Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The background and organization...
 Survey of existing conditions,...
 Recommended land improvement programme...
 General recommendations
 Appendix A: Survey of existing...
 Appendix B: Seminar discussion...
 Appendix C: Programme for field...

Group Title: Soil science in the Caribbean : report of the Soils Conference held in Puerto Rico, March 30--April 8, 1950.
Title: Soil science in the Caribbean
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075701/00001
 Material Information
Title: Soil science in the Caribbean report of the Soils Conference held in Puerto Rico, March 30--April 8, 1950
Physical Description: vii, 265 p. : tables. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Conference: Soil Science Conference, (1950
Publisher: Trinidad, Caribbean Commission, Central Secretariat
Place of Publication: Port-of-Spain
Publication Date: 1950
Subject: Soils -- Congresses   ( lcsh )
Soils -- Research   ( lcsh )
Soils -- Caribbean Area   ( lcsh )
Genre: international intergovernmental publication   ( marcgt )
conference publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Trinidad and Tobago -- Trinidad
Puerto Rico
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 233-265.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075701
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 21647248
lccn - 53033621

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
    The background and organization of the conference
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
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    Survey of existing conditions, problems and recommendations for the Caribbean area
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
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        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
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        Page 34
    Recommended land improvement programme for the Caribbean area
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    General recommendations
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Appendix A: Survey of existing conditions, problems and recommendations for individual Caribbean Territories
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    Appendix B: Seminar discussions
        Page 134
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    Appendix C: Programme for field trips
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Full Text





Report of the Soils Conference held in
Puerto Rico, March 30-April 8, 1950



The report of the Soils Conference, held in Puerto Rico from
March 31 to April 8, 1950, under the joint .auspices of the Caribbean
Commission and the Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of
Puerto Rico, is not only of intrinsic value; it also has special signifi-
cance for the forthcoming West Indian Conference (Fourth Session) in
Curacao in November of this year, the theme of which is "The Agricultural
Problems of the Caribbean &rea".

The Central Secretariat of the Commission takes this opportunity
of expressing its warmest appreciation of the collaboration of the terri-
torial governments in presenting the detailed statements, included in this
publication, of the existing state of knowledge, problems and needs with
respect to soil science in their respective territories

The Caribbean Commission has assigned to the Secretariat as one
of its continuing activities the preparation and publication of bibliographies
in the various fields of inquiry within its terms of reference. A
comprehensive bibliography on soil science is appended to this report, for
the several territories. The Central Secretariat acknowledges with appreciation
the collaboration of:- Professor F. Hardy, of the Imperial College of Tropical
Agriculture, Trinidad, who prepared the bibliographies for individual British
territories and for the independent republics, and indicated additional
titles for Puerto Rico; the Department of Agriculture, Jamaica; and
Dr. J.A. Bonnet and Dr. M.&o Lugo Lopez of the Agricultural Experiment Station
of the University of Puerto Rico. The attention of interested specialists
is invited to the bibliography included in the companion volume, Forest
Research Within the Caribbean Area, published by the Caribbean Commission
in 1947, and to the pertinent sections of the bibliography included in the
Year Book of Caribbean Research, 1949 Supplement, Part I, agriculture Forestry,
Fish and Wildlife, published by the Caribbean Commission in 1950.

Secretary General
Caribbean Commission

The Anglo-American Caribbean Commission was created by the Govern-
ments of the United States and the United Kingdom on March 9, 1942, for
the purpose of encouraging and strengthening social and economic co-
operation between the United States of America and its possessions and
bases in the area known geographically and politically as the Caribbean,
and the United Kingdom and the British Colonies in the same area, and
to avoid duplication of research in these fields. On December 20, 1945,
the following joint communique was issued: "The Governments of France
and of the Netherlands have accepted an invitation extended to them by
the Governments of the United Kingdom and United States of America to
join the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission. The name of the Commis-
sion will be changed appropriately o..o" The Commission is now known as
the Caribbean Commission.

The Caribbean Research Council was established by the Commission
in August, 1943, to survey needs, to determine what research has been
done, to facilitate research on a cooperative basis, and to arrange for
the prompt dissemination of the results of research, all without limi-
tation to the field of inquiry,

In pursuance of these objectives, a number of Research Committees
has been appointed for various fields of research.

The Central Secretariat of the Commission is located at Kent House,
Port of Spain, Trinidado The work of the Secretariat is divided into
two main branches administrative and research. The Research Branch,
which includes a Statistical Unit, works in close cooperation with the
Caribbean Research Council and its various Research Committees.


Foreword ..... ....... ............ ......... ........ .. .......... iii

Part I -.The Background and Organisation of the Conference ......... 1

Part II Seminars ...........6,20 ....,.................0........ 17

Part III Survey of Existing Conditions, Problems and Recommenda-
tions for the Caribbean Area ........................... 21

Part IV Recommended Land Improvement Programme for the Caribbean

Preamble ....... .......... ..... ..................... 55
Recommendations 0.... .,,.. o. ..... ..................... 37

Part V General Recommendations .................................... 40

Part VI Resolutions .......... ... .... ..... ........... ......... 42

Appendix A Survey of Existing Conditions, Problems and Recommenda-
tions for Individual Caribbean Territories:

Antigua .............. o.. 000 ;00 ... 0............... 43
Barbados .... ..., ..... ............. ...... .. ... 46

Annex I Methods of Field Survey and Routine Soil
Analysis in Use at the Government Labo-
ratory, Barbados .................... 48

Annex II Existing Conditions and Problems of
Soil Erosion, Soil Conservation and
Soil Renovation in Barbados .......... 51

British Guiana ........................... ........ 55
British Honduras .............. ................,. 57
British Volcanic Arc Islands .................... 59
French Guiana .,......, 0 o................. ....... 61
Guadeloupe ................ .............o......... 64
Jamaica .... ......... 0 o ........... O............. 67
Martinique .........o.. .................... ..... 81
Netherlands est Indies .......................... 84
Puerto Rico .......... .,...................... ... .., 87

