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more than 2 weeks ago

State the meaning of soil friability and further outline with brief explanation factors that influence it?

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more than 2 weeks ago
Soil friability refers to the ease with which soil can be crumbled or broken apart. It is an important characteristic of soil that affects its ability to support plant growth and root development.

Factors that influence soil friability include:

1. Soil texture: Soil with a higher proportion of sand tends to be more friable, as sand particles are larger and less compacted than clay particles. Clay soils, on the other hand, tend to be more compacted and less friable.

2. Soil structure: Soil structure refers to the arrangement of soil particles into aggregates or clumps. Soil with a well-developed structure, such as granular or crumb structure, is typically more friable than soil with a poor structure, such as massive or platy structure.

3. Organic matter content: Soil with a higher organic matter content tends to be more friable, as organic matter helps to improve soil structure and reduce compaction.

4. Soil moisture content: Soil that is too dry can become hard and compacted, reducing its friability. On the other hand, soil that is too wet can become waterlogged and lose its structure, also reducing friability.

5. Soil compaction: Compaction occurs when soil particles are pressed together, reducing pore space and making the soil less friable. Factors such as heavy machinery, foot traffic, and excessive tillage can contribute to soil compaction.
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more than 2 weeks ago
Meaning of Soil Friability

Soil friability refers to the physical condition of soil that allows it to be easily crumbled, worked, and tilled without breaking into clods or becoming overly compacted. It implies a loose and well-aggregated soil structure that permits root penetration, water infiltration, and air movement.

Factors Influencing Soil Friability

- Soil Texture: Soils with a balanced proportion of sand, silt, and clay tend to be more friable. Sandy soils are too loose and easily dispersed, while clayey soils are prone to compaction.
- Organic Matter Content: Organic matter helps bind soil particles together, creating stable aggregates and improving soil structure.
- Soil Moisture: Optimal soil moisture content facilitates aggregation and reduces soil compaction.
- Soil pH: Soils with a neutral pH (6.5-7.5) tend to be more friable. Extreme soil acidity or alkalinity can disrupt soil structure.
- Biological Activity: Microorganisms and soil fauna help decomposing organic matter and create soil aggregates. A healthy soil ecosystem promotes friability.
- Tillage Practices: Excessive tillage can break down soil aggregates and reduce friability. Conservation tillage practices, such as no-till farming, preserve soil structure and improve friability.
- Compaction: Soil compaction by heavy machinery or traffic can damage soil structure and reduce friability.
- Root Growth: Plant roots penetrate the soil, creating channels and breaking up clods, enhancing friability.
- Erosion: Soil erosion can remove the friable topsoil layer, exposing less friable subsoil.
- Climate: Rainfall patterns and temperature can influence soil moisture and biological activity, affecting friability.
- Soil Mineralogy: The presence of certain clay minerals, such as smectite, can contribute to soil friability by promoting aggregation.

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