Agricultural Science

Soil formation in agricuture

len Alfred Ajibola - 17th April, 2024 @ 11:49 AM

Topics in Agricultural Science

Soil formation in agricuture Economic empowerment through agricuture Management as a factor of production in agriculture Labor as a factor of production in agriculture Finance as a factor of production in agriculture Water as a factor of production in agriculture Land as a factor of production in agriculture Len Academy Agricultural Science midterm questions for JSS1, 2nd term Len Academy Agricultural Science midterm questions for jss2, 2nd term Clay soil explained with its types and characteristics Loamy soil explained with its characteristics Sandy soil: Characteristics of sandy soil and ways to make it fertile Soil explained with its composition Types of agricultural practices Crop rotation explained Benefits of crop rotation Differences between subsistence and commercial farming Subsistence farming explained with its characteristics What is commercial farming? Types of commercial farming Characteristics of commercial farming

Academic Questions in Agricultural Science

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

The ideal pH for the optimum growth of most agricultural crop is between _____.

  • A. 1 – 3.5

  • B. 4 – 5.5

  • C. 6 – 7.5

  • D. 8 – 9.5

  • E. 10 – 11.5

  • F. 12 – 13.5

People who go about their lives by raising and herding livestock such as cattle, sheep and goats are said to practice _____.

  • A. Pastoralism

  • B. Pasturalism

  • C. Herding

  • D. Herdsmen

  • E. Animalism

  • F. Anime Farming

The act of giving birth in pigs is called _____.

  • A. Calving

  • B. Piggery

  • C. Kidding

  • D. Farrowing

  • E. Calfing

  • F. Pigging

Which of the following is not a vegetable?

  • A. Cashew

  • B. Cocumber

  • C. Tomatoes

  • D. Carrot

  • E. Squash

  • F. Eggplant

All plants are crops.

  • A. True

  • B. False

In agriculture, macronutrients are essential nutrients required by plants. Which of the following is not a macronutrient?

  • A. Zinc

  • B. Sulphur

  • C. Calcium

  • D. Phosphorus

  • E. Potassium

  • F. Magnesium

Which of the following is false concerning micronutrients?

  • A. They are non-essential nutrients

  • B. They are required by plants in minute quantities

  • C. Iron is a micronutrient

  • D. Chlorine is a micronutrient

  • E. Copper is a micronutrient

  • F. Boron is a micronutrient

_____ is a term that describes the biological, chemical and cultural control tactics employed to make pest management economical, environmentally friendly and socially acceptable.

  • A. Integrated Pest Management

  • B. Integral Pest Management

  • C. International Pest Management

  • D. Inclusive Pest Management

  • E. Imbibed Pest Management

  • F. Inclusion Pest Management

Soil Formation:

Soil is a fundamental component of our ecosystem, providing the necessary foundation for the growth and sustenance of plant and animal life. 

Recall that soil is a complex mixture of minerals, organic matter, water, air, and countless organisms that work together to create a fertile environment.


In simple terms, soil refers to the thin upper layer of the earth, consisting of both organic and inorganic (or mineral) substances, while also serving as home to a community of organisms.

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating process of soil formation and explore how it shapes our natural habitat.

Please read more on the composition of soil here.


Soil formation is a gradual and intricate process that takes place over centuries. It begins with the weathering of rocks and minerals, which are broken down into smaller particles through physical, chemical, and biological processes.


Once again, the process of weathering of rocks can be physical, chemical and biological. However, understand that rocks are classified into three types. These are:

  1. Igneous rock

  2. Sedimentary rock

  3. Metamorphic rock

Please read on igneous rock here.


Weathering can occur due to various factors such as temperature changes, wind, water, and the activities of plants and animals.


Meanwhile, understand that physical weathering is primarily responsible for the initial breakdown of rocks. This process involves the physical fragmentation of rocks into smaller particles without altering their chemical composition.

The components of physical weathering include temperature fluctuations, water, wind, moving ice and freeze-thaw cycles; alongside the growth of plant roots which can also contribute to physical weathering.

As these rocks are broken down into smaller fragments through the components of physical weathering, they create the foundation for the next stage of soil formation, and that's chemical and biological weathering.

You can read on the types and uses of agricutural land.


Chemical weathering on the other hand involves the alteration of the chemical composition of rocks through various chemical reactions.

Water, carbon dioxide, and acids from decaying organic matter all play significant roles in chemical weathering. Over time, these reactions break down the minerals in rocks and release essential nutrients that become a part of the soil.

Please read on soil erosion here.


The process of chemical weathering consists of the following:

  • Solution: As water flows on the surface of rocks, they may transport soluble mineral, which had dissolved in the water, thus forming a solution. This solution may be deposited at a different place, leading to the formation of soil there.

  • Hydrolysis: Water may react with a parent rock, leading to the formation of an entirely new rock. Such parent rock may be an igneous or sedimentary rock, while the new rock formed is termed metamorphic rock. This new rock may be disintegrated into soil.

  • Oxidation: Refers to the reaction of oxygen (in air) with rock containing iron as its mineral. This reaction can lead to the disintegration of the rock involved.

  • Carbonation: Rainfall can react with carbon (IV) oxide in the atmosphere, forming a weak acid; that is, trioxo carbonate (IV) acid. This acid can react with rocks containing calcium trioxocarbonate (IV), dissolving it to form a more soluble product.

  • Hydration: Water may become attached to a molecule of rock, resulting into the chemical dissolution of its minerals.

Please read on metamorphic rock here.


Once physical and chemical weathering have occurred, the stage is set for biological weathering, and it involves the the crucial role of organic matter and living organisms in soil formation.

Organic matter, consisting of plant and animal remains, serves as a source of nutrients and energy for the multitude of organisms that inhabit the soil.

These soil organisms include bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and other decomposers that break down organic matter, releasing nutrients that become available to plants. The decomposition process also enhances soil structure and fertility.

You can read on clay soil explained with its characteristics here.


The presence of living organisms is a distinguishing feature of healthy soil. Soil organisms, ranging from microscopic bacteria to larger creatures like insects and earthworms, contribute to the formation and maintenance of soil structure. They help in the decomposition of organic matter, enhance nutrient availability, and improve soil aeration through their burrowing activities.

The intricate web of interactions between these organisms and the soil creates a complex ecosystem that plays a vital role in soil formation.

Please read more on the concept of an ecosystem here.


As soil formation progresses, the soil profile begins to develop distinct layers, or horizons, each with its unique characteristics.

Soil horizon is defined as the various layers of the soil characterized by the differences in their physical, chemical and biological components from the layers above (top soil) to those beneath (bedrock).

These horizons are a result of various factors such as climate, vegetation, parent material, and time.

Please read key points in agricuture here.


The horizons of the soil are summarized below:

Soil Horizons - Len Academy

  • The humus (organic) layer is termed the O horizon. Here, organic matter such as decomposing leaves are present. However, it may be thin in some soils, thick in others, and even nonexistent in other soils.

  • The top layer, known as the topsoil or A horizon, is rich in organic matter and nutrients, making it the most fertile layer for plant growth.

  • The subsoil or B horizon, located beneath the topsoil, contains minerals and nutrients leached from the upper layers.

  • The C horizon consists of weathered parent material and, these determines the nature of soil that is formed. Therefore, this horizon serves as the foundation for soil formation.

  • The bedrock is often referred to as D or R horizon. It is the original rock from which the parent material is derived. For this reason, it is typically an igneous rock.

You can read on the definition of various agricutural terms here.


In conclusion, an understanding on the processes of soil formation is crucial for sustainable agriculture, land management, and environmental conservation.

Please read on agricutural land and its uses here.

By recognizing the factors that contribute to soil fertility and health, we can make informed decisions to protect and enhance this valuable resource.

Whether you are a student studying the intricacies of soil science or simply a curious individual interested in the wonders of nature, exploring the fascinating journey of soil formation opens up a world of knowledge and appreciation for the building blocks of life (soil alongside the plants that grow on them).

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Amazing facts in Agricultural Science

Cows technically have one stomach, not four. However, a cow's stomach has four compartments. These are: rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum

Peanuts are legumes and not nuts

Although plants neither see nor hear, they can recognize their siblings and even give them preferential treatments

Squirrels do plant more trees (through their actions) than an average human in their lifetime. They often hide their acorns and nuts underground and forget about them

Cows have got the ability to walk up stairs, but not down stairs

A group of cows is called a team, drove or herd.

People just prefer to call them herd

Notable points in Agricultural Science

Below are characteristics of gymnosperms:

  1. Their seeds have cones that protect them.

  2. Sepals and petals aren't present in their cones.

  3. Stigma and style are absent.

  4. They do not produce fruits. Only seeds are formed.

  5. Companion cells are absent.

  6. Sporophyll form the cones.

  7. Anther and filament are absent.

  8. The ovules are not present in the ovary.

  9. Gymnosperms do not possess flowers.

  10. Please read on the anatomical differences between gymnosperms and angiosperms here

The flower is the reproductive organ in plants' sexual reproduction. In order to achieve a successful sexual propagation or reproduction in plants, the floral parts of the flower are utilized.

The floral parts of a flower consists of the followings:

  1. Sepals

  2. Petals

  3. Stamen

  4. Carpel

The stamen is male portion of a plant. It consists of the anther and filament.

The carpel (or pistil) is the female portion of the plant. It consists of the stigma, style and ovary.

Please read more on plants' sexual reproduction here

An organism will be considered a pest if it does one of the followings:

  • Attack crops and eat its seeds, roots, stem, leaves and flowers. Examples are locust and grasshoppers.

  • Cause damage to stored food, fruits or other agricultural produce. Some may even urinate or deaficate on these products. Examples are rodents, cockroaches and mice.

  • Attack and kill farm animals like goats, sheep and cattle. Examples are foxes, wild cats and snakes.

  • Act as disease vectors. A vector is an organism that carries parasite and other disease causing organisms, without being affected; but when they introduce the parasites into their host, such host becomes infected with disease. Examples of vectors are rodents and mosquitoes.

    Please read more on vectors of diseases here.

Below are the classification of crops based on their uses:

  • Oil crops

  • Vegetable crops

  • Latex crops

  • Drug and Medicinal crops

  • Beverage crops

  • Fibre crops

  • Fruit crops

  • Root and Tubers

  • Legumes

  • Spices

  • Cereals

All crops are plants but not all plants are crops. Below are some instances:

  • Weeds are considered as plants, not crops.

  • Parasitic plants are not necessarily crops. Examples of parasitic plants include mistletoe, corpse flower and striga.

  • Carnivorous or insectivorous plants are not necessarily crops. Examples are sundew, venus flytrap and pitcher plant. The image below shows a carnivorous plant (venus flytrap).

Venus flytrap - Len Academy


Meanwhile, always understand that all crops are plants, and they are grown for food, money or something beneficial.

Please read on plants versus crops here