Soil is the end product of the parent material resulting from the consistent
influence of climate, topography and the natural vegetation over a long
period of time. In Punjab the soil characteristics are influenced to a
very limited extent by the topography, vegetation and parent rock. The
variation in soil profile characteristics are much more pronounced because
of the regional climatic differences.
Punjab can be divided into three distinct regions on
the basis of soil types.
1. South-Western Punjab
This region covers the tehsils of Fazilka, Muktsar, Bhatinda,
Mansa and parts of Ferozepur which border Haryana and Rajasthan states
in the south-west. The soil is predominantly calcareous, developed under
hot and arid to semi-arid conditions. The pH value ranges from 7.8 to
8.5 which shows that the soil is normal in reaction. Grey and red desert,
calsisol, regosol and alluvial soils are found in this zone. The soil
of south-western Punjab can further be sub-divided into two categories.
a) Desert Soil: The soil covers Fazilka tehsil
of Ferozepur district and south-western fringes of Muktsar tehsil of Faridkot
district. The soil is deficient in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.
Wind erosion is a serious problem specially during the hot summer.
b) Sierozem Soil: This soil is found in Bhatinda
district and Faridkot and Muktsar tehsils of Faridkot and most parts of
Ferozepur tehsil. The texture of the soil is sandy loan to silt. The soil
is deficient in nitrogen, phosphorous and potash. In some irrigated tracts,
alkalinity and salinity pose a problem. Wind erosion is again a serious
matter in areas where this soil group is predominant.
2. Central Punjab
The soil of this zone has developed under semi-arid condition.
The soil is sandy loam to clayey with normal reaction (pH from 7.8 to
8.5). The soil covers the districts of Sangrur, Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar,
Kapurthala, Amristar, parts of Gurdaspur, Ferozepur and fringes of Kharar
tehsil of Ropar district. Problem of alkalinity and Salinity is quite
accute, especially in districts of Amristar, Sangrur, Ferozepur,
Gurdaspur and Patiala. The soil of the central zone, generally recognised as
alluvial, falls into tow categories.
a) Arid And Brown Soil: This soil is found in
Amristar district (except in the north-eastern half of the Amristar tehsil)
in most of Sutlanpur tehsil of Kapurthala, Zira and northern parts of
Ferozepur, Moga, Rampur tehsil of Bhatinda, Barnala, Sangrur and Sunam
tehsils of Sangrur district and Samana tehsil of Patiala district. The
texture is sandy-loam and the fertility is from medium to high. The soil
is calcareous and lacks nitrogen but contains a fair amount of phosphorous
b) Tropical Arid Brown Soil: This soil covers
parts of Amristar, the south-western half of Gurdaspur tehsil, Batala
tehsil, Kapurthala district except Sultanpur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala
and the Malerkotla tehsil of Sangrur district. Some parts in the south-west
of Ropar district also fall in the zone. The soil is deficient in nitrogen,
potash and phosphorus.
Water-logging, alkalinity and salinity pose serious problems.
The texture of the soil is sandy loam in south-western half and in the
flood plains of the rivers but in the north-western half the texture becomes
clayey. The fertility of the soil varies from medium to high.
3. Eatern Punjab
The soil has developed in the sub-humid foothill areas
bordering Himachal Pradesh covering eastern parts of Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur,
Ropar and north-eastern fringes of Patiala district. Because of the undulating
topography and fair amount of rainfall, normal erosion is quite common.
The fertility of the soil is medium to low and the texture is loamy to
clayey. Two soil types are recognised in the zone.
a) Grey Brown Podzolic Soil: This soil is found
in the Pathankot tehsil of Gurdaspur and north-eastern parts of Ropar
and Kharar tehsils. Because of surface run-off, the soil is not influenced
by leaching, hence profile development is poor. Since the rainfall is
heavy, gully erosion is a serious problem. Acidity is from medium
to high. The Soil lacks in phosphorous, calcium and zinc. Phosphorus fixation
in the soil is high.
b) Reddish Chestnut Soil: The soil is found
in a region covering Hoshiarpur, Ropar and some parts of Gurdaspur tehsils.
The carbonates are leached down to the lower layers. The soil is moderately
acidic and neutral in reaction (pH 6.5 to 7.5) and is deficient in nitrogen
and phosphorus. However, it is free of any accumulation of salt and calcium