Annex 1 Soil and Water Practices in Puerto Rico,
December 51, 1949 ............. ..., 97

Annex 2 Aids Used in Interpreting Soils Data at
the University of Puerto Rico ., o o 98

Annex 5 Field Methods of Soil Survey Used in
Puerto Rico ooo* ..oooo o.o o00ooooo00 oo 104

Annex 4 Laboratory Methods for Soil and Plant
Analysis Used in the Agricultural Exper-
iment Station University of Puerto Rico 109

Surinam 0ooo.*. oooo**oooooooooooooeo ooooooo0oooooooooo 116
TobagO 0ooo0oooooooo000oo0ooooo0o000 oo00oo oooooo0ooooo 120
Trinidad 0oo0.00o0 00 00oo 00oo0ooo0oooo ooooooo0ooooooo 122

Annex Soil Erosion in Trinidad o.... ooo0 o.ooooo0 125

Virgin Islands of the United States oo. oooo o oooo 129

Appendix B Seminar Discussions:

A A Land Improvement Programme for the Caribbean

1o Soil Classification and Research in a Caribbean
Land Improvement Programme, by Roy W, Simonson 134
2, Land Classification in a Caribbean Land Im-
provement Programme, by RoDo Hockensmith ...... 148
35 & Land Classification Programme for the Carib-
bean Area, by ABo Lewis ...oooooooooooo..ooooo 159
4. Soil Conservation in Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands of the United States, by U.So Allison 165
5. Soil Conservation in Puerto Rico: The Functiond
of"Redeardh, by Richard M, Smith oo... o o o 166
6. Land Capability Classes as a Factor in Deter-
mining Land Use in Puerto Rico, by Juan P,
Cordova o.ooooooeoeoooo ooooooooooooooooo o.oooo 170
7. Principles and Procedure of Farm Planning, by
Joaquin Fo Morrero ooo.ooooooo......... ooooooo 182

B Soil Problems of the Caribbean

L 8. The Present State of Soil Knowledge in the
British Caribbean Region, by Profo Fo Hardy ,oo 184
-9. The Clay Minerals of British West Indian Soil,
by G. Rodrigues .oo..ooooooo ....,ooo.......... 190
10. Soils Problems of Surinam, by JoMo Verhoog o00, 195
11o Soil Survey of Puerto Rico, by Ray C. Roberts o 194
12. Comment on Puerto Rico Soils, by Jo&. Bonnet oo 201
15. The Constituent Minerals of Soils, their Deter-
mination and Some Observations on their Occur-
rence in the Soils of Puerto Rico, by
C.D. Jeffries .oooo00 o...o0000ooooo.oo....0oooo 203

14. Some Observations on the Weathering of Rocks in
Puerto Rico, by Howard A. Meyerhoff ........... 204
15. The Soils of the French Uest Indies and Espe-
cially those of Martinique, by H. Stehl ...... 207
16. Report on the Action Taken by the Forest
Service for the Conservation and Improvement of
the Soils of Guadeloupe, by P. Moulin ........ 211
17. General Conditions in the Dominican Republic,
by Miguel Cesteros ......................... 215
18. Soil Survey and Land Classification in Colombia,
by Jose V. Lafaurie Acosta ................... 216
19. Soil and Agriculture Conditions in Guatemala,
by C.S. Simmons .......................... 218

Appendix C Programme for Field Trips ............................ 222

Bibliography .......... ............ ............................ .. ... 251




(1) In August, 1945, the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission, meet-
ing in. St Thomas, placed particular emphasis on the urgency of thersoils
problem' in the Caribbean, Its minutes read as follows :

"The most urgent need of the Caribbean region is more intensive use of
the land.. o.6 The first step is the soil survey; this should not be
over-elaborated, and should employ a uniform nomenclature agreed upon
for the Caribbean-, Investigations on the adaptation of new crop plants
to local environments and.season, rotation, tillage, manuring and crop
practices generally should be guided by this soil. survey,"

(2) In its public report, agriculture Nutrition, Fisheries and
Forestry, the Commission elaborated on this matter, as follows :

"The conservation and wise use of soil, water and forest resources is
basic to the welfare of the Caribbean area. Poor practices in the past,
however, have led.to wastage and impoverishment of the soils and-to de-..
pletion and reduced productivity of the forests. This degradation of .;.
the land has'resulted in reduced production of cultural crops, timber,
fuel, and water and in a lower standard of living of the people who are,
dependent upon the land for livelihood Better treatment and use of the
land so that it can produce more abundantly will lead to a better stan-
dard of living for the people.

"The problems in need iof research in these fields are many and diverse.
Collaboration within the area, in the planning and development of re-
search and.in the exchange and dissemination of results, offers the
chief hope of achieving greatly improved soil, water and forest conser-
vation -in the shortest timeA

"Inter-relationships in Conservation : Soil conservation is seldom an end
in itself. It is chiefly a means to sustained or increased production
of plants, whether they be cultivated crops, permanent pasture, forest
or lands maintained solely for the conservation of water0 Soil conser-
vation must be developed for and .in accordance with the requirements of
each kind of plant or crop production The more serious soil conserva-
tion problems in the Caribbean area are on the cultivated land, particu-
larly on the steeper lands0

"One group of problems in water conservation involves such aspects as the
retention of 'soil moisture for'crop production, control of runoff to


prevent erosion, regulation of streamflow, and control of floods. A-
chievement in this group depends largely upon the development and ap-
plication of cultivation and cropping practices suited to particular
conditions, supplemented with engineering devices to control runoff.

"Another group of problems in water conservation is concerned with the
control and beneficial use of water for domestic and industrial pur-
poses, hydroelectric power development, and to some extent irrigation.
These questions involve chiefly the control and management of the water
after it reaches the streams or storage basins, but the quantity of the
flow depends usually upon the measures undertaken with respect to the
first group.

