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An Introduction To Soils


Soils are an important agricultural resource for pastures, forestry and horticulture. There are a great variety of soil types throughout New Zealand.

Each and every soil has its own:
Te Rapa Peaty Variant

The Importance of Soils

Often a soil may be particularly suitable for certain uses:
peat soils can be used for growing blueberries
clay soils can be used for dams and sealing ponds
loam soils can be used for virtually all agricultural enterprises.
Soil and climate are ultimately responsible for producing most of our food, clothing, housing and overseas funds.

Certain regions have soils and climate that are particularly suited to the growth of pasture species, others to fruits and vegetables.

The Waikato has developed into a rich dairying area and has a high potential for horticultural production. Hamilton City and surrounding towns have prospered. If the soils were less suited for plant growth this probably would not have been the case.
The soil profile is composed of topsoil and subsoil layers.
  position in the landscape
  pattern of distribution over a region.
The ability to identify a  soil, together with a knowledge
of its properties, enables:
land to be identified which has the best soil for a
particular crop
crops to be identified that can be grown on a particular
soil on land already  selected
a plan to be made for a piece of  land so the land can
be altered for its intended use.
Soils have uses other than in agriculture, such as in road construction, dam fill, house foundations and effluent irrigation.

Soils can be regarded as a non-renewable resource. Soils should be respected and preserved for future generations. Town and city planners are usually required to protect the most valuable soils in their area from urban development.
unfavourable soil conditions, such as poorly drained areas, can be improved,
soils best suited for specific purposes, such as the rich volcanic soils around Ohakune, used for growing carrots, can be recognised and preserved.
It is vital that an understanding of soils be developed: