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Adequate drainage is an important pre requisite for developing organic soils for commercial crop production. The physical properties of organic soils are distinctly different from those of mineral soils. Organic soils evolved from the incomplete decomposition of mosses, sedges and wood under a wet anaerobic environment. Natural drainage conditions in organic soils are generally poor for most agricultural uses because of restricted outlet. Development of these soils requires lowering of the water table. Organic soils settle when the water table is lowered. This condition, defined as subsidence, may also be due to such factors as compaction, decomposition or oxidation, wind and water erosion, and fire but, initially, the single most important factor is drainage. The organic soils in Southwestern Quebec, where this study was conducted, were formed mostly in shallow lake and pond basins left by the retreating Champlain Sea (McKibbin and Stobbe 1936). The combined action of geology, topography, biology and climate assisted in the formation of these soils. The growth or accumulation of organic material is slow and may vary from a few centimetres to several metres per hundred years (Jasmin et al. 1977) however, the rate of subsidence is approximately 2.1 cm/yr for organic soils under cultivation in Quebec (Millette 1976).
an evaluation of the drainage and subsidence of some organic soils in quebec
Millette, J. A., Vigier, B. and R. S. Broughton 1982. AN EVALUATION OF THE DRAINAGE AND SUBSIDENCE OF SOME ORGANIC SOILS IN Quebec. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 24(1):5-10.
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