"Lands suited for Forest : Land unsuited to cultivation or arable crops,
fodder grasses, or permanent pasture because of conditions of soil,
steepness of slope or climate should, in so far as practicable, be kept
in forest. This is necessary for the prevention of soil erosion, con-
servation of runoff, and the maximum production of forest crops, includ-
ing desirable recreational use and the maintenance of a suitable envi-
ronment for fresh water fish and wild life. By keeping the land more
permanently in cover, forests are more suitable for those lands most
vulnerable to rapid runoff and erosion. Besides adapting forest manage-
ment to soil and water conservation, other problems requiring research
include those dealing with more efficient production from the land and
the greater home and industrial utilization of forest crops."

(3) It was upon the foregoing inter-relationship of soil, water and
forest conservation that the .nglo-&merican Caribbean Commission based its
suggested research programme. The Commission stated with respect to this
programme :

"In considering it and in instituting any specific project in the future,
two important factors should be borne in mind : (a) that much scientific
knowledge on soil, water and forest conservation is already available
and being practiced as a result of past research and experience through-
out the Caribbean area. Also considerable information developed by re-
search on the Continents is directly applicable, or can be adapted, to
the solution of many problems of the area; (b) that new research should
be based upon research already done within the area or applicable re-
search elsewhere.."

(4) With respect to soil science as related to agriculture, the
Commission recommended the following general fields of data that should be
examined from the standpoint of present status and need for further under-
takings :

"Land resources, their classification and utilization including soil


classification, topography and other physical factors that are signifi-
cant in the conservation and utilization of land ...

"Present utilization of land, including areas for crop production, graz-
ing, forestry and other purposes."

(5) This meeting of the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission re-
sulted in the establishment of the Caribbean Research Council, to ascertain
what research has been done, survey needs, advise concerning desirable re-
search projects, arrange and facilitate cooperative research, undertake spe-
cial research assignments, and collect and disseminate information concerning
research. One of the earliest recommendations of this Council, approved by
the Commission in 1944, was that a research survey of the Caribbean area
should be undertaken at an early date. The two scientists selected for the
task, Dr. Carlos E. Chard6n, then Director of the Institute of Tropical
Agriculture, Mayagiez, Puerto Rico, and the late DoD. Paterson, Professor of
Agriculture, Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, reported in 1945,
Their chief recommendation was that a conference of soil scientists in the
Caribbean area should be held at an early date. "The object of this meet-
ing," they stated, "would be to draft for the Caribbean Commission a common
basis of approach and ultimate system of soil classification acceptable to
all representatives attending the meeting ... It is fundamental to any ear-
ly progress towards useful soil survey, and that, in turn, is admittedly the
first step to sound agricultural planning,"

(6) A few months later, in January, 1946, the sub-Committee on
Forestry of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, Fisheries and Forestry
of the Caribbean Research Council met in Trinidad. The Sub-Committee, after
surveying the present state of progress with respect to soil surveys in the
Caribbean area, recommended (1) standardised surveys, classification and no-
menclature of all soil types of the region, through the medium of a symposi-
um of soil scientists; and (2) detailed soil surveys of forested areas with
maps suitable for local needs. The Sub-Committee also recommended a number
of general research projects in the field of forestry with respect to soil
factors, to be executed by, or in collaboration with, soil scientists, on a
regional basis.

(7) In March of the same year, the West Indian Conference (Second
Session), held in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands of the United States, recommended
that an informal meeting of soil scientists from the territorial and member
governments of the Commission should be held in Puerto Rico at an early
date., In accordance with this recommendation, a Preparatory Committee, re-
presentative of the four member governments, was appointed in 1947 to pre-
pare an agenda for the conference. The composition of the Preparatory
Committee was as follows :


United Kingdom Mr HoJ. Page, Chairman Principal, Imperial
College of Tropical Agriculture, Trinidad.

Professor F. Hardy, Professor of Chemistry and Soil
Science, Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture,

United States Dr. JoA. Bonnet, Head, Soils Division, Agricultural
Experiment Station, University of Puerto Rico.

France Mr. D. Blanche, Acting Head of the Agricultural
Service, Martinique.

Netherlands Dr. H.J. Miller, Agricultural Chemist, Department of
Agricultural Economics, Surinam.

(8) This Preparatory Committee recommended the following agenda,
which was approved by the Commission :

(i) Presentation and discussion of collected data on soil forming factors
of the various territories,

(ii) Standardisation of field and laboratory methods of soil surveys.

(iii) Discussion of different systems of soil classification and mapping.

(iv) Formulation of a detailed regional programme of soil surveys.

(v) Survey of problems of soil erosion, soil conservation and soil renova-
tion in the different territories.

(vi) Practical application of soil surveys to land utilization,

(9) Another Preparatory Committee, under the Chairmanship of
Dr. Bonnet, was appointed to make all necessary arrangements for the scien-
tific programme of the Conference. The other members of this Committee were
Professor Hardy (with Mr. Go Rodrigues of the Imperial College of Tropical
Agriculture as his alternate); Dr. E.M. Chenery of the Department of Agri-
culture, Trinidad and Tobago; Dro Muller; and Mr. Blanche,

(10) The date originally fixed for the conference, August 1948,
clashed with the British Commonwealth Soil Scientists Conference at
Rothamstedo For this and other reasons, it was found impossible to convene
the conference in Puerto Rico before March, 1950,

(ll) The delegates, observers, visitors and Secretariat staff in
attendance at the Conference were as follows :







French Guiana


Leeward Islands



Netherlands West

Puerto Rico


Mr. J.B.D. Robinson

M. Paul BMna

M. P. Moulin

Professor F. Hardy

Mr. T. Owen Ellis

Dr. H. Stehle

Dr. J.E. Westermann

Dr. Juan A. Bonnet

Mr. J.M. Verhoog

Agricultural Chemist,
Department of Agriculture.

Head, Forests and Water
Conservation Service.

Acting Conservator of
Water and Forests for
French West Indies.

Professor of Chemistry
and Soil Science,
Imperial College of
Tropical Agriculture,
Trinidad; Member of
Preparatory Committee.

