Indian Council of Agricultural Research [ICAR] divides Indian soils into eight groups.
They represent the river in residual alluvium brought from Indus and tributaries – Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej Ganga and its tributaries, of which are Yamuna, Gandak, Ghaghara, Kosi etc. and the Brahmaputra.
Punjab, Haryana, UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa, Rajasthan coastal Gujarat, Brahmaputra valley & coastal strip of Peninsular India.
- Found to a depth of 500m
- Yellow in colour.
- Rich in Potash, Humus & Lime
- Deficient in nitrogen, tends to be phosphoric
- Coarse to fine texture.
- Bhangar: older alluvium , calcareous clay
- Khadar: newer alluvium, clayey * loamy, found in lower beds in the valley
- In the Deccan coastal strip soil gets darker as the river flows over the black regur soil some of which they carry away.
Suitable for Kharif & Rabi Crops like cereals, cotton, oilseed & sugarcane. The lower Ganga-Brahmaputra Valley is useful for jute cultivation.
BLACK COTTON SOIL OR REGUR SOIL
- Is of volcanic origin
- Lava soil due to disintegration of basalt, formed in area where it has formed.
- Also classified as Chernozem
Occurs mainly in Deccan trap covering large areas in Maharashtra, Gujarat M.P., Karnataka, Andhra and Tamil Nadu.
- Deep, fine grained
- Varying in colour from black to chestnut brown
- Rich in Iron, Potash, Lime, Calcium, Alumina, Carbonates & Humus.
- Moisture retentive, very sticky when met.
- Forms deep cracks when dry.
Cotton, Jowar, Wheat, Sugarcane, Linseed, Gram, Fruit & Vegetable.
Formed by weathering of crystalline and metamorphic rocks. Mixture of clay and sand.
Large parts of TN, Karnataka, North East Andhra, M.P. & Orissa.
- Red in colour because of its high Iron oxide (FeO) Content.
- Deficient in nitrogen lime, Phosphoric acid and humus.
- Rich in potash.
- When fertilizers are added soil becomes productive.
Wheat, Rice, Millets, Pulses, (needs fertilizer & irrigation)
Formed due to weathering of lateritic rocks in low temperatures and heavy rainfall with alternating dry & wet period.
Karnataka, Summits of the Western and Eastern Ghats, Malwa Plateau, Goa & Kerala.
- Red in colour with a high content of iron oxides.
- Poor in Nitrogen & Lime, rich in Iron.
- High Content of acidity & inability to retain moisture.
Unsuitable for Agriculture due to high content of acidity and inability to retain moisture. Cashew and Tapioca grow well on it.
ARID & DESERT SOIL
- NW India. Covers entire area west of the Aravalis in Rajasthan & parts of Haryana, Punjab & Gujarat.
- Rich in phosphates but poor in Nitrogen.
- Fertile if irrigates e.g. Ganga nagar area of Rajasthan ( Wheat basket of Rajasthan).
Saline & Alkaline Soil
Also called Reh, Kallar or usar.
- Arid and Semi-Arid areas of Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
- Soils have effervescence of Sodium, Magnesium Calcium.
- Salinity is usually confined to the upper Layers and the soil can be reclaimed by Improving Drainage.
- Alkalinity is removed by application of Gypsum.
- Infertile, requires Soil – reclamation.
It is generally found in forests and hilly areas.
- Himalayas Range Southern Hills of Peninsula.
- Rich in organic matter.
- In some places it shows sign of Podzolisation.
- Deficient in Potash, Phosphorus & Lime.
- Needs continued use of fertilisers for good yields.
- Crops Grown : Plantation Crops like tea, coffee, Spices and tropical fruits.
PEATY AND ORGANIC SOIL
Peaty soil is found in Kottayam and Alleyppy District of Kerala.
- High accumulation of Organic Matter & small amount of soluble salts.
- Deficient in Phosphorous & Potash.
Not Conductive to cultivation.
So these were the 8 Indian Soils or Soils found in India.