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Soil types, properties and limiting factors in south-central coastal Vietnam

Bell, R.W., Chon, N.Q. and Cong, P.T. (2015) Soil types, properties and limiting factors in south-central coastal Vietnam. In: Sustainable and profitable crop and livestock systems in south-central coastal Vietnam. Proceedings of the final workshop, 5 - 6 March 2013, Quy Nhon, Vietnam pp. 42-59.

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Sands occupy over 0.5 million hectares in Vietnam, with two-thirds of the area in the coastal zone of central Vietnam. Limited study of the sands of central coastal Vietnam has been conducted to identify crop productivity constraints or to develop methods of increasing productivity and sustainability of use of these soils. The aim of this study was to determine the diversity of sands in three study areas (Phu Cat district, Binh Dinh province; Tuy An district, Phu Yen province; Thuan Nam district, Ninh Thuan province) representing south-central coastal (SCC) Vietnam, their edaphic properties and the patterns of soil distribution. Profiles examined (22 in Binh Dinh, 13 in Phu Yen and 21 in Ninh Thuan) were analysed by horizon for texture, water holding capacity and chemical properties.

Sand profiles occurred on recent coastal barrier dunes and marine sands, late Pleistocene red dunes, alluvial plains, dissected sand plains and on granitic colluvium and in situ on granite parent rocks. The parent material and geomorphology appeared to best explain differences in edaphic properties. Profiles were broadly divided into deep sands (<5% clay), deep loamy sands and sandy loams (5–18% clay) and profiles where clay content increased with depth (ranging from <5% in topsoil to >15% at depth). Most sands were acid except where lime addition to peanut had raised surface pH or on sands of marine origin. Water holding capacity (–0.1 bar) was consistently lower except where clay was >10%. Organic carbon, cation exchange capacity and extractable nutrient levels were low except in peanut and vegetable fields where elevated extractable phosphorus levels were evident. In related studies (Hoang Minh Tam et al. 2015), multiple nutrient deficiencies were also present in all sands. In summary, there is a diverse range of sands in SCC Vietnam with multiple constraints for crop production. Management of these sands to increase productivity of crops will require packages based on detailed investigations of soil characteristics to combine inputs that are tailored to overcome each suite of constraints rather than blanket recommendations.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: ACIAR
Copyright: © Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) 2015
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