Soil : The upper layer of the earth’s crust is called soil. Soil supports life. Soil is made up of humus and loose rocks. The soil is formed by climate, vegetation, weathering and animal life.
Importance of Soil : In agricultural countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh the soil is most important. We get most of our food items like wheat, rice, vegetables, pulses, fruits and much of our clothing from soil directly or indirectly.
Fire wood, timber, rubber and fibres are also obtained from soil. Milk, meat, eggs are also obtained from soil indirectly.
Flowers, grass, plants and trees also grow in soil.
Soil Erosion
Rain, wind, snow, water etc. are the main agents responsible for soil erosion. These agents carry the process of erosion as follows :
(i) Erosion by water : Running water is mainly responsible for soil erosion. It includes sheet erosion, hill erosion, gully erosion, shore erosion, slip erosion and stream bank erosion.
(ii) Wind erosion : Wind erosion is mainly responsible in deserts and semideserts. The top soil is blown away by wind.
Causes of Soil Erosion
1. On mountains and hilly regions, steap slopes increase the eroding capacity of rain water.
2. In plain areas the flood water overflowing the river in rainy season, increases the erosion.
3. Heavy rains are harmful for soil than moderate rains.
4. In areas where grass and vegetation is less, the impact of rain is more.
5. Sheet erosion is caused by rain which comes after a dry spell.
6. More erosion is created in impervious soils.
7. Removal of forests and vegetation creates more soil eosion.
Soil Conservation
There are several kinds of soils in India in which variety of crops are produced. India has become self sufficient because of these fertile soils. To keep it up we should use scientific methods for our soil. Soil erosion should be checked. Fertility of soil should be maintained. About nine million hectare of black soil is having the impact of salinity and alkalinity at present. Problems of water logging and excessive irrigation are to be attended carefully so that productivity of soil does not decrease.
Soil Composition : Soil is a mixture of mineral matter, clay, organic matter, such as humus, decayed leaves etc. Soil also have moisture and air.

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