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Classification of Indian soils Notes | Study SSC CGL Tier 2 - Study Material, Online Tests, Previous Year - SSC CGL

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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:
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.

Sr. No.

Types of Soils

States where found

Rich in

Lacks in

Crops grown

1

Alluvial

Mainly found in the plains of Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand etc.

Potash and Lime

LimeNitrogen and Phosphorous

Large variety of rabi and kharif crops such as wheat, rice, sugarcane, cotton, jute etc

2

Black (Regur soil)

Deccan plateau- Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh,Tamil Nadu, Valleys of Krishna and Godavari.Lime

Lime, Iron, Magnesia and Alumina, Potash

Phosphorous, Nitrogen and organic matter

Cotton, sugarcane, jowar, tobacco, wheat, rice etc.

3

Red

Eastern and southern part of the deccan plateau, Orissa, Chattisgarh and southern parts of the middle Ganga plain.

Iron and Potash

Nitrogen, Phosphorous and humus.

Wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane and pulses

4

Laterite

Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Orissa hills.

Western Rajastan, north Gujarat and southern Punjab

Organic matter, Nitrogen, Phosphate and Calcium

Cashewnuts, tea, coffee, rubber

5

Arid and Desert

Western Rajastan, north Gujarat and southern Punjab

Soluble salts, phosphate

Humus, Nitrogen

Only drought resistant and salt tolerant crops such as barley, rape, cotton, millets maize and pulses

6

Saline and Alkaline

Western Gujarat, deltas of eastern coast, Sunderban areas of West Bengal, Punjab and Haryana

Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium

Nitrogen and Calcium

Unfit for agriculture

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