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Soils of Uttar Pradesh-367


									                            Soils of Uttar Pradesh
                                       Booklet No. 367
                                     Soil Science SSS - 18
I.     Introduction
II.    Geographical Situation
III.   Land Utilization Pattern
IV.    Physiography
V.     Climate
VI.    Vegetation
VII.   Soils
VIII. Problem Soils
IX.    Fertilizer Management
X.     General Fertilizer Recommendation
XI.    Land Capability Classification
XII.   Techniques for Efficient Fertilizer Use


        The state of Uttar Pradesh is the most populous and the fourth largest state of the
country. It has varied types of soils and climatic conditions. Because of the deep alluvium strata
the region is almost devoid of minerals, which partly accounts for the very insignificant industrial
development of U.P. This booklet describes the distribution and general characteristics of the
seven broad soil groups of the state and other associated factors.

Dr. K. T. Chandy, Agricultural & Environment Education

I. Introduction

       The state of Uttar Pradesh is one of the largest states of the country and divisible into
three physiographic regions viz. the Himalayas the Ganga plain and Vindhyan hills and plateau.
The climate varies from temperate to arid type and soils from young to mature developed from a
wide variety of rocks and minerals.

II. Geographical Situation

        It is lying between 23°52' -31°28' N latitude and 70°04'- 84°38'E longitude, the state of
Uttar Pradesh is a land locked state occupying total geographical area of 29.4 m ha comprising
of 9.2 per cent of the total area of the country. It is running along with the state of Bihar in east,
Madhya Pradesh in south, Rajasthan in south- west, Delhi and Haryana in west and Himachal
Pradesh in the north- west.

III. Land Utilization Pattern

       The land utilization pattern (table 1) for the state of Uttar Pradesh is mentioned here.

       Area sown more than once is not included in the calculation of percentage because it is
already included in net area sown percentage.
                        Table 1: Land Utilization Pattern in Uttar Pradesh

        Sl.No    Land use                                             m.ha      % of area
        1        Total geographical area                              29.44     100
        2        Reporting area for land utilization statistics       29.44     100
        3        Forest                                               5.13      17.4
        4        Not available for cultivation                        3.44      11.68
        5        Other uncultivated land excluding fallow land        2.02      6.86
        6        Fallow land                                          1.83      6.21
        7        Net area sown                                        17.29     58.72
        8        Area sown more than once                             7.49      -
                 Total cropped area gross                             24.78     -
                 Total                                                100%

IV. Physiography

      The state is subdivided into three distinct physiographic regions from north to south viz.
The Himalayas, the Gangetic plain and the Vindhyan hills and plateau.

1. The Himalayas
       The Himalayas rise in three longitudinal zones differing in distinct orographical features
and consist of:

(i) the sub Himalayas or Sivalik zone, 300 -600 meters high,
(ii) the lesser Himalayas 2000 -3000 meters high and (iii) the greater Himalayas or Himadri,
7000 -9000 meters high above mean sea level

2. The Gangetic plain
        Between Himalayas in the north and Vindhyan hills and plateau in the south lies the
great Gangetic plain sprawling in almost three-fourth area of the state. It is a very deep and
almost level land sloping gently from north-west to south- east. Physiographically, it can be
divided between older alluvium (Banger) occupying relatively higher elevations and the new
alluvium (khadir) occupying lower areas along the main rivers and their distributaries.

3. The Vindhyan hills and plateau
       Located south of the Gangetic plain, this region forms part of the foreland of Deccan
peninsula and is bound in the north by river Yamuna and partly by the river Ganga. It has been
divided into following sub- divisions consisting of (i) Bundelkhand plateau, (ii) Vindhyan hills (iii)
Vindhyan scarp land and (iv) Vindhyan plateau.

