Classification of Indian soils – Download PDF & Check Daily Updates Here!!!

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Major classification of Indian soils

According to ICAR (Indian Council of Agricultural Research) soils are divided into 8 categories. they are:

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  1. Alluvial soil [43%]
  2. Red soil [18.5%]
  3. Black / regur soil [15%]
  4. Arid / desert soil
  5. Laterite soil
  6. Peaty Soil
  7. Forest soil
  8. mountain soil

Alluvial soil:

Mostly available soil in India (about 43%) which covers an area of 143 sq.km.Widespread in northern plains and river valleys.In peninsular-India, they are mostly found in deltas and estuaries. New alluvium is termed as Khadarand old alluvium is termed as Bhangar.

Colour: Light Grey to Ash Grey.

Texture: Sandy to silty loam or clay.

Red soil:

Seen mainly in low rainfall area. Also known as Omnibus group..

Colour: Red because of Ferric oxide. The lower layer is reddish yellow or yellow.

Texture:Sandy to clay and loamy.

Black soil / regur soil:

Regur means cotton – best soil for cotton cultivation. Most of the Deccan is occupied by Black soil.It is Mature soil.It has High water retaining capacity.Soils are Swells and will become sticky when wet and shrink when dried. Self-ploughing is a characteristic of the black soil as it develops wide cracks when dried.

Colour: Deep black to light black.

Laterite soil:

Name from Latin word ‘Later’ which means Brick.It becomes so soft when wet and so hard when dried. In the areas of high temperature and high rainfall.

Colour: Red colour due to iron oxide.

Desert / arid soil:

Seen under Arid and Semi-Arid conditions.

Colour:Red to Brown.

Texture:Sandy

Peaty / marshy soil:

Areas of heavy rainfall and high humidity.Growth of vegetation is very less.A large quantity of dead organic matter/humus which makes the soil alkaline

Forest soil:

Regions of high rainfall. Humus content is less and thus the soil is acidic.

Mountain soil:

In the mountain regions of the country. Immature soil with low humus and acidic.

Understand the Different types of soils

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Types of SoilsStates where foundRich inLacks inCrops grown
AlluvialMainly found in the plains of Gujarat,  Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand etc.Potash and LimeLimeNitrogen and PhosphorousLarge variety of rabi and kharif crops such as wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton, jute etc
Black (Regur soil)Deccan plateau- Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh,Tamil Nadu, Valleys of Krishna and Godavari.LimeLime, Iron, Magnesia and Alumina, PotashPhosphorous, Nitrogen and organic matterCotton, sugarcane, jowar, tobacco, wheat, rice etc.
RedEastern and southern part of the deccan plateau, Orissa, Chattisgarh and southern parts of the middle Ganga plain.Iron and PotashNitrogen, Phosphorous and humus.Wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane and pulses
LateriteKarnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Orissa hills.Western Rajastan, north Gujarat and southern PunjabOrganic matter, Nitrogen, Phosphate and CalciumCashewnuts, tea, coffee, rubber
Arid and DesertWestern Rajastan, north Gujarat and southern PunjabSoluble salts, phosphateHumus, NitrogenOnly drought resistant and salt tolerant crops such as barley, rape, cotton, millets maize and pulses
Saline and AlkalineWestern Gujarat, deltas of eastern coast, Sunderban areas of West Bengal, Punjab and HaryanaSodium, Potassium, MagnesiumNitrogen and CalciumUnfit for agriculture

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