In India, Soil Health Card (SHC) scheme has been started with anticipation that the usage of SHC would promote the judicious use of fertilizers and by restricting its indiscriminate usage and thereby reducing the input cost. This study is based on primary data from 320 farmers from Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana states. The result indicates that, SHC based fertilizer mix does not have any significant effect on yields of the crop in short run. On the other hand, SHC usage has increased total fertilizer expenditure of the farmers by Rs. 401 per acre. Even though, NPK consumption has declined after following SHC recommendations, micronutrient consumption has increased at the same time.
It is a good indication that the concept of soil health management is picking up even with slightly higher cost. This short-term increase in cost on fertilizer usage and change in pattern of fertilizer consumption is expected to have positive effect on soil health in the long run which further would affect net returns from farm. The results also indicate that the SHC usage does not have any significant effect on the net returns per acre to the farmer in short run.
Key words: SHC, Crop productivity, Fertilizer expenditure, Soil Health