Types of Soils in India
1) Black (Regur Soils):
- These types of Soils are mainly found in Deccan plateau – Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Valleys of Krishna and Godavari rivers.
- These soils are formed by sedimentation of volcanic rocks and Lava flow.
- These soils are rich in minerals like Potassium, Magnesium, Lime and Iron.
- Phosphorous, Nitrogen and Organic matter are deficient in Black soils.
- These soils are suitable for growing of crops like Sugarcane, Jowar, Cotton, tobacco, wheat, rice etc.
2) Alluvial Soils:
- These types of Soils are mainly found in Great Northern plains like states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand and in Lower valleys of Narmada and Tapi rivers.
- They are formed by deposition of river sediments into the plains.
- They are rich in humus content hence are very fertile.
- These soils get renewed every year.
- They are also rich in minerals like Potassium and Lime.
- They are deficient in Nitrogen and Phosphorous content.
- Crops such as wheat, rice, sugarcane, jute, cotton are grown in these types of soils.
3) Red Soils:
- These soils are found in whole of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Konkan region of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and parts of Orissa.
- These are formed by sedimentation of old metamorphic rocks.
- The red colour is because of the Iron content in these soils. If Iron content is lower, then it is also green or yellow coloured.
- These are rich in Iron and Potassium.
- Humus, Nitrogen and phosphorous are deficient in these soils.
- These soils are suitable for growing of pulses, wheat, rice, sugarcane, etc.
4) Laterite Soils:
- These soils are present in states of Kerala, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh Tamil Nadu and hilly areas of Orissa and Assam.
- This type of Soil formation is because of the high intensity leaching.
- They are rich in Iron Oxide and Potash.
- Organic matter, phosphate, calcium and Nitrogen are deficient.
- These are suitable for growing of crops like Cashew nuts, Tea, Coffee, Rubber, etc.
5) Forest and Mountain Soils:
- These types of soils are found in hilly regions covered with forests like Himalayan slopes, valleys and on higher hills of southern peninsula.
- They are formed due to deposition of organic matter derived out of forest growth.
- These are generally brown coloured soils
- They are deficient in lime, phosphorous and potassium but are very rich in Humus content
- These are Suitable for growing of Tea, Coffee, Spices and Tropical fruits
6) Arid and Desert Soils:
- These soils are present in the arid and semi-arid regions of Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana.
- Sand cover in these regions inhibits the soil growth
- The high presence of phosphate and nitrates makes these soils fertile, but only in the areas where moisture (rainfall) is present.
- Drought resistant and Salt tolerant crops like millet, maize, barley, cotton and pulses can be grown in these soils.
7) Saline and Alkaline Soils:
- These soils are found in drier regions of Haryana, UP, Punjab, Bihar, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
- They are formed because of the deposition of salts transported by rivers, which percolates to the sub soils of the plains.
- These types of Soils are infertile due to high quantities of Salt content.
- The infertility of the soil makes it unfit for agriculture.
Kharif Crops of India
Sown in summers between May & July, & harvested after the rains, in September & October.
Eg: Rice, Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane, Tobacco, Groundnut, Pulses, etc.
Rabi Crops of India
Sown at the beginning of winter & harvested before the onset of the summer season, between Feb & April.
Eg: Wheat, barley, oilseeds, gram, potatoes, etc.
They are raised between April & June.
E.g. : Melon, watermelon, cucumber, toris, leafy & other vegetables.
Cash Crops of India (Commercial Crops)
Grown mainly for the market, only a small portion of the product is consumed by the farmers themselves (cotton,
- Sugarcane In UP, Maharashtra, Karnataka
- Cotton In Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh
- Jute & Mesta In WB, Bihar, Asom
- Tea In Asom, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh
- Coffee In Kamalaka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu
- Rubber In Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka
- Tobacco In Gujaral, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka
- Silk In Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir,Andhra Pradesh. In India all 4 varieties of silk are available: Mulberry, tussar, eri & muga. Mulberry is the main variety, while tussar is mainly found in Bihar.
Shifting type of cultivation practiced in the hill slopes of Asom, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram & Nagaland. In this, the trees are felled & set on fire. The ash of the burnt trees & the other vegetation adds to the fertility of soil. This land is used for 2-3 years till the soil gets exhausted & the jhum is abandoned.