chapter  32
34 Pages

Other Systems of Soil Classification

Soil classication is probably as old as farming. ¤e fact that, around 8000 BP, the rst farming communities in Europe settled on the better loess soils indicates that, during these times, farmers were already capable of distinguishing between the more and less productive soils. ¤e oldest historical record of soil classication is most likely the Chinese book, Yugong, in which the soils of China were classied into three categories and nine classes, based on soil color, texture, and hydrological features (Gong, 1994). Even today, such criteria are still in use by farmers to di¦erentiate soils. Studies on indigenous soil knowledge in northern Ghana, for example, have shown that farmers use texture, color, stoniness, and soil depth to stratify the soils (Asiamah et al., 1997).