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What is soil ? Describe the different type of soil, their characteristics, and distribution.

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Soil is the upper layer of earth in which plants grow, a black or dark brown material typically consisting of a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles.

The different types of soils found all over India are:

1. ALLUVIAL SOILS

2. BLACK COTTON SOILS

3. RED AND YELLOW SOILS

4. LATERITE SOILS

5. ARID SOILS

6. FOREST AND MOUNTAIN SOILS

ALLUVIAL INDIAN SOILS:

CHARACTERISTICS:

These are very fertile soils. These are mostly formed by river depositions. The important food crops of India are grown in these soils. With intense cultivation, the areas of these soils are densely populated.

DISTRIBUTION:

ALLUVIAL SOILS are distributed in the states of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and west Bengal which are drained by Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra river systems. Besides, these are also present in the coastal regions of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and TamilNadu which are the delta regions of Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery Rivers.

CROPS GROWN: Rice, Wheat, Sugarcane, Cereals, Pulses and many commercial crops are grown.

BLACK COTTON INDIAN SOILS:

CHARACTERISTICS:

These are black in colour and have good moisture retaining capacity. When dry, they produce cracks and as the name suggests these soils provide the best conditions for growing cotton. Good rainfall and dry conditions simultaneously exist here.

DISTRIBUTION:

The Black cotton soils cover most of the Maharashtra state and are distributed in some parts of Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

CROPS GROWN: Cotton (intensively and extensively).

RED AND YELLOW INDIAN SOILS:

CHARACTERISTICS:

The Red and Yellow soils occur in the regions of low rainfall. They are less fertile and need external sources like fertilizers and water supply. Areas of these soils exhibit the typical Indian agricultural situation.

DISTRIBUTION:

These soils are distributed in the dry parts of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

CROPS GROWN: All types of crops grown in alluvial soils can be grown here but with the extensive external support of water and fertilizers.

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LATERITE INDIAN SOILS:

CHARACTERISTICS:

LATERITE soils are found in the regions of both high rainfall and high temperature. These are low in fertility but are suitable for plantation and horticultural crops due to high moisture.

DISTRIBUTION:

Laterite soils are found in most of the Kerala, parts of Karnataka, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and hilly areas of Orissa and Assam.

CROPS GROWN: TEA and COFFEE are grown in Kerala, Karnataka, and Assam. Besides, Horticulture (growing fruits and vegetables) is also practised.

ARID INDIAN SOILS:

CHARACTERISTICS: These are also called as desert soils which occur in the desert areas of the country. These soils lack humus and moisture due to excess heat.

DISTRIBUTION:

ARID soils are present in the desert areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat and in some low rainfall plateau regions.

CROPS GROWN: There is almost no cultivation in these soils.

FOREST AND MOUNTAIN INDIAN SOILS:

CHARACTERISTICS:They contain an excess of humus and less minerals and that’s why only Big trees can be grown here.

DISTRIBUTION: As the name suggests, these soils are found in all the forest and mountain regions of the country like Himalayan regions, hilly areas and so on.

CROPS GROWN: Cultivation is not possible in these soils due to lack of inorganic content.
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