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Other Systems of Soil Classification

Authored by: Erika Michéli , Otto C. Spaargaren

Handbook of Soil Sciences Properties and Processes

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  November  2011

Print ISBN: 9781439803059
eBook ISBN: 9781439803066
Adobe ISBN:


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Soil classification is probably as old as farming. The fact that, around 8000 BP, the first farming communities in Europe settled on the better loess soils indicates that, during these times, farmers were already capable of distinguishing between the more and less productive soils. The oldest historical record of soil classification is most likely the Chinese book, Yugong, in which the soils of China were classified into three categories and nine classes, based on soil color, texture, and hydrological features (Gong, 1994). Even today, such criteria are still in use by farmers to differentiate soils. Studies on indigenous soil knowledge in northern Ghana, for example, have shown that farmers use texture, color, stoniness, and soil depth to stratify the soils (Asiamah et al., 1997).

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