What are the characteristics of black soil?

Black soil is also known cotton soil and internationally it is known as ‘Tropical Chernozems’. This is the third largest group in India. This soil is formed from rocks of cretaceous lava.


This soil is black in colour mainly because they are formed by weathering of lava rocks and are high iron, alumina and magnesia content. Black soil are rich in Calcium, Carbonate, Potash and hold moisture, hence it is found sticky when it is wet and cracks when it is dry. Black soil is formed from the volcano eruption, which is very much fertile and best suitable for intensive agriculture. Listed below are the properties of Black soil

  • Clayey texture and are highly fertile
  • Rich in calcium carbonate, magnesium, potash, and lime but poor in nitrogen and phosphorous
  • Highly retentive of moisture, extremely compact and tenacious when wet
  • Contractible and develops deep wide cracks on drying
  • Calcareous and neutral to mild alkaline in reaction, high in carbon exchange capacity and low in organic matter
  • Self-ploughing and comparatively less fertile on the uplands than on the lowlands.

Places where it is found

This stretch over the parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Western parts of Madhya Pradesh, North- Western Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand up to Raj Mahal hills. The soil is rich in iron, lime, calcium, potash, magnesium, and aluminium. It has high water retaining capacity and good for cotton cultivation, Tobacco, citrus fruits, castor, and linseed.

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