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HAWASSA UNIVERSITY

COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
PLANT SCIENCE DEPARTEMENT

TEACHING MATERIAL FOR

INTRODUCTORY SOILS
By
Alemayehu Kiful
(alemanchy@gmail.com)

January, 2009
HAWASSA UNIVERSITY
AWASSA COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE

DEPARTMENT Plant Sciences


PROGRAME Degree
COURSE TITLE Introductory Soils
COURSE NUMBER PLSc-242
LECTURE HOURS 2 h X 16 weeks = 32 contact h
PRACTICAL HOURS 3 h X 12 weeks = 36 contact h

I. COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course is intended to introduce the origin, formation, composition, properties


(physical, chemical, and biological) of soils, their relation with water, nutrients and
plants, and the classification of soils to Agricultural Science students.

II. COURSE OUTLINE

1. Class Lectures

Chapter 1 Introduction (1 h)
1.1 View points of soils and definitions
1.2 Approaches in studying soils
1.3 Sources of our present day knowledge of soils
Chapter 2 Origin of soils (2 h)
2.1 Soil forming rocks
2.2 Soil forming minerals
Chapter 3 Soil formation and development (3 h)
3.1 Physical and chemical weathering
3.2 Soil forming processes
3.3 Factors affecting soil formation
3.4 Soil profile and processes of horizon differentiation
Chapter 4 Important physical properties of mineral soils (8 h)
4.1 Soil texture
4.2 Soil structure
4.3 Soil density
4.4 Soil consistency
4.5 Soil color
Chapter 5 Soil composition (10 h)
5.1 Soil colloids
5.2 Soil organisms
5.3 Soil organic matter
5.4 Soil water
5.5 Soil air and temperature

Chapter 6 Chemical properties of soils (4 h)


6.1 Soil reaction
6.2 Cation exchange and cation exchange capacity
6.3 Acid soils and development of soil acidity
6.4 Saline and sodic soils
Chapter 7 Soil classification (2 h)
7.1 Soil Taxonomy (USDA and FAO/ UNESCO)
7.2 Major agricultural soils of Ethiopia
Chapter 8 Soils in relation to plant growth (2 h)
8.1 Soil factors controlling plant growth
8.2 Essential elements
8.3 Forms of elements used by plants

2. Laboratory Activities
1. Rocks and minerals display
2. Soil profile description and horizon differentiation
3. Determination of soil texture
4. Demonstration on soil structure, and measurement of soil densities
5. Determination of soil color and consistency
6. Determination of soil organic matter
7. Determination of soil moisture content
8. Determination of soil pH and EC
9. One day field trip to identify different soil orders in the South
III. Recommended Readings

Textbook
Brady, N.C., and R. R. Weil. 2002. The nature and Properties of Soils, 13 th ed. Prentice-
Hall, New Jersey.

NB: Please be aware of that there are several reference and other supportive soil science
textbooks in the library. See the instructor if you have any difficulties in locating them.

IV. Course Evaluation


Mid exam (Chapter 1-4) 35%
Final exam (Chapter 5-8) 35%
Lab. Reports 20%
Term paper 10%
Total 100%