The reporter casts light upon the fact that many people have confused its meaning and used mud and dirt to refer to it. Traditionally, the soil has been defined as the material on the surface of the earth that nourishes and supports plant life…
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In this regard, soil refers to an inert and loose weathering product of the primary rock found on the surface of the earth (Bryant-Mole & Watts 25). Weathering refers to the physical and biogeochemical processes that result in disintegration and decomposition of earth materials such as rocks and sentiments (Indiana University 2).
Soils comprise of air, liquids, organic matter and minerals. Soils in Indiana have different attributes, which give them distinctiveness. They differ in texture, color, chemical and biological attributes and structure. These attributes determine the amount of water and air in and to be held in the soils (Burton 2)
Soil texture is determined by the comparative fractions of sand, silt and clay (Brady & Weil 53). Soil texture refers to the sizes of the particles that constitute the soil. Sand, silt and clay are used in determining the sizes of soil particles (Bryant-Mole & Watts 37). The presence of sand particles in soils makes the soil be characterized by large soil particles which are gritty. On the other hand, the presence of silt particles in a soil makes the soil particles moderate in size and smooth while the presence of clay characterizes a soil as of smaller particles and sticky.
The way the soil particles are assembled determines the structure of the soils. Therefore, soil structure refers to the arrangement and aggregation of soil particles (Miller & Turk 72). Soil structure controls aeration and the amount of water in the soil. Soil particles are either conglomerated as a group of particles or as single grains of particles (Bryant-Mole & Watts 43). In sandy soils, the particles are single grained while in clay soils, the soil particles are aggregated. The single grain particles are solid while the aggregates are porous in character. Soils aggregate differently forming different soil structures. In describing the structure of soils in Indiana, soil scientists note the size, shape and development of aggregates.
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