Agricultural Chemist, Faisalabad launched research investigations on nutritional requirements of major crops in Punjab at research stations / Agricultural Farms. Technology developed through these experiments was not adopted by common farmers, as it was the outcome of research experiments conducted under the management systems which differed from that of farmers. In the year 1958 a project entitled “Rapid Soil Fertility Survey and Popularisation of the use of Fertilizers in Pakistan” was commissioned with the objective to carry out soil fertility investigations under local farming conditions. Initially it was jointly financed by FAO and Government of Pakistan. In 1962, the project was re-designated as Soil Fertility Survey and Soil Testing Institute and was transferred to Govt. of the then West Pakistan / Punjab with the status of an independent Directorate in Research Wing of Agriculture Department.
Simple fertilizer trials on farmer’s fields is an established technique to verify plant nutrient deficiencies in the soil and determine fertilizer requirement of various crops.
To strengthen the soil fertility research, in 1966 Laboratory Wing was established with mandate to provide advisory service to farmers, standardise methods for soil, plant and water analysis and calibrate soil analysis data with crop response to rationalise the fertilizer use. In addition laboratory wing was assigned the responsibility of conducting research to cope with the deterioration of soil health by improving its physico-chemical status through soil management practices, usage of suitable amendments and compilation of information’s regularly through soil analysis regarding salt balance in soil. A net work of soil and water testing laboratories at district level was established in the province during subsequent years.