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soil

Introduction

soil, surface layer of the earth, composed of fine rock material disintegrated by geological processes; and humus, the organic remains of decomposed vegetation. In agriculture, soil is the medium that supports crop plants, both physically and biologically. Soil may be from a few inches to several feet thick.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Agriculture: General


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