent through SMS. In addition to this, farmers can use the Flood and wind risk pages to find the impact of flood and wind on their produce.


With the help of My Farm Info, the potato farmer is geo-tagged in all fields. Precise location of the farm, the latest weather data & forecasts for Temperature / Rainfall / Humidity / Wind can be seen on the website. Historical data for all these parameters are also available for farmers to analyze and draw insight. Instant alerts in the form of SMS is sent regarding changing weather conditions. Nutritional advice, soil information, field irrigation planning, optimizing soil choice and checking of plant or crop disease are also available in addition to soil moisture sensors
This is probably the first time in India, whereby farmers will have the ability to stay in control of their produce, take calculated decisions based on statistical data to improve their profitability.
My Farm info worked with potato farmers in West Bengal and the quality of the produce and prices of Potato at nearby Mandis had provided since. Understand your soil moisture using MyFarm Info and improve your revenue.