Senior Agricultural
Chemist, Department of

Director of Agricultural
Research in the French
West Indies and French
Guiana; Member of Prepara-.
tory Committee.

Director, Development In-
formation Bureau of the
Netherlands Antilles,

Head, Soils Division,
Agricultural Experiment
Station, University of
Puerto Rico; Member of
Preparatory Committee.

Pedologist, Agricultural
Experiment Station,
Department of Agriculture,
Surinam; Member of
Preparatory Committee.

SOIL 7!y 7 I' IN TY C' Tr'.'ITE.

Trinidad and Tol:-ro

Virgin Islands of
the United States

Windward Islands

Mr, G.C. Uitt1

Mr. Oscar R. Bough

Professor F, Hardy

Soil Survey Officer,
SDepartment of Gr'iculture.

Extension Agent in Charge,
Agricultural Experiment
Station, St. Thomas.

Professor of Chemistry and
Soil Science, Imperial
College of Tropical
Agriculture, Trinidad;
Member of Preparatory


British Commonwealth

Mr. G. Rodrigues

Mr. Kenneth C Vernon

Puerto Bico

Mr. Antonio T'oc'rc-"iu

Mr. Clifford A. ]:ayc

Mr. vfLool Perez Diaz

Mr..' rnclnr ~.o ,brur.i"-

Mr. Carlos Crrt-llC O

Lecturer, Imperial College
of Tropical Agriculture,

B.o.I. Soil Survey,
Imperial College of
Tropical Agriculture,

t.LTpraiser, FFr.ors Home

Geologist, Puerto Rico
Hater Resources Authority,

Division for Clnnoifcantion
and Scientific Appraisal
for Urban and Rural areas,
Treasury rcr:'rtrT.nt,

Arronornirt, BPI-SCS PRe-
search Project, r cjricul-
tural Experiment Station,
University of Puerto Rico,

Chcmint, BPI-SCS rec'rci
Project, Agricultural Ex-
periment Station, Univer-
sity of Puerto Ricoe





Mr. Arturo Roque

Dr. Bernardo G. Capd

Mr. Julian Rolda'n

Dr. Miguel A. Lugo

Mr. G. Nieves Calcaiio

Dr. George Samuels

Mr. F. Ar6stegui

Mr. P. Landrau

Mr. F. Mendez

Mr. W. Pennock


Puerto Rico


Director, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, University of
Puerto Rico.

Acting Director, Agricultural
Experiment Station, University
of Puerto Rico.

Assistant Soil Chemist, Soils
Division, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, University of
Puerto Rico.

Associate Soil Scientist, Soils
Division, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, University of
Puerto Rico.

Research Assistant in Chemistry,
Soils Division, Agricultural
Experiment Station, University
of Puerto Rico.

Associate Plant Physiologist,
Plant Physiology Division,
Agricultural Experiment Station,
University of Puerto Rico.

Associate Agronomist, Agronomy
Division, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, University of
Puerto Rico.

Assistant Agronomist, Agronomy
Division, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, University of
Puerto Rico.

Associate Agronomist, Agronomy
Division, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, University of
Puerto Rico.

Associate Horticulturist,
Agronomy Division, Agricultural
Experiment Station, University
of Puerto Rico .



Mr. C. Rivera Lopez

Mr. J.P. Rodrfguez

Mr. E. Molinary Sales

Mr. P. Gonzalez Rios

Mr. L.B. Ortiz

Mr. A. Riollano

Mr. Rafael Pietri

Mr. Ruben A. Bonilla

Dr. G. Serra

Dr. L. Alvarez


Puerto Rico


Assistant Agronomist, Agronomy
Division, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, University of
Puerto Rico.

Associate Agronomist, Agronomy
Division, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, University of
Puerto Rico.

Editor, Agricultural Experiment
Station, University of Puerto

Acting Head, Genetics Division,
Agricultural Experiment Station,
University of Puerto Rico.

Research Assistant in Agronomy,
Lajas Substation, Agricultural
Experiment Station, University
of Puerto Rico.

Agronomist in Charge, Isabela
Substation, Agricultural Ex-
periment Station, University of
Puerto Rico.

Assistant Professor in Agronomy,
College of Agriculture and
Mechanic Arts, University of
Puerto Rico.

Sugar Cane Specialist, Agricul-
tural Extension Service, Uni-
versity of Puerto Rico.

Head, Agricultural Economics
Division, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, University of
Puerto Rico.

Head, Phytopathologist Division,
Agricultural Experiment Station,
University of Puerto Rico.





Puerto Rico
(Cont d)

Food and Agriculture
Organisation of the
United Nations

United States of

*Mrc J, Gaztambide

Dro A.Bo Lewis

Mro R.D. Hockensmith

Mro Ray C. Roberts

Mr. Glenn L, Fuller

Dr. Roy W. Simonson

Head, Forestry Sec-
tion, Agricultural
Experiment Station,
University of Puerto

Land Use Officer,
Land Use Branch,
Agriculture Division,
Food and Agriculture
Organisation of the
United Nations.

Chief, Soil Conserva-
tion Surveys Division,
United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture,
Washington, D.C.

Principal Soil Correla-
tor for Western States,
Division of Soil Sur-
vey, Bureau of Plant
Industry, Soils and
Agricultural Engineer-
ing, Berkeley,

Regional Soil Scientist,
Southeastern Region,
Soil Conservation Ser-
vice,,United States
Department of Agri-
culture, Spartanburg,
South Carolinao

Assistant Chief,
Division of Soil
Survey, United States
Department of Agri-
culture, Beltsville,





United States of
America (cont'd)

Mr. U.S. Allison

Dr. Joaquin A. Marrero

Dr. Juan P. Cordova

Mr. Juan Juarez Juarbe

Mro Henry Bo Bosworth

Dr, Frank Wadsworth

Director, Soil Conserva-
tion Surveys in Puerto
Rico and the Virgin Is-
lands of the United
States, Soil Conservation
Service, United States
Department of Agriculture,
San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Assistant Director, Soil
Conservation Surveys in
Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands of the United
States, Soil Conservation
Service, United States
Department of agriculture,
San Juan, Puerto -ico.

Soil Scientist, Soil Con-
servation Surveys in
Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands of the United
States, Soil Conservation
Service, United States
Department of Agriculture,
San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Soil Scientist, Soil Con-
servation Surveys in
Puerto Rico and the Virgin
Islands of the United
States, Soil Conservation
Service, United States
Department of Agriculture,
San Juan, Puerto Ricoo

Director, Tropical Region,
United States Forest Ser-
vice, Rfo Piedras, Puerto

Silviculturist in Charge
of Research, Tropical
Forest Experiment Station,
United States Forest Ser-
vice, Rio Piedras, Puerto



United States of
America (cont'd)


Mr. Jose Marrero

Mr. William H. Gracia

Mr. C.S. Simmons

Dr. R.M. Smith

Mr. D.K. Fuhriman


Forester, Tropical'Forest
Experiment Station,
United States Forest
Service, Rio Piedras,
Puerto Rico.

District Conservationist,
Caribbean Area Soil Con-
servation Service, Rfo
Piedras, Puerto Rico.

Nacional, Office of
Foreign Agricultural
Relations, United States
Department of Agricul-
ture, Guatemala.

In charge BPI-SCS Research
Project, United States
Department of Agriculture,
cooperating with Agricul-
tural Experiment Station,
University of Puerto Rico.

Agricultural Engineer,
BPI-SCS Research, United
States Forest Research
Station, Rio Piedras,
Puerto Rico.




Dominican Republic


Dr. Jose M. Molina

Dr. Jose V. Lafaurie

Mr. W.J. Luke, Jr.


Head, Soil Survey Depart-

Seccidn de Suelos, Insti-
tute Geografico, Bogota.

Central Romana Corporation,
La Romana.





Dominican Republic



Puerto Rico

United States of


Mr. Miguel A. Cesteros

Mr. Edmond Polynice

Mr. H.C. Thompson

Dr. Ismael Velez

Dr. C.D. Jeffries

Dr. H.A. Meyerhoff

Mr. L.M. de Eleizalde

Agronomist, Ministry
for Conservation of
Soils, Department of
Agriculture, Forestry
and Land Settlement,
Ciudad Benemerita,
P.T., San Cristobal.

Department of Agricul-
ture, Port-au-Prince.

Colonial Sugar Company,

Professor of Botany,
Polytechnic Institute,
San German.

Professor of Soils,
Pennsylvania State
College, Pa.

Secretary, American
Association for the
Advancement of Science,
Northampton, Massachusetts.

Jefe, Divisi6n de Suelos,
Institute Nacional de
Agriculture, Maracay.



Dr. Eric Williams

Deputy Chairman,

Caribbean Research Council

Mr. C.K. Robinson

Mr. C.P. Erskine-Lindop

Executive Secretary (Agricultural Economics)

Administrative Assistant.

(12) Others present who participated in the work of the Conference
were :

Mr. VWF. Pate,

Assistant in Research, Soils Divisions, Bureau of Plant
Industry, Soils and Agricultural Engineering, United
States Department of Agriculture.

___~ ___ _.______ __________


Dr. C. Gaztambide Arrillaga, Agricultural Extension Service, Puerto Rico.

Mr. T.M. Bushnell, Soil Survey, Purdue University, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, Indiana.

Mr. Roberto Huyke, Agricultural Extension Service, Puerto Rico.

Mr. C.G. Moscoso, Genetics Division, Agricultural Experiment Station,
University of Puerto Rico.

Mrs. Maria del C.C. Fernandez, Physiology Division, Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, University of Puerto Rico.

Madame Madeleine Stehle", Guadeloupe.

Mr. M.A. Hein, Agronomist, Division of Forage Crops and Diseases, Bureau
of Plant Industry, Soils and Agricultural Engineering,
United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville,

Mr. E. Boneta-Garcfa, Research Assistant Plant Breeder, Agricultural Ex-
periment Station, University of Puerto Rico.

Mr. J. Martfnez-Mateo, Assistant Chemist, Agricultural Experiment Sta-
tion, University of Puerto Rico,

Mr. E. Hernandez, Assistant, Plant Physiology, Agricultural Experiment
Station;.University of Puerto Rico.

Mr. M.A. Tid', Assistant, Plant Physiology, Agricultural Experiment Sta-
tion, University of Puerto Rico.

Mr. J.S. Simmons, Assistant Agronomist in charge of Plant Propagation and
Distribution, Agricultural Experiment Station, Univer-
sity of Puerto Rico.

Mr. R. Grant, Research Assistant and Agronomist in charge of Station Farm,
Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Puerto

Dr. R.J.Muckenhirn, Assistant Director, Experiment Station, College of
Agriculture, University of Wisconsin.

Mr. J.A. Silva, Jefe, Seccid6 de Fertilidad, Division de Suelos, Instituto
Nacional de Agricultura, Maracay.

Mr. L.J. Medina, Jefe, Seccion de Estudios, Divisi6n de Suelos, Instituto
Nacional de Agricultura, Maracayo


(15) The Conference was opened by Dr. Jaime Benitez, Chancellor of
the University of Puerto Rico. Opening addresses were also made by
Dr. Eric rilliams, Deputy Chairman, Caribbean Research Council, and
Dr. Bernardo G. Capd, Acting Director, Agricultural Experiment Station,
University of Puerto Rico.

