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Soil factors affecting crop suitability for upland crops in Cambodia

Seng, V., Bell, R.W., Hin, S., Schoknecht, N., Vance, W. and White, P.F. (2009) Soil factors affecting crop suitability for upland crops in Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Agriculture, 9 . pp. 24-37.

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Rapid expansion of upland cropping is occurring in Cambodia, but little is known about the properties of the main soils onto which this expansion is occurring. In the present paper we synthesise findings from studies in Banan district, Battambang province, Ou Reang 0v district, Kampong Cham province, and Tramkak district, Takeo province to identify soil factors affecting crop suitability for upland crops in Cambodia The study areas represent, respectively, upland soils developed on sediments of various ages in north-west Cambodia, basaltic soils in eastern Cambodia and sandy soils in southern Cambodia. The key limiting soil factors for maize, mungbean, peanut, soybean and sesame are reviewed. A soil type-based framework for rating land qualities indicated that soil acidity, alkalinity, waterlogging and profile water storage are most common constraints, but hard setting and excessive wetness may limit tillage and seed emergence Overall crop trials indicated that peanut was the most reliable species that rarely failed to produce harvestable yield, while sesame was least reliable. Most crops apart from peanut produced low and unprofitable yield in the early wet season (EWS). Soybean produced many crop failures in the EWS and would generally not be recommended for planting in May or earlier. From crop trials in the main wet season (MWS). Kein Svay, Kompong Siem (on basalt). Ou Reang 0v and Tout Samroung Soil groups have the highest capability for upland crops although the latter soil, like others on the margins of the rainfed lowlands are risky environments for upland crops in the EWS and MWS due to the probability of waterlogging and inundation. Peanut followed by soybean and mungbean were most likely to be profitable in the MWS. Generally yields on Prateah Lang soils were too low for profitable crop production. However, there are very large areas of upland soils in Cambodia that have not been examined in the present study and hence the present paper should be treated as a preliminary assessment of crop suitability.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute.
Copyright: © Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute.
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