India is a land of agriculture. More than 1/3rd of the Indian states have agriculture as their main occupation. In such a scenario, soils play a major role in the types of vegetation and plant growth. There are major eight types of soils found in India. All the soils have different physical texture and compositions.
- Alluvial soil: these soils are very fertile as they are rich in humus. This soil is formed by the sediments deposited by the rivers. They are commonly found in Northern States of India, Tapti and Narmada valleys and in some parts of Gujarat.
- Black Soils: These soils are mainly found in middle India such as states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and also two states form south India: Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. They are rich in Iron, Lime, magnesium and potash. But there are not as fertile as they have less organic components. They are formed from volcanic eruptions and lava flow.\
- Laterite Soils: These soils are formed with an intensive effect of leaching. They are commonly found on hilly areas in India such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. They are also found in hilly areas of Assam and Orissa
- Mountain Soils: This soil is favorable for the growth of Tea. It is formed as a result of accumulation of organic matter in the forest region. The availability varies with altitude.
- Desert Soil: These soils are found in especially in the desert areas I Rajasthan. They are not fertile as they do not contain any organic matter. They are best suited for the growth of xerophytes.
- Marshy Soil: These types of soils are found in areas with high humidity and rainfall. It is an alkaline soil and is rich in dead organic matter. It is often confused with black soil as well.
- Forest Soil: Just like marshy soil, this sol is also found in areas of high rainfall. It has a lesser humus content and is acidic in nature.
- Red Soil: These soils are less fertile. They are available in the areas of deciduous and mixed forests
States having Red Soil
Tamil Nadu, Western Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, chota Nagpur plateau, Odisha, Southern Maharashtra etc.
They are also found in some areas of Jhansi, Banda, Udaipir, Durgapur, Mirzapur, Bhilwara and Banswara.
Why the color is Red?
The soil is of red color the soil particles are coated with ferric oxides . When the Feeric oxide or Iron oxide is in hematite form, the soil is red in color but in case it is in limonite form, the color of soil turns yellow. It has been seen that the top layer is yellow in color and the soil beneath is yellow in color.
How it is formed?
This soil is also known as omnibus group. These soils are developed over gneiss, archean granite and some other crystalline rocks. Red soil is formed by the weathering of metamorphic rocks which are present in Deccan plateau.
Characteristics of Red Soil
- The soil in mainly found in areas of low rainfall
- It is porous and has a friable structure
- It does not contain minerals such as magnesium, potash, phosphate and lime
- It is deficit in humus
- There is no lime, kankar or any types of carbonates.
- The texture is sandy to clayey. But the most part is more of loamy.
The major part of the soil is non-soulpbel part which has a contribution of 90% followed by Iron (3.6%) and aluminum (3%) and other minerals are available in very lesser quantity.
Crops for which it is favourable
Wheat, tobacco, pulses, potato, cotton, oilseeds, jowar, bajra, millet and some fruits. Red soil is mainly suited for dry farming.
There are mainly two types of red soils based on morphology.
- Red Loam Soil: This red soil is very thin in texture and low on fertility. It is formed when the rocks such as granite, diorite and charnocite decompose. It is mainly found in the areas of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Jharkhand, some area of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
- Sandy Red Soil: these soils are formed by disintegration of rocks such as sandstone, quartzite, granite and grani gneiss. They are friable soils and have a higher content of sesquioxide clays.