(14) The Conference elected Dr. Juan A. Bonnet chairman, and ap-
pointed three committees, as follows :


Dr. Roy W. Simonson, Chairman
Professor F. Hardy, Rapporteur

Mr. G.C. Witt
Mr. Ray C. Roberts
Mr. Juan P. Cordova
Dr. Jos6 M. Molina
Mr. L.J. Medina
Dr. JA. Bonnet
Dr. C.D. Jeffries
Mr. T.M. Bushnell
Mr. J.M. Verhoog
Dr. Henri Stehl4
Mr. C.S. Simmons
Mr. G. Rodrigues
Mr. Kenneth C. Vernon
Mr. F.C. Darcel
Dr. G. Samuels
Mr. W.W. Pate
Dr. M.A. Lugo
Mr. R. Pietri
Dr. R.M. Smith
Mr. L.M. de Eleizalde



U.S. Allison, Chairman
J.B.D. Robinson, Rapporteur
T.O. Ellis
Miguel A. Cestero
J.H. Westermann
Joaquin A. Marrero
C. Gaztambide-Arrillaga
Oscar R. Bough
W.J. Luke (Jr.)


United States of America
Imperial College of Tropical Agri-
culture, Trinidad
United States of America
United States of America
Puerto Rico
United States of America
United States of America
United States of America (Guatemala)
Puerto Rico
United States of America
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico


United States of America
Dominican Republic
Netherlands West Indies
United States of America
Puerto Rico
Virgin Islands of the United States
Dominican Republic



Mr. R.D. Hockensmith, Chairman
Dr. A.B. Lewis, Rapporteur

Mr. P. Bena
Dr. R.J. Muckenhirn
Mr. G.L. Fuller
Dr. G. Serra
Mr. J. Marrero
Mr. R.A. Bonilla
Mr. M.A. Hein
Mr. R.B. Batchelder
Dr. John Lounsbury
Mr. H.C. Thompson
Mr. Edmond Polynice

- United States of America
- Food and Agriculture Organization of
the United Nations
- French Guiana
- United States of America
- United States of America
- Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico
- United States of America
- United States of America
- United States of America
- Jamaica
- Haiti

(15) The Conference also appointed a Drafting Steering Committee,
comprising the Preparatory Committee and the chairman of the three confer-
ence committees. The composition of the Drafting-Steering Committee was,
therefore, as follows :-

Dr. Juan A. Bonnet, Chairman
Professor F, Hardy
Dr. H. Stehle
Mr. J.M. Verhoog
Dr. RoyWT. Simonson
Mr. U.S. Allison
Mr. R.D. Hockensmith
Dr. Eric Williams )
Mr. C.K. Robinson ) Central Secretariat

The Drafting-Steering Committee agreed to coopt Dr. Westermann of the
Netherlands West Indies and Dr. Lewis of the Food and Agriculture Organiza-
tion in order that their specialized knowledge might be at its disposal for
the consideration and co-ordination of the Committee reports.

(16) The Conference also had, for its consideration, detailed state-
ments surveying existing conditions, emphasising special problems, and mak-
ing recommendations, for the following territories : Barbados, British Guiana,
British Honduras, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Leeward-Islands, Jamaica, Marti-
nique, Netherlands West Indies, Puerto Rico, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago,
Virgin Islands of the United States, Windward Islands. A similar statement
for Haiti was submitted to the Secretariat during the Conference. Information
was also submitted in respect of certain territories regarding personnel and
funds available for research in the field of soil science. These statements
had been requested by the Central Secretariat in accordance with the following


recommendations of the Caribbean Research Council at its Second Meeting,
held in Trinidad in May, 1949, and approved by the Caribbean Commission at
its Ninth Meeting, held in St. Thomas in December, 1949 :

"12. That the Yearbook (of Caribbean Research) should be supplemented by
separate booklets surveying over a period of time the work done in
each field, as, for example, the booklet on Forest Research in the
Caribbean Area.

"15. That these separate booklets should contain bibliographies of the
work done in each field, similar to the bibliography included in
Forest Research in the Caribbean Area, while each edition of the
Yearbook should include a bibliography of periodical literature and
books published during'the intervening period."



(17) The Conference had before it, for its consideration as a guide
to its deliberations, the following papers, which were duplicated and dis-
tributed by the Secretariat :

1. The Soils of Antigua, by F. Hardy.
2. The Soils of Barbados, by F, Hardyo
3. The Soils of British Guiana, by F. Hardy,
4. The Soils of British Honduras, by F. Hardy,
5, Soil Formation in the British Caribbean Volcanic Islands, by F. Hardy
and JoS. Beard.
6. Brief Note on the Soils of Jamaica, by Fo Hardy,
7. The Soils of Trinidad, by F. Hardy,
8. The Soils of Tobago, by F. Hardy.
9. Brief Description of Geology, Climate, Physiography and Soils of
Puerto Rico, by J.A, Bonnet.
10. A Preliminary Note on Soil-Forming Factors and Soil Formation in Suri-
nam, by JoM, Verhoogo
11. Soil-Forming Factors in the Netherlands West Indies, by H.Jo Mailero
12. Lessons from the First Half Century of Soil Survey, by Roy W. Simonson.
13. La Colonisation Veg6tale Primaire sur les Depots Recents de Nuages
Denses de la Montagne Pel6e (Primary Plant Colonisation on the Recent
Ash and Dust Deposits of Mount Pelde), by H. and M. Stehl,.
14. M6todos de Levantamiento y de Analisis de Laboratorio de la Divisi6n
de Suelos del MoA.C. (Methods of Sampling and Laboratory Analysis of
the Soils Division of the M.AC.), by Arnauld Haspil,
15. Les Sources de l'Humus et de la Matiere Organique aux Antilles
Frangaises (Sources of Humus and Organic Matter in the French West
Indies), by Ho Stehle]
16 L'Evolution de la Connaissance Pgdologique des Precolombiens
Insulaires a nos jours aux Antilles Frangaises (The Evolution of Pedo-
logical Knowledge from the time of the Insular Pre-Columbian Inhabi-
tants to the present time in the French West Indies), by H. & MStehle'J
17. Les Pionniers de la Colonisation Vegetale sur les Cuirasses
Lateritiques en Guadeloupe (The Pioneers of Plant Colonisation on Lat-
eritic Carapaces in Guadeloupe), by Ho Stehle6o
18o Breves Consideraciones Sobre los Metodos Utilizados para la Classifi-
cacidn y Mapeado de Suelos (Brief Discussions of the Methods used in
the Classification and Plotting of Soils), by Luis J. Medina,
19. Lea Principes des Travaux Cartographiques des Sols Dans les Pays a
Agriculture Intensive et Mercelee (The Principles of Cartographic work
in connection with Soils in countries with Intensive Agriculture and
Land Settlement), by Jo Baeyens.
20, M6thodes Employees en Haiti dans 1Etude des Sols (Methods employed in
Haiti in the study of Soils),