V. Climate

         Climate in general is humid temperate in Himalayan region. Summers are short and cool
while winters record frost and snow at higher altitude. The annual rainfall ranges between 1400
to 2000 mm. The climate of Gangetic plain varies from semiarid to sub-humid. The summers are
very hot. The winters are cool and dry. The mean annual rainfall ranges from 650 mm (south
west comer of the state i.e. Agra and Mathura districts) to 1000 mm (eastern and south eastern
parts of the state). The climate of Vindhyan hills and plateau is subtropical with mean annual
rainfall between 1000-1200 mm received mostly during the monsoon season extending from
July to September.
VI. Vegetation

         In Himalayan region, forests of rododendrons (Rhododendron sp) and bhojpatra (Betula
utilis) occupy the snowline of Himalayas at the highest elevation and are succeeded down by
the forests of Silver fir (Abies pindrow), Spruce (Picea smithiana) deodar (Cedrus deodara),
Pine (Pinus roxburghii) and Oak (Quercuy incana). The foot hills are covered by Sal (Shorea
robusta) forests. In the Gangetic plain, natural vegetation consists of a variety of deciduous
trees, shrubs and grasses. The common natural flora consists of dhak (Butea monosperma),
babul (Acacia nilotica), Karer (Capparis aphylla),Khor usar (Sporobolus arabicus), bhurbhuri
(Sporobolus coromandelinus) and munja (Sachharummunja) grasses.

       In the Vindhyan hills and plateau, the natural flora of the region comprises of dhak
(Butea monosperma) mahuwa (Madhuka latifolia) bakla (Anoqueissus latifolia); Salai (Boswellia
serrata), teak (Tectona grandis) tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon) and a wide variety of xerophytic
shrubs and grasses.

VII. Soils

         The soils of Uttar Pradesh has been classified in seven broad soil groups as shown in
figure 1. These are (i) Hill soils (ii) Bhabar soils (iii) Tarai soils (iv) Alluvial soils (v) Vindhyan
soils (vi) Bundelkhand soils (vii) Aravali soils.

1. Hill soils
         These soils constitute nearly 14 per cent of the total area of the state in the northern
most part of the state. They have developed from biotite, schists and phyllitic material under a
cool and moist climate. Four soil association types have been recognised in this tract
comprising of (i) red loams (ii) brown forest (iii) podsolic and (iv) meadow soils.

       At great group level, the hill soils have now been classified as Fragudalfs, Hapludalfs,
Haplustalfs, Dystrochrepts, Eutrochrepts, Haplumbrepts, Palehumults Ustorthents and

        They are brown to greyish brown and dark grey in colour having neutral to slightly acidic
soil reaction. Moderately acidic soils occur only at higher elevations where leaching of bases
with percolating rain waters is a common occurance.

2. Bhabar soils
       Immediately adjoining the outer spurs of Himalayas there is a narrow belt of alluvial fan,
termed as Bhabar, running from west to east in the foot hill region. These soils, constitute nearly
two per cent of the total area of the state. They have developed from the mechanically
transported alluviums from the adjoining Siwalik and Himalayan ranges comprising of
micaceous sanstones and conglomerates inter stratified with boulders along with purple shales
and clays. At great group level, these soils have been classified as Ustochrepts, Ustorthents
and Haplustolls.

        They are coarse gravelly to fine silty, calcareous, dark grey soils, rich in plant nutrients.
The nutrients are drained due to the presence of boulders in the substratum leading to acute
scarcity of moisture for normal crop growth.

3. Tarai soils
        The term tarai means the moist or wet area. Tarai soils are alluvial soils occuring as a
narrow belt to the south of Bhabar soils in the valleys of sub-mountain region of Uttar Pradesh
stretching from Dehradun to the extreme north- east portion of the state and occupying nearly
5.7 per cent of the total area of the state.

       The tarai belt is divided into two distinct parts, viz.,

a. north western tarai extending from Dehradun to Lakhimpur Kheri and
b. north-eastern tarai extending from Baharaich to Deoria district up to the eastern most border
of the state.

         The soil association recognised in the north western tarai include (i). tarai sand, (ii). tarai
loams highly caicareous, (iii). tarai loams-slightly calcareous, (iv). tarai loams non-calcareous,
(v). tarai clay loam-highly calcarious and (vi). tarai clay loam non-calcarious.

