What Is Black Soil?
Black soil, also known as 'regur soil', is a type of soil typically found in the Deccan Plateau of India. It's renowned for its capacity to retain moisture and is rich in iron, calcium, and potassium.
Formation of Black Soil
Black soil is formed from solidified lava and is volcanic in origin. Over millennia, weathering of these rocks produced fine-grained, highly fertile soil. It's deep and impermeable, retaining moisture well.
It expands greatly when wet, which can cause it to become sticky, and contracts when dry, often forming wide cracks. This self-ploughing nature aids in the aeration of the soil.
Famously known as 'cotton soil', black soil is ideal for cotton cultivation. Its high fertility also supports crops like wheat, linseed, millets, and oilseeds. It's a cornerstone for India's agronomy.
While prominent in India, black soils are also found in other regions with volcanic activity, including the United States' Pacific Northwest, under different local names.
The black soil is prone to soil erosion due to its fine texture. Consequently, conservation tillage and crop rotation practices are crucial to maintaining its structure and fertility.
Climate Change Impact
Global warming threatens black soil's moisture retention. Altered rain patterns could lead to either soil degradation from waterlogging or reduced fertility from lack of moisture.