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  • Pakistan Agriculture and Farming Cover

    Welcome to PakAgriFarming

    PakAgriFarming is commited to high standards in extension of agriculture in Pakistan through simple and factual information and topics related to the hottest issues in Pakistan Agriculture.

  • Approved cotton varieties for Punjab 2014

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  • The Next 10 Years of Tunnel Farming in Pakistan

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  • Wheat Production Technology for Rainfed Areas of Punjab for 2013-14

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    Wheat is the most important cereal crop in Pakistan and staple food. Wheat has a large share of cultivated land in rabi season and hence large production is expected...


Thursday, August 01, 2013

Soil Science in Agriculture - Intro and Branches

Posted by Shakil Shaukat On Thursday, August 01, 2013

Soil science is a scientific discipline concerning the study of soil as a natural resource from the point of view of plant growth.

What is Soil?

From agricultural point of view, soil is defined as the non-consolidated upper part of the earth's crust that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants. In short, soil is a habitat for plants. 
But for different disciplines of science, the definition of soil is different, for instance, a geologist or mining engineer may call "the fragmented rocks or debris covering the rocks” and a civil engineer may call it "earth or the foundation material for constructing houses and roads”; and an economist may call it as 'land'.
In this article, we will be limiting only to the definition and branches of soil science.
Relation of soil science with other disciplines of science
Relation of soil science with other scientific disciplines 
Soil science is an applied scientific discipline of comprehensive nature because of its relationships with so many other sciences. 

Branches of Soil Science

1. Soil Chemistry

It deals with the chemical constitution, chemical properties and processes taking place in the soil.

2. Soil Biology

It refers to the soil inhabiting organisms and their biology, functions and activities. For examples, insects and nematodes.

3. Soil Mineralogy 

This branch deals with the primary and secondary soil minerals and their contribution to the chemistry, physics, fertility and biology of the soils and their relation to soil genesis.

4. Soil Genesis and Classification (Pedology)

Soil genesis deals with the weathering of rocks and minerals and factors and processes of soil formation whereas, soil classification is the systematic rearrangements of soils into groups or categories on the basis of their characteristics.

5. Soil Physics

It concerns with the mechanical behavior of the soil mass, that is, the physical properties of soils with emphasis on the state and transport of matter especially water and energy in the soil.

6. Soil Fertility

It concerns the ability of a soil to supply the essential plant nutrients for plant growth.

7. Soil Salinity

It concerns with the excess soluble salts present in the oil their reclamation and soil management for saline agriculture.

8. Soil Survey

The systematic examination of the soils in the field and lab, their description, classification, mapping and interpretation according to their suitability for different management systems is dealt with in soil surveys.

9. Soil Conservation

It deals with the protection of soil from the physical loss by erosion (by wind and water) or chemical deterioration. Thus, soil conservation is concerned with a combination of all management and land use method that safeguard the soil against deterioration by natural or human induced factors.

10. Soil Microbiology

This important field, deals with the microbial communities in the soil, their roles and characteristics with respect to soil fertility and land reclamation and especially it concerns with the nutrition of plant through root nodulation or diseases caused by plant pathogenic microbes in the soil.