21. La Signification des Normes Chimiques du Besoin en Engrais des Sols
Agricoles (The Significance of Chemical Norms in the need for Ferti-
lizers for Agricultural Soils), by J. Baeyens.
22. On the Occurrence of "Katteklei" (Cat-Clay) in Surinam, by H.J.Miller,
25. Soil Conservation, A World Opportunity, by H.H. Bennett.
24. Notes on Tropical Climatology, by C.W. Thornth-aite.
25, Some Paleosols of Puerto Rico, by Clifford A. Kaye.
26. Characteristic Clay Minerals of Some Soil Types of the Lesser Antil-
les, by G. Rodrigues.
27. Laboratory Methods for Soil Analysis in use at Agricultural Experi-
ment Station, Paramaribo, Surinam, by H.J. MUller.
28. Soil Survey in the Union of South Africa, by C.R. van der Merwe,
29, Soil Classification for Irrigation Purposes in Puerto Rico, by
J.A. Bonnet.
50. British Caribbean Soil Survey, Imperial College of Tropical Agricul-
ture St. Vincent, Soil Survey Report, by K.C. Vernon.
31. The Chemical and Physical Properties of the Zonal Soils of the
Hawaiian Islands, by G. Donald Sherman.
52. Remarks about Soil Classification in the Caribbean Area with special
reference to Jamaica Soils, by R.F. Innes,
55o Assessment system in Puerto Rico with special reference to Rural
Areas, by David A. Rodrigues.
34. Reconnaissance Soil Classification in Extensive Areas of Level Land
in the Coastal Plain of the Dominican Republic, by J.A. Bonnet.
35. The Constituent Minerals of Soils as related to Soil Problems, by
C.D. Jeffries.
36. Naming and Describing the Colours of Soils, by Robert L. Pendleton.
37. Use of Soil Inventory Forms, by R. Earl Storie,
38. A Land Capability Inventory Basic to Soil Conservation, by
R.D. Hockensmith,
59. A System of Soil Profile Characterization, by R.M. Smith and
George Samuels,
40. The Soils of Guatemala, by Lawrence C, Wheeting.
41. Soil Survey in Surinam, by J.M. Verhoog.
42. Some Notes on Standardization of Methods of making Soil Surveys, by
C.S, Simmons,
453 Rapport somnaire sur les sols de la Guyane (A Brief Survey of the
Soils of French Guiana), by Paul Bgna.
44, Soil as a Factor in the Occurrence of Two Types of Montane Forest in
Puerto Rico, by Frank H. Wadsworth and J.A. Bonnet.
45. The Genesis and Morphology of Hawaiian Ferruginous Laterite Crusts,
by G. Donald Sherman,
46, Land Classification Programme in Puerto Rico, by Donald D. Dyer and
C.F. Jones,
47. Land Classification Scheme in Colombia, by J.V. Lafaurie Acosta.
48. Soil Development in Puerto Rico and Surinam, by Ray C. Roberts.
49. Geologic Backgrounds in Caribbean Lands, by Howard A. Meyerhoff.

* Not distributed,


50. Some Observations on Soil Conservation Practices in Two Islands iof the
Caribbean Archipelago, St. Thomas and St. Vincent, by Ismael Velez.
51. Soil Maps as an aid in Classifying Rural Land for Recommended Use, by
A.B. Lewis.
52. Classification and Mapping of Soils, Classification of Land for Rec-
ommended Use, Soil and Hrater Conservation, and Land Utilization as
Integral Parts of a Land Improvement Programme, by A.B. Lewis.
553 Notes sur les Moyens d'Action du Service Forestier pour la Conserva-
tion et l'Amelioration des Sols dans le Department de la Guadeloupe
(Notes on the Measures taken by the Forest Service for Soil Conserva-
tion and Improvement in Guadeloupe), by P. Moulin.

(18) The organisation of the Conference did not permit the reading
or discussion of these papers. In order to obviate the disadvantages aris-
ing from a mere distribution of papers, and to facilitate that exchange of
views which is a fundamental aspect of technical conferences of this nature,
the Preparatory Committee endorsed a Secretariat proposal for the organisa-
tion of a number of evening seminars on "The Soil Problems of the Caribbean
and the Adjacent Countries", as follows :


April 2

April 5

April 4

April 5


Dr. J.A. Bonnet

Prof. F. Hardy

Mr. J.M. Verhoog

Mr. G. Rodrigues


Mr. R.D. Hockensmith
Dr. A.B. Lewis

Dr. Roy W. Simonson

Dr. Ismael Velez

Prof. F. Hardy
Mr. G. Rodrigues

Mr. JoM Molina

Mr. C.S. Simmons

Mr. M.A. Cesteros
Mr. W.J. Luke, Jr.


Land Classification
in a Caribbean Land
Improvement Programme

Soil Research and
Classification in a
Caribbean Land Im-
provement Programme

Soil Conservation in
the Caribbean

Present State of Soil
Knowledge in the
British Caribbean

Soils of Venezuela

Soils of Guatemala

Soils of the Dominican

* Not distributed.
** Afternoon session.



