Types of Soils and Government's Scheme - Seeker's Thoughts

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Types of Soils and Government's Scheme

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Introduction - Soil is the mixture of rock debris and organic material which gathered on the earth’s surface for a long time. The major factors affecting the formation of soil are relief, parent material, climate, time and biodiversity.

India is a diverse country with variety of relief features, landforms, climate realms and vegetation types. These have contributed in the development of various types of soils in India. Eight different types of soils found in India.

  1. Alluvial soils.
  2. Black soils (or regular soil)
  3. Red and yellow soils.
  4. Laterite soils.
  5. Arid and desert soils
  6. Saline and alkaline soils.
  7. Peaty and marshy soils.
  8. Forest and mountain soils.

Alluvial soils - These are formed by the deposition of sediments brought by rivers. They are rich in humus, potash and lime. This type of soil is very fertile. The soil lacks in – nitrogen and phosphorus.
 Crops grown- Large variety of Rabi and kharif crops such as wheat, rice, sugarcane cotton,                 jute etc. are grown in Alluvial Soil.
 The alluvial soil is found at great northern plains of Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar,                     Jharkhand, lower valleys of Narmada and Tapti Rivers.  These soils are renewed every year.

 Black (Regular soil) - These soils are made of volcanic rocks and lava. It is rich in lime, iron, magnesia, and alumina potash. The soil lacks in  phosphorus nitrogen and organic matter
Crops grown are cotton sugarcane, Jowar, tobacco wheat, rice etc.
This type of soil is found in Deccan plateau – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, valleys of Krishna and Godavari.

 Red soil- These are derived from weathering of ancient metamorphic rocks of Deccan plateau. Its redness due to iron composition. It is rich in Iron potash. It lacks in Nitrogen, phosphorus and humus.
Major crops grown in such soil are wheat rice, cotton sugarcane and pulses.
This type of soil is found in Eastern and southern part of the Deccan plateau, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and southern parts of the middle Ganga plain.

 Laterite soil- This type of soils is formed due to intense leaching. This is often formed at the summit of hills and uplands. It is rich in the iron oxide.  This type of soil lacks in organic matter nitrogen, phosphate and calcium.
Crops grown are Cashew nuts, tea, coffee, rubber.
This type of soil is mainly found in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Orissa hills.

Arid and Desert Soil- It is generally sandy in texture and saline in nature. In some areas the salt content is very high and common salt is obtained by evaporating the water due to dry climate. The soil is rich in soluble salts, phosphate. It lacks in humus and nitrogen. Only drought resistant and salt tolerant crops are grown in such as barley, cotton, millets, maize and pulses.
The areas where this type of soil found is - Western Gujarat, Deltas of eastern coast, Sunder ban areas of west Bengal, Punjab and Haryana.

Nature of saline and alkaline soil- Saline and alkaline soils have sodium, calcium and magnesium salt encrustations on the surface.
These soils are found in drier of: - Uttar Pradesh Bihar, Haryana Punjab and RajasthanSaline alkaline also found in water logged areas of canal irrigation and areas of high water table.

Peaty and marshy soils: - These soils are developed under humid condition as a result of accumulation of large amount of organic matter and considerable amount of soluble salts. It is rich in organic matter. It lacks in phosphorus and potash. These types of soil are mostly found in - Kerala, Orissa, sunder bans, north Bihar, Uttarakhand.  Peaty soil is not suitable in cultivation.

Forest and mountain soils: - Mountains soils are distributed in Vindhya, Sat Pura, Nilgiri and cardamom hills, and the slopes of Himalaya. They are also called forest soils. These soils are suited for growth of forest soil.  It is rich in humus and nitrogen. It lacks
in potash. Mountains soils are suitable for the cultivation of tea, coffee, spices, and fruits.

Government Scheme for soil protection and improvement are as follows:-
Soil health card: -
Soil health card is government of India’s scheme launched in 2015 promoted by the department of agriculture & co-operation under the ministry of agriculture of all state and union territories.
A soil health card used to assess the current status of soil health. It also determines changes in soil health that are affected by land management. A soil health card displays soil health indicators and associated descriptive terms. The indicators are typically based on farmer’s practical experience and knowledge of local natural resources.

The card lists soil health indicators that can be used without the aid of technical or laboratory equipment