Soil Fertility And Fertilizers

By Prof. Somsubhra Chakraborty   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 1367
Soil fertility indicates the ability of soil to sustain plant growth and optimize crop yield. This course aims to provide a comprehensive knowledge of soil fertility, plant nutrition, fertilizers, and nutrient management so that students can: Explain the influence of soil attributes and their interactions on plant nutrient availability. Identify plant nutrition–soil fertility problems and recommend proper corrective action. Gain a comprehensive knowledge of fertilizers and their properties. Gain knowledge of organic nutrient management, and identify soil and nutrient management practices that maximize productivity and profitability while enhancing the soil productivity and quality of the environment.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Students Of Agricultural Engineering, Agriculture And Allied Science.

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: Soil and crop testing services, Soil remote sensing solution services, AI-based agricultural startups.
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 12 weeks
Category :
  • Agricultural and Food Engineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate
Start Date : 25 Jul 2022
End Date : 14 Oct 2022
Enrollment Ends : 08 Aug 2022
Exam Date : 29 Oct 2022 IST

Note: This exam date is subjected to change based on seat availability. You can check final exam date on your hall ticket.

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1:  Importance of soil nutrient management and basic soil-plant relationship
Week 2: Soil N for plant nutrition
Week 3: Soil P and k for plant nutrition
Week 4: Soil secondary nutrients and their role in plant nutrition
Week 5: Soil micronutrients and their role in plant nutrition
Week 6: Soil testing and soil fertility evaluation methods
Week 7: Soil quality and health, and land capability classification
Week 8: Manufacturing, properties, and fate of n, p, and k fertilizers
Week 9: Fertilizer quality control, fertilizer adulteration, and fertilizer testing
Week 10: Management of fertilizers and manures in soil
Week 11: Fertilizer reccommendation approaches and integrated plant nutrient management
Week 12: Agricultural productivity and environmental quality

Books and references

  1. The Nature and Properties of Soils by Brady and Weil
  2. Soil fertility and fertilizers by Havlin, Tisdale, Nelson, and Beaton 

Instructor bio

Prof. Somsubhra Chakraborty

IIT Kharagpur
I am currently serving as an Assistant Professor (Soil Science) at the Agricultural and Food Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. I was awarded various prestigious fellowships including the Australia Awards Fellowship from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. I did my undergraduate and M.Sc degrees from BCKV and PAU in India and PhD degree in Agronomy (Soil Science emphasis) from Louisiana State University, USA. I started my career as a post-doctoral researcher at West Virginia University, USA. I joined IITKgp as faculty in 2016. I am passionate about the use of proximal and non-invasive sensors for soil management. I have around 50 international journal publications. I am currently serving as the member of the editorial board of Geoderma, the global journal of soil science.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 29 October 2022 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

MHRD logo Swayam logo


Goto google play store