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The Soils in India for Rice Cultivation can be classified into the following categories :

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  • Sub-montane soils
  • Hill Soils
  • Tarai Soils
  • Calcareous Alluvial soils
  • Riverine Alluvium Soil
  • Laterite Soils
  • Saline and Alkaline soils
  • Red Yellow loamy soil
  • Red Soil
  • Black soils
  • Mixed Red and Black Soil
  • Deltaic Alluvium Soil
  • Coastal Alluvium Soil

1) Sub-montane soils
These soils are formed from the alluvium deposited in the valley floor by the Jhelum and the Indus rivers. They are silty loam to clay loam and are neutral to alkaline.

2) Hill Soils

These soils are shallow with fragments of rock occurring according to the elevations and have been categorized as red loam, brown forest soil, meadow soil and podzolic soil.

3) Tarai Soils

These soils are always saturated because of sufficient rainfall and high ground water table. These soils have been formed from transported materials by different rivers originating from the Himalayas. The tarai soils are very productive and responding well to fertilizer application.

4) Calcareous Alluvial soils

The alluvial soils are rich in potash and calcium but are deficient in organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus. Alluvial soils cover about 24% of the total land and occur in the great Indo-Gangetic Plains, in the valleys of Narmada and Tapti in Madhya Pradesh and the Cauvery in Tamil Nadu.

5) Riverine Alluvium Soil

Seen along the banks of rivers. Shows wide variation in physico-chemical properties depending on the nature of alluvium and the characteristic of the catchment area through which the river flows. Organic Matter, N and K are moderate.

6) Laterite Soils

These soils are red but they differ from red soils. Such soils are found in heavy rainfall and high temperature areas. These soils are acidic, pH ranging from 4.0 to 5.0.

7) Saline and Alkaline soils

The soils are highly alkaline and have below hard pan which obstruct the downward movement of water.

8) Red Yellow loamy soil

These soils are encountered over extensive nonalluvial tracts of peninsular India. They develop in areas in which rainfall leaches soluble minerals out of the ground and results in a loss of chemically basic constituents.

9) Red Soil

The red color in soil usually indicates a high amount of iron, in the form of iron oxide, that coats the particles of the soil. These soil are acidic. These soils are rich in potassium and poor in phosphorus.

10) Black soils

Black soils are spread mostly across the Deccan Lava Plateau, the Malwa Plateau, and interior Gujarat, where there is both moderate rainfall and underlying basaltic rock. These soils contain sufficient lime and pH ranges from 7.0 to 8.5 . These soils are also deficient in phosphorus and low in organic matter and nitrogen. Black Soil can be classified as : Medium black soil, Shallow Black Soil and Deep Black Soil.

11) Mixed Red and Black Soil

Sometimes black soils are also found in isolated pockets along with the red soils.

12) Deltaic Alluvium Soil

The coastal belt is rich with highly fertile deltaic soil, giving it the reputation of being the rice granary of the country. The alluvial soils of the deltas are very deep and well drained. These soils are very fertile.

13) Coastal Alluvium Soil

Seen in the coastal tracts along the west. They have been developed from recent marine deposits. Permeability is more. Low organic matter content. Low CEC. Water Holding Capacity is less.

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