April 5


Dr. H. Stehle'



Ray C. Roberts
J.A. Bonnet
C.D. Jeffries
H.A. Meyerhoff

Soils of Puerto

Dr. J.V. Lafaurie Acosta

Dr. J.A. Bonnet

Prof. F. Hardy

Mr. J.M. Verhoog

Dr. H. Stehle

Mr. Paul B6na

Mr. P. Moulin


U.S. Allison
Joaquin A. Marrero
Juan P. Cordova
R.M. Smith

Soils of Colombia

Soil problems of

Soils of French

Soils of French

Conservation and
Improvement of
Soils of Guadeloupe

Soil Conservation
in Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands
of the United

April 6

April 7


(20) As stated above, the Conference organized three committees for
the consideration of the agenda on a regional basic, in the light of the de-
tailed tabulated statements presented for the individual territories. The
Conference's report is as follows :

Survey of Existing Conditions


(1) Geology

(a) Amount of information
variable; some territo-
ries have considerable
information, others very

(b) A complete bibliography
was published in 1938
(LoM.Ro Rutten, Bibliog-
raphy of the Geology of
the West Indies, Utrecht),

More information needed to
fill in the gaps,

An up-to-date list of works
in geology for the Caribbean
Region is needed.

Various geological institutes
should be approached by the
Caribbean Commission for practi-
cal aid; i.e., for extension of
geological surveys (British
Colonial Office, U.S. Geological
Survey, Surinam Bureau of
Geology, French Scientific Re-
search, Departments of Geology,
Netherlands Universities).

Territories should be requested
by the-Commission to bring the
1958 bibliography up-to-date and
to keep it posted.

(2) Topography

(a) Kinds and degree of ac-
curacy of topographic
maps variable

(b) Few territories have
aerial surveys completed,

(c) Few have topographic
maps based on aerial
surveys available,

Need for standardisation of
maps and for maps of dif-
ferent scales,

Great need for completion of
aerial surveys for all ter-
ritories .

Need for topographic maps
based on aerial surveys,

Caribbean Commission should re-
quest the territorial Governments
to expedite the completion of
surveys in their territories.

Best scales of maps to be pro-
duced and used should be deter-
minedo A scale of 1:20,000 is
satisfactory for aerial photo
negatives. Enlargements to the
required scale should be made
from these negatives.



Survey of Existing Conditions

(5) Climate

(a) Variable rainfall data
available, particularly
for cultivated areas.

(b) Only sparse data for
intensity of rainfall

(c) Only sparse data for
variations of tempera-
ture and wind available.

Need for more
especially in

Need for more

rainfall stations
lesser developed

recording rain

Need for more temperature sta-

Additional :

(i) Need for evaporation

(ii) Need for dew measurements.

Seek aid from meteorological au-
thorities, local meteorological
and agricultural departments for
purpose of multiplying stations
and installing additional in-

The Caribbean Commission should
draw to the attention of the pro-
posed Meteorological Conference
in June, 1950, the need for in-
creasing the number of stations
and installing additional equip-
ment, particularly recording in-

Recommendation to Meteorological
Conference as above.

(4) Vegetation

Fair amount of informa-
tion available for most
territories. Floras and
herbaria for a few terri-
tories are available.

Need for filling in the gaps
and for more detail concerning
undergrowths, second-growth
successions and weeds as "soil

Seek further aid from Forest and
Agricultural Departments and lo-
cal and metropolitan botanists
and institutions.










Survey of Existing Conditions


(1) Field Methods

(a) Little experience out-
side of Puerto Rico,
Trinidad-Tobago, British
Honduras, Antigua and
Surinam, where detailed
soil surveys have already
been made.

(b) Mostly profile-pit and
auger methods have been


A need for development of me-
thods by further experience.

Exchange of information and
experience required concern-
ing both methods and equip-
ment (e.g,, kinds of augers
and boring implements).


The individual organizations
should seek the cooperation of
soil-survey organizations which
possess the necessary informa-
tion, experience and knowledge.

Soil surveyors in the different
territories might prepare a list
and description of the methods
and equipment in use for circu-
lation among all territories.

(2) Laboratory Methods

(a) There is considerable
variation in the methods
used in the laboratories
of the different terri-
tories, partly because
the present needs are
variable o

(b) The following routine de-
terminationsare made in
most laboratories :-
mechanical analysis,
pH, calcium carbonate,
organic matter, total
nitrogen, available phos-
phate and potasho

The need for special equip-
ment (e.go, the flame photo-
meter) was expressed, and
also detailed instructions
as to how to use and main-
tain such apparatus under
tropical conditions.

The need of additional junior
trained staff was expressed
for Trinidad, Tobago, and

The need of a soils laborato-
ry for French Guiana was in-
dicated.by the French dele-

Soil chemists in the different
territories might prepare a list
and description of the methods
in use in their laboratories for
general circulation by the
Commission's Secretariat.

Grants be sought by the Commis-
sion to help to establish soils
laboratories where none exist,
to enlarge the staffs of lbora-
tories at present inadequately
staffed, anhdfortthe purchase of
special equipment, where re-

Survey of Existing Conditions

(2) Laboratory Methods

(b) (Contd.)

Many determine ex-
change capacity and ex-
changeable bases as
routine work, and some
measure chloride and
sulphate. A few deter-
mine lime-requirement
as routine.

(c) Routine physical deter-
minations (e.g., of
structure and pore-
space) are not general-
ly undertaken.


The need was expressed of
mineral analyses by special
methods (e.g., X-ray, differ-
ential thermal analysis and
X-ray spectroscopic methods),
possibly to be undertaken at
a Central Laboratory. It was
indicated, however, that if
such a laboratory were con-
templated, the equipment
might rapidly deteriorate be-
cause of high humidity; hence
samples may have to be sent
abroad for examination.

The study of physical methods
should be extended, and con-
sideration given to their
application as routine deter-

Instrument makers be invited by
the Commission to consider the
design and manufacture of damp-
prof apparatus of the kinds re-
ferred to in the second column as
well as other electrical equip-

Lists of equipment makers should
be furnished the Commission by
the Soils Laboratories in the

Enquiries be made by the Commis-
sion into the possibility of
modifying existing quarantine
and customs regulations to expe-
dite the exchange of soil samples
and the delivery of samples to
any Central Laboratories that
might be established in the
Caribbean region.

Information should be sought by
individual scientists from inves-
tigators