Sugarcane Sri Lanka

Volume 3 Issue 1, December 2017

Open Access

Management of Physical Properties of Reddish Brown Earth Soils at Uda Walawe (Walawa Series) for Sustainable Sugarcane Production

L.M.J.R. Wijayawardhana1 , S.D.T.P. Saputhanthri2 , L.P. Vidhana Arachchi2 , W.R.G Witharama1

1. Sugarcane Research Institute, Uda Walawe, 70190, Sri Lanka
2. Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka, Belihul-Oya, Sri Lanka

Published: 01 January 2017


A study was conducted at the research farm of the Sugarcane Research Institute, Uda Walawe, Sri Lanka to investigate its soil physical properties which are important for planning in-situ soil and water management for sustainable sugarcane production. A total of 182 soil samples over 92.05 ha land were collected from two depths;10-20 cm and 40-50 cm below the earth surface, according to 100 m x100 m grid layout. The bulk density, porosity, texture and gravel content of the soil were assessed. The geographical information system was used for mapping and geo-statistical analysis of the soil properties.

The results revealed that the mean bulk density values varied from 1.48gcm to 1.92gcm at 10-20 cm depth with -3 an average of 1.67gcm-3. The average bulk density value at 40-50 cm depth was 1.68 gcm with a variation -3 -3 from1.48 gcm to 1.96 gcm . The predominant textural category of the soilwassandy clayloam as per the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) system. Sandy clay, sandy loam and loamy sand soils also were found in few locations. The apparent gravel percentage detectedin all soil samples averaged nearly20% and 19% for 10-20 cm and 40-50 cm depths respectively. The gravel content of soil samples was nearly 4% higher in 10-20 cm depth than that in 40-50 cm depth soil layer. The soil porosity values varied from 0.18 to 0.48 at 10-20 cm depth with an average of 0.34. According to the variation of soil properties and topography, guidelines on ploughing, irrigation, drainage, mulching, organic matter incorporation, soil conservation, etc.were prepared for management of the soil for sustainablesugarcane production.

Keywords: Reddish Brown Earth Soils, Soil Physical Properties, Sugarcane, Sustainable Production

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