Q:

Where is black soil found in India?

A:

Generally, black soil is found in the central, western and southern states of India. According Britannica, black soil is found 28 Indian states including: isolated parts of Ghat, the Malabar Coastal plains, Ratnagiri of Maharashtra and certain regions of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Meghalaya and West Bengal. Black soil also is found in some non-traditional areas throughout India.

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Black soil, also referred to as black cotton soil or regur, covers about one-third of the Deccan peninsula. Approximately 76 million hectares of the central, western and southern states of India are covered with the soil. However, Maharashtra, Madhya Prades and Gujarat have the largest share of the soil.

Black soil is dark, as its name suggests, and fertile with a clay-like consistency. It holds moisture well, becoming hard in dry conditions and sticky in wet conditions. The soil is composed of less than 30 percent clay, slickensides or wedge-shaped peds and cracks that open and close periodically. In places with consistent rain, black soil is commonly used for growing millet, cotton, soybean, sorghum and pigeon pea. When the soil is irrigated, black soil is used to cultivate other crops such as sugar cane, wheat, tobacco and citrus crops. The soil can also be used as a building material.

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