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close this bookBetter Farming Series 04 - The Soil: How the Soil is Made up (FAO - INADES, 1976, 37 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
View the documentPlan of work
View the documentWhy we study the soil
close this folderDifferent kinds of land
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View the documentThe soil
View the documentThe subsoil
View the documentThe parent rock
View the documentExamples of different soils
close this folderWhat is soil made of ?
View the document(introduction...)
close this folderSand
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSandy soils
close this folderClay
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentClay soils
close this folderSilt
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSilty soils
close this folderHumus
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentWhat humus does
View the documentSome practical advice
View the documentAir in the soil
close this folderWater in the soil
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCirculation of water in the soil
View the documentPractical advice
close this folderLiving creatures in the soil
View the documentEarthworms
View the documentRats and other animals
View the documentTermites
View the documentOther insects
View the documentMicrobes
View the documentSuggested question paper

Why we study the soil

· In the old days people knew the land very well.

They knew how to choose their fields.
They knew how to work each field.
They knew when to give their fields a rest.

· But in traditional farming, people did not produce much; they needed very little.

There were few tools.
There was little trade.
People had few needs; food was always the same, and people did not often go outside the village.

· Now people have new needs.

The number of people grows; they dress better, they eat better, and look after themselves better.
More roads are needed, more hospitals, schools, more food and clothes.

· So farming must yield more.

This means that farming techniques must change; farmers must evolve; farmers must produce more.

· To produce more food, farmers must

know their fields better;
choose their fields well;
work their fields well;
conserve and improve their fields.

All land is not the same; every piece of land has its qualities and its defects.