FORMATION OF SOIL AND TYPES, SCHOOL FARM AND ITS PRINCIPLES—BY INSTRUCTOR MRS. EREKATA, O.J.
FORMATION OF SOIL: Soil is formed from rock through a process known as weathering. Weathering can therefore be defined as the process by which rocks are broken down into smaller particles to form soil. In other words weathering can be also be defined as the breaking down of rock into smaller fragments through action of water, wind, ice, sun’s heat, movement of man and animals. Rocks are formed as a result of cooling and solidification of molten materials trapped inside the crusts.
TYPES OF ROCK: The three types of rock are:
IGNEOUS ROCK: These are rocks formed from the cooling down and solidification of molten magma from the earth. Examples of igneous rock are granite and basalt.
SEDIMENTARY ROCK: These rocks are formed from the accumulation of sediments either by water, ice or wind. Examples are limestone, clay, coal, chalk
METAMORHIC ROCK: Metamorphic rocks are changed rocks- They are formed from pre-existing igneous or sedimentary rock which have been changed as a result of heat and pressure.
FACTORS INVOLVED IN SOIL FORMATION: The following factors are involved in soil formation.
A] PARENT MATERIAL: This is the major material from which soil is formed. Parent materials determine the chemical composition of the soil that is formed. It also determine the physical characteristics of the soil.
B] CLIMATE: Climate factor like temperature, rainfall, wind, etc. can influence the growth of vegetation and decomposition of organic matter.
C] TOPOGRAPHY: Topography has to do with the description of the physical features of an area. For example hills, valley or rivers. It is the shape and position of the land. Soil formation is faster in the valley than on slopes.
D] VEGETATION: Plants, trees and flowers can be referred to as vegetation. Vegetation cover affects soil formation by adding organic matter to the soil in form of fallen leaves, fruits of flowers and dead plants.
E] TIME: Time also plays an important role in the soil formation. It takes a long time for mature soil to be formed. It also takes a long time for small pieces of rock to disintegrate[break] into grains of soil.
F] BIOTIC FACTORS[living organisms]: The activities of living organisms help to speed up the process of soil formation. Soil organism like termite, earthworm and rodent mix the mineral and organic matter together and this results in soil formation. Also the activities of man during tillage and other farm operations indirectly help to break rocks into pieces to form soil.
SCHOOL FARM-IMPORTANCE AND PRINCIPLES.
The school farm is an experimental garden where practical work are carried out. The school farm is established to get the students involved in practical experiences of what they have learnt in the classroom.
IMPORTANCE OF A SCHOOL FARM: The importance of school farm are:
To enable the students practice and demonstrate what they have learnt in the class.
To arouse students’ interest in agriculture as a profession.
To enable students acquire knowledge and skills in agriculture.
PRINCIPLES OF SITING A SCHOOL FARM: When choosing a site for a school farm, certain principles should be considered.
Topography of the land- Topography refers to the shape of the land. The farm should be sited on a level/flat land to avoid erosion and drainage problems.
Nature of the soil: The nature of the soil should also be considered when choosing a site for a school farm. The farm should be sited on a fertile soil so as to supply nutrient to the crops.
Source of water supply: Nearness to the source of water like river, stream or pipe borne water is very important in citing a school farm. It should be close to a source of water supply in order to make water available throughout the year for the crops and animals.
Closeness to school- A school farm should be closed to the school, it should not be far from the school. This will enable the students to give adequate attention to the farm.
Closeness to the market- The school farm should be closed to the market so that produce from the farmer can easily be sold.
Safety of the farm- The farm should be located in a safe place, fenced if possible to prevent thieves and wandering animals from attacking the farm.
Good road for accessibility- The road leading to the school farm should good enough in order to be able to access the farm frequently. After considering the above factors and finally choose a site for the farm, the next stage is to plan, and when planning, the following should be considered.
A] the size of the farm
B] the types of crops to grow
C] types of animal to rear
D] the fund available to buy the inputs required.