Meghalaya: Basic Information
Soils of Warm Per Humid Agro-Eco Sub-Region (Zone) with Hyperthermic Temperature Regime.
Location and Extent: The per humid hyperthermic sub-eco region constitutes middle and lower plateau region falling in continuation with the Central Plateau and covers East and West Garo Hills and part of East and West Khasi Hills and Jaintia Hills. The sub-eco-region occupies on area of 1492 thousand ha representing 69.9 percent of the total geographical area of the State.
Agro-Climate: The agro climate of the hyperthermic sub-eco-region is characterised by hot and moist summers and cool winters belonging to sub-tropical climate. The mean annual rainfall ranges from 2000 to 3362mm and potential evapotranspiration. (PE) ranges from 1000 to 1299mm. The sub-eco region experiences a short water deficit of 300-350mm due to seasonal dry spells during post-monsoon period.
Soils: Soils of the hills side slopes are moderately deep to deep, loamy skeletal to fine and excessively drained subject to slight to very severe erosion hazards. Most of these soils have structural/coloured and textural; B. horizon whereas some soils show initiation of profile development (A/C, horizon). Taxonomically, these are Typic, Dystrochrepts.
Soils of hilltops and upper hill slopes are moderately deep-to-deep, fine loamy to fine, excessive drained, subject to very severe erosion hazards and strong stoniness. They have structural/coloured; B. horizon and comprises Typic/Umbric Dystrochrepts.
Soils of undulating uplands with hillocks deep fine and well to moderately well drained with slope erosion hazards. The soils of gently sloping plains deep, fine, well drained and subject to slight erosion and flood hazards while soils of nearly level to level plains merging to the Brahmaputra and the Surma Valleys are deep, fine, imperfectly drained and subject to overflows and flood hazards. They have well developed structural and textural; B. horizon. These represent Aquic Eutrochrepts Aeric Haplaquepts and Humic Halpudults sub-groups of Taxonomy.
Soils of valleys are deep, fine loamy to fine and very poor to well drained with very slight to moderate erosion and slight flooding hazards. Mostly, they have structural B. horizon developed in alluvium with or without Fe and Mn nodules. These comprise umbric Dystrochrepts Typic/Aeric Haplaquepts and Cumulic Humaquepts. Sub-group in Taxonomy. The soils of the sub eco-region are very strongly to slightly acid. They have low to high base saturation.
Land Use: The natural vegetation are wet evergreen, tropical moist deciduous and mixed pine-tropical moist deciduous forest. Shifting Cultivation is the traditional farming system of the sub-eco-region. Rice is the dominant crop grown in jhum plots, hill terraces and valleys.
- Shifting Cultivation leading to deforestation and severe soil erosion.
- Excessive leaching resulting in depletion of nutrients land low-base status soils.
- Landslides in some areas.
- Flooding in valleys and plains.