How good is a reconnaissance soil map for agronomic purposes uri icon

abstract

  • Information about the soil fertility status in irrigated ricelands at regional scales (1:50000-1:250 000) is commonly not contained in classical soil maps. To assess the agronomic suitability of two different reconnaissance soil maps, we conducted a detailed soil survey in the Nueva Ecija province, Philippines. Soil samples were collected from 384 farmers' fields, and soil properties were measured for topsoil and subsoil samples. For most soil properties, a soil map made in 1940 (1:125 000) had within-map unit variances that were smaller than the total variance, whereas a new soil map of 1992 (1:50 000) did not significantly reduce the within-class variance. In both soil maps, classification into mapping units accounted for 0-40% of the variance of 14 agronomically important soil properties and large within-map unit variabilities were found. Underlying strategies of classical soil survey supported the partition of variance for relatively stable soil properties, such as soil texture, CEC, and organic matter. If reconnaissance soil maps are used in quantitative land evaluation studies, existing maps require upgrading by adding quantitative information about relevant soil properties and their within-map unit variability. The sampling demand for upgrading a reconnaissance soil map was large, but pedotransfer functions can be used as cost-saving tools. Measures of soil nutrient status were highly variable within all mapping units and differences among farmers were much greater than the differences between soil types. Therefore, nutrient management in the study region should be based on individual field or farm recommendations rather than on soil-map based recommendations.

publication date

  • 1996
  • 1996
  • 1996