       The recognised soil associations in north eastern tarai include

(i). Gandak recent alluviums -calcium soils with a large reserve of soft-lime,
(ii) Gandak flat-leached calcium soils with a layer of nodular calci-carbonate (CaCo3)
accumulation and
(iii) Gandak uplands-degraded calcium soils. The soils of the north-western tarai region have
now been classified as Hapludolls, Haplaquolls, Ustorthents and Ustochrepts at the sub-group

        These are grey to dark grey soils varying in texture from sand to clay loam and have
high content of organic matter. Water table is high and the soils remain saturated or fairly moist
during the major part of the year.

4. Alluvial soils
        These soils are most important in this state occupying nearly 61.8 per cent of the total
area of Uttar Pradesh. They were excessively deep soils and have developed from the alluvium
deposited by the two major rivers of the state the Ganga and the Yamuna and their tributaries,
The alluvial material deposited by the Ganga and its tributaries is derived from the soft dolomitic
rocks of Himalayas and that deposited by the Yamuna and its tributaries owes its origin to the
basaltic rock of central Indian hills.

       The soils developed on Gangetic alluvium are neutral to moderately alkaline and
calcareous especially at lower depth.

       Based on topographical features, the soil associations recognized in these soils are (i),
Khadirs or the recent alluviums, (ii). soils of flat land; (iii) uplands soils and (iv) lowland soils.

        Texturally, they vary from, coarse sands to fine clays, The alluvial soils developed from
Yamuna alluvium are quite dissimilar to Gangetic alluvial soils. They are dark to very dark grey,
fine textured, calcareous soils showing remarkable swelling and shrinking on wetting and drying.
The alluvium laid down by the river Gandak and Ghaghra in north-eastern part of Uttar Pradesh
is highly calcareous. The general slope of the Gangetic plain being from north-west to south-
east, the finer fraction increases from western to eastern parts of the state due to gravimetric
assorting of soil particles during the course of their deposition. At great group level, these soils
are classified as Hapludalfs, Paludalfs, HaplustaJfs, Ochraqualfs, Eutrochrepts, Ustochrepts,
Ustipsarnment, Psammaquents, Ustifluvents, Ustorthents and Calciorthents.
       These soils are generally poor in phosphorus (P2O5) nitrogen (N) and organic matter.

5. Bundelkhand soils
        These soils lying in the Bundelkhand region of the state constitute nearly 10.9 per cent
of the total area of the state. They have developed from Vindhyan rocks abounding in gneiss
and granites of the Deccan trap with highly ferruginous beds and often soft lime stone.

        The soils can be divided into two broad groups (a} red soils and (b) black soils. These
two are again divided into four - soils associations. Four soil association have been recognized
in the area which include

(i). Bundelkhand -coarse grained reddish brown soils,
(ii). Bundelkhan -coarse grained grey to greyish brown soils,
(iii). Bundelkhand -clay loam black soils and
(iv). Bundelkhand -fine clayey black soils. Locally these soils are termed as Rakar, Parwa,
Kabar and Mar respectively.

        The red soils Rakar and Parwa belong to the order Ultisols, Alfisols and Inceptisols and
the black soils are grouped under the great groups, Pellusterts, Chromusterts and Ustochrepts.

      The Rakar soils are residual slightly acidic, coarse grained, shallow and excessively
permeable soils occupying higher elevations.

      The Parwa soils are alluvial, mildly alkaline, very deep soils with free calcium carbonate
(CaCo3) accumulation at lower depths.

        The black soils Mar and Kabar are very deep soils confined to lowlying land scapes
having fine texture and the remarkable property of shrinkage and swelling on wetting and

6. Vindhyan soils
       These soils lying south of the Ganga in the south-east comer of Uttar Pradesh occupying
nearly 5.1 per cent of the total area of the state. They have developed on Vindhyan rocks
comprising of Vindyan and Kaimur sandstones, shales, mixed conglomerates, calcarious and
haematitic slates schists, gneiss, carboniferous rocks and to some extent the lime-stones.

