ix typical representative pedons viz., Rejental (P1), Parvatapur (P2), Algol (P3), Bilalpur (P4), Zaheerabad (P5) and Krishnapur (P6) of Zaheerabad Mandal in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh were studied for their morphological, physical and physico-chemical properties and their suitability to rice, sugarcane and potato cultivation. The soils are red to dark brown in colour, moderately acidic to neutral (pH-5.9 to 7.0), non-saline, shallow to deep in depth. Texture ranged from loamy sand to sandy clay loam in surface soils whereas sandy to clay in subsurface with high sesquioxide percentage. Organic carbon, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and base saturation ranged from 0.04 to 0.57%, 12.0 to 38.0 c mol (p+)/kg and 30.2 to 78.6%, respectively. The dominance of exchangeable ions was in the order viz. Ca2+> Mg2+>Na+>K+. Soils were low in available nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), low to high in available potassium (K). The soils developed with argillic (Bt) horizon, they were classified as Typic Haplustalfs (P4, P5), Lithic Rhodustalfs (P2), Rhodic Kandiustalf (P3), Typic Rhodustalfs (P1, P6). Suitability for three crops P1, P3, P5 were moderately suitable (S2), P2, P4, P6 were marginally suitable (S3). For sugarcane; P1, P3, P4, P5 were moderately suitable (S2), P2, P6were marginally suitable (S3). For potato, P3, P5, P6 were marginally suitable (S3), Rejental, Parvatapur and Bilalpur- N P1, P2, P4 were not suitable (N).
Key words: Characterization, classification, lateritic soil, land suitability, rice, sugarcane, potato.
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