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Soil 5 – Soil Groups.  This was first published in 1969, with a second edition in 1980.  These show the distribution of the major soil groups throughout.

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Presentation on theme: "Soil 5 – Soil Groups.  This was first published in 1969, with a second edition in 1980.  These show the distribution of the major soil groups throughout."— Presentation transcript:

1 Soil 5 – Soil Groups

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3  This was first published in 1969, with a second edition in  These show the distribution of the major soil groups throughout Ireland (and each county also) as well as a discussion on their land use potential.  The major soil groups a. The Podzols b. Brown Podzolics c. Grey – brown Podzolics d. Brown Earths e. Gleys f. Rendzinas g. Lithosols h. Blanket peats i. Basin Peats

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5  Because of the huge variety of rock types in Ireland there is a huge variety of soil types.  The ordinance survey of Ireland has classified ~15 great groups.  Four of these are of agricultural importance. 1. Grey Brown Podzolics: Top quality soil type very desirable. 2. Brown Earths (acid):Top quality soil type very desirable 3. Gleys: Intermediate quality 4. Podzols: Poor quality

6  These are gotten by digging down vertically into a soil to its parent rock and looking face on at the different layers.  Profiles using the colour, texture and depth of a soil tell us all the properties of that particular soil.  Horizon (Peat) only appears in Podzol. It is made up of Organic Matter.  A Horizon – Topsoil  B Horizon – Subsoil  C Horizon – Parent Rock

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9 A1Earthworm activity has increased OM causing dark colour (3-6cm) A2Mature* well drained mineral soil. High C.E.C. – fertile, good friability (5-7cm) B1Has a slightly darker colour due to translocation of clay fraction. This is a horizon of enrichment. Texture is heavy or blocky. CThis is calcareous rock (limestone). It is permeable (porous). Generally there is never a drainage problem.

10 *Maturity –relatively stone free.  This soil is used extensively for tillage (malting barley). Most crops are grown under contract for the 2 major breweries (Guinness and Murphy’s).

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12 A1This is a mature well- drained mineral soil – well-aerated sand, silt and clay, friable, good structure, good root penetration (60cm) A2Accumulation of leached calcium ions CCalcareous parent material –limestone – porous and permeable

13  These soils are mature, well drained mineral soils.  They have not suffered from serious cases of leaching (loss of minerals)  They have a uniform profile (i.e. No distinct horizons or layers)  The Brown Earths in Ireland are mainly found in areas where the underlying rock is acidic, and therefore the soil is acidic.

14  With regular liming and fertilising the soils can be quite a productive soil.  Brown earth soils have an extensive use range, however they are used mainly for grazing.  They are the soils of the Golden Vale – East Limerick, South Tipperary, Waterford, and North and West Cork, and are all excellent producers of grass for the liquid milk market.

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16 A2Thin layer of topsoil Accumulation of OM gives darkened colour. BAccumulation of clay particles. Blue-grey in colour and has mottles of Fe. Leaching is not a feature. Texture is heavy due to capillary water trapped by clay particles – structure less. CGenerally impermeable sandstone rock.

17  Gley soils form on areas of rolling lowland or gentle sloping hillsides.  They suffer from frequent water logging (West of Ireland 205 rain days annually).  They develop of impermeable parent rock and suffer because of excess run off from higher ground.  Gleys have a limited use range.

18  They are confined mainly to summer grazing.  Stock will have to be removed during the winter to prevent poaching.  However with careful draining and liming the potential of this land is hugely increased e.g. mole drains (15cm deep)

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20 OA layer of organic matter. If it exceeds 30 cm it is referred to as a blanket bog. Sphagnum moss grows here (can absorb ~10X its own weight in water). Here there are anaerobic conditions. B2A very poor subsoil – very strong BirImpermeable iron pan – behaves like a perched water table CGenerally an acid rock. Typical example – old red sandstone.

21  If water logging or flooding occur, then little or no oxygen will be available and organic matter will eventually form an O Horizon.  This is the first stage of a formation of a peat and the soil is now known as a Peaty Podzol.  When the O Horizon becomes deeper than 30 cm, then the soil is no longer podzol, but is now a blanket peat.

22  Podzols are not very useful as tillage soils, or for grazing.  This is due to their poor drainage and poor root penetration.  It has an extremely limited use range. It is confined almost exclusively to forestry (conservation).  Where it is used for agriculture – commonage – but they suffer from severe leaching when overgrazed.


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