        Five types of soil association have been rerognised in the area and termed as Vindhyan
type 1 to type 5. Vindhyan type 1 and 2 occupy the uplands. Vindhyan type 3 lies on flats while
Vindhyan type 4 and type 5 rest on the lowlands. The upland soils belong to great groups
Haplustults, Rhodostults and Rhodostulfs. The flat lands and lowland soils generally fall within
the great group Haplustalfs, Ochraqualfs, Eutrochrepts, Ustochrepts and Ustitluvents.

        Vindhyan type 1 and 2 are brown to dark brown, coarse textured, shallow to moderately
deep slightly acidic and excessively drained soils. Vindhyan type 3 soils are very deep,
yellowish grey, loam to clay loam with somewhat restricted drainage. Vindhian type 4 and 5 are
fine textured grey to dark grey, poorly drained soiIs underlain by a calcic horizon.

7. Aravali soils
       These soils, lying in the south west corner of Agra district, occupy only 0.21 per cent of
the total area of the state. They have developed from various formations of Vindhyan
sandstones including Kaimur group as the lowest and Bhander group as the highest member in
the outer spurs of central India hills of Bharatpur and Dholpur.

        These soils are loamy sand to sand with occasional thin layers of silt in small patches.
Locally these soils are called as Bhur. At great group level, they can be grouped as Psamments
and Camborthids (Fig. 1).

VIII. Problem Soils

      Besides, the above soils group, some problem soils are found in the state of Uttar
Pradesh. The problem soils include saline and alkali soils; eroded soils shallow and excessively
permeable soils and waterlogged soils.

1. Saline and alkali soils
         These soils occupy an area of about 1.28 m ha mostly in alluvial tract. The worst
affected districts include Manipur, Aligarh, Etah, Farrukhabad, Etawah, Kanpur, Unnao,
Fetahpur, Allahabad, Rae Bareli, Lucknow, Pratapgarh and Hardoi. There is also a stretch of
these soils in the sub humid parts of the state comprising of the districts of Azamgarh, western
parts of Ballia, northern parts of Ghazipur and Bhadohi tehsil of Varanasi. The saline soils
occupying western districts of Agra and Mathura are quite different in morphology and chemical
composition from the alkali soils found in the rest of the state. Degraded alkali soils-solodi have
been found in small lowlying pockets of Azamgarh districts and parts of Lucknow and Hardoi
districts developed under continued rice cultivation.

2. Eroded soils
       Nearly 5.5 m ha area is affected by soil erosion. Area affected by wind erosion is
estimated to be 0.9 m ha, 0.15 m ha by glacial erosion, 2.94m ha by sheet and rill erosion and
1.53 m ha area is under gullies.

       The problem of erosion and mass soil wasting such as land slides, rock falls and soil
creep confront the hilly tracts of Kumaon and Garhwal hills of the state. Wind erosion assumes
serious dimensions in the south west parts of Agra and Mathura districts bordering Rajasthan.
Ravine control and reclamation is a major problem along the banks of the Yamuna, Chambal
and Betwa.

3. Shallow and excessively permeable soils
        These soils are found in the hill districts of Kumaon and Garhwal and uplands of
Bundelkhand and Vindhya regions of the state. Shallow depth and excessive permeability along
with low inherent fertility limit crop production in these soils.

4. Waterlogged soils
        The problem of waterlogged soils is much evident in eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Karail soils occuring in the lower basins of the Ganga below the point of confluence of the
Yamuna with the Ganga in the districts of Allahabad, Mirzapur, Varanasi, Ghazipur and Ballia
represent the typical hydromorphic soils of the state. The high water table and very slow surface
drainage pose a serious problem of water logging in major parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh. In
some parts of the state, problem has been accentuated by canal irrigation.

IX. Fertilizer Management

       Fertilizer management depends upon the soil fertility status.

1. Nitrogen
         Fourty seven districts out of 56 districts of Uttar Pradesh have low nitrogen and the rest
districts as Almora, Banda, Chamoli, Dehradun, Nainital, Pilibhit, Pithoragarh, Tehri Garhwal
and Uttar Kashi have medium nitrogen.

2. Phosphorous
        The soils of Uttar Pradesh are deficient in available phosphorus content. On the whole,
41 districts are low and 14 are medium in available phosphorus content. Soils of districts-
Bareilly, Rampur, Shahjahanpur, Badaun, Moradabad, Bijnore, Farrukhabad, Faizabad,
Baharaich, Gonda, Hardoi, Lakhimpur, Sitapur and Uttar Kashi have medium available

3. Potassium
        Out of 50 districts, 29 districts are low in potassium, 17 medium and only 4 high in
available potassium.

4. Sulphur
        Total sulphur content varied from 84 to 168 ppm. The average value of non-sulphate,
organic, total water soluble and sulphate -sulphur are 56.6, 45.2, 14.2 and 9.5 ppm respectively
in the 0-30 cm layer.

         The available sulphur content of the surface soils representing various soils associations
of district Kanpur viz recent alluvium, Ganga flats, Ganga uplands, Central lowland and Yamuna
uplands varied from 15 to 37.5,15 to 35.0 15 to 15.5 to 47.5,15 to 38.8 and 20 to 27.5 ppm

5. Zinc
       The available zinc status of soils of Uttar Pradesh varied considerably. The available
zinc content (dithizone extractable) of soils from six eastern districts of the state viz. Basti,
Deoria, Azamgarh, Bania, Ghazipur and Kaunpur ranged from 0.02 to 1.82 ppm with more than
97 per cent samples showing deficiency. Rice, wheat and other crops grown on these soils
showed zinc deficiency symptoms associated with some fungal and viral diseases which
seemed to be secondary in nature. The Tarai soiIs of Ghazlpur, Jaunpur, Varanasl, Deona and
Gorakhpur have found to be adequate in zinc.

       Bulandshahr, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Hamirpur and Banda districts, respectively are
severely deficient in zinc while Jalaun soils contained adequate zinc.

6. Iron
        The iron deficiency is found in Hardoi, Unnao, Kanpur and Farrukhabad while the
Hamirpur district contained sufficient Iron. The order of iron availability is found to be Hill>
Alluvial> Vindhyan > Bundelkhand > Tarai soils.

7. Copper
      Copper deficiency is observed only in Unnao (13%), Hardoi (7%) and Farrukhabad (2 %)
and available copper status of soils in Kanpur and Hamirpur districts is adequate.

8. Molybdenum
        Molybdenum (Mo) contents in surface soils of Tarai, Kanpur, Varanasi, Bundelkhand
and Almora regions are in the ranges of 1.89 -2.09, 1.56, -1.73, 1.60, -2.32, 1.49 -1.67 and 1.52,
-1.73 ppm respectively. Soils of tarai, Kanpur, Varansai and Bundelkhand regions are adequate
in available molybdenum content ranging from 0.087, -0.112, 0.113, - 0.186, 0.112, -0.199 and
0.102, -0.121 ppm respectively whereas Almora region soils are deficient in Mo ranging from
0.043 -0.044 ppm.

9. Manganese ,.
       Magnitude of manganese deficiency ranging from 0.043 -0.044 ppm, 2 per cent in
Farrukhabad district to 9 per cent in Kanpur district. Manganese deficiency in Hardoi, Unnao
and Hamirpur is 7, 3 and 4 per cent, respectively.

10. Boron
       Total boron is high ranging from 49 - 630 ppm in alluvial soils, 122 to 586 ppm in
Bhabhar soils, 201 to 630 ppm in Bundelkhand soils and 58 to 467 ppm in Vindhyan soils.
Available boron varied between 0.10 and 1.55 ppm in normal soils and 0.82 and 10.05 ppm in
saline alkali soils. An average content of boron is 0.58 ppm in alkali soils and 0.31 ppm in
normal soils.

X. General Fertilizer Recommendation

          The fertilizer recommendations for important crops have been presented in table 2.

   Table 2: General Fertilizer Recommendations for HYV of Different Crops in Uttar Pradesh
     Sl.No    Crop          Fertilizer      recommendation Time of application
                            N            P2O5       K2O
     1        Wheat         120          60         40        Full P2O5, K and 1/3 N at
                                                              sowing and rest N equal
                                                              proportion at 1st and 2nd
     2        Barley        40           20         -         Full P and ½ N at sowing and
                                                              rest half N at 1st irrigation
     3        Indian        80-120       40         40        Full P,K and ½ N at sowing and
              mustard                                         rest half at 1st irrigation
     4        Gram          10-15        40         -         Full N and P at sowing
     5        Maize         120          60         60        Full P, K and ½ N at sowing
                                                              and rest half N in equal
                                                              proportion at knee high and
                                                              tasseling states
     6        Pearl         80-100       40         40        Full P, K and ½ N at sowing
              millet                                          and rest half N after one month
     7        Rice          120          60         60        Full P, K and ½ N at sowing ¼
                                                              N at tillering and ¼ N at panicle
                                                              initiation stages
     8        Red gram      10-15        40         -         Full N and P at sowing
     9        Groundnut     15           30         45        Full N, P and K at sowing
     10       Soyabean      20           80         40        Full N, P and K at sowing
     11       Potato        180          60         60        -
     12       Sugarcan      200          80         60        -

XI. Land Capability Classification

        Land capability classification of the soils mentioned above has been given in the
following table 3.

              Table 3: Land Use Capabilitty Classes of Soils with Their Limitations

          Sl.No    Soils                                           Limitations
          1        Hill soils (less area)           III,IV         Soil erosion and root
                   (more area)                      IV,VIII        zone limitation

          2        Bhabar soils (more area)         VI-VII         Low moisture holding
                   (limited area)                   III            capacity & root zone
          3        Tarai soils                      II-IV          Wetness , overflows
                                                                   and erosion
          4        Alluvial soils (more area)       I-IV           Erosion,    alkalinity
                   (less area)                      VI-VII         and wetness
          5        Bundelkhand soils                               Root zone limitation,
                   Rakar soils                      II-V           excess permeable
          6        Parwa soils                      II-VI          Erosion
          7        Mar and Kabar soils               II-IV            Erosion
          8        Vindhyan soils                                     Root zone limitation
                   Type 1 & 2                        III-IV           and soil erosion
          9        Type-3                            II-IV            Erosion and wetness
          10       Type 4 & 5                        II-III           Wetness
          11       Aravali soils                     III-VI           Climate and wind

       I = Hill soils, II = Bhabar soils, ill = Tarai soils, IV = Alluvial soils,
       V = Vindhyan soils, VI = Bundelkhand soils, and VII = Aravali soils

XII. Techniques for Efficient Fertilizer Use

        The techniques for efficient fertilizer use are mentioned here.
1. Nitrogen
        Crop response to fertilizer N depends upon the varieties grown, HYVs of cereals being
more responsive compared with indigenous varieties. Sowing dates have very pronounced
effect on nitrogen use efficiency, response to added N decreases with delay in sowing
transplanting of wheat and rice. Ammonium sulphate and urea are superior to calcium
ammonium nitrate for rice. In saline and alkali soils, ammonium sulphate proved to be better
than calcium ammonium nitrate.

       Application of nitrogen in 2-3 splits has been found more effective. Nitrogen efficiency is
increased when it is applied with phosphorous. Efficacy of urea super granule is significantly
higher compared with that of prilled ureas.

2. Phosphorous
       The most important factor influencing crop response to added phosphorus is the initial
phosphorus status of the soil. Among phosphatic fertilizers, superphosphate proved to be better
than rock phosphate and other phosphatic fertilizers in neutral and saline -alkali soils. In maize-
wheat and rice- wheat cropping systems increased efficiency of rock phosphate when it is mixed
with pyrites and single superphosphate.

3. Potassium
        Crop responses to applied potassium depend upon crop varieties, rate, time and method
of application, type of soil, climate including temperature, moisture, etc;

        In coarse textured soils and under heavy rainfall, split application of potassium may be
preferred to basal dressing in order to avoid leaching losses and to ensure better utilization of
added potassium when potassium is applied sufficiently at tillering stage, rice plants become
resistant to Akagare disease caused by excessive supply of nitrogen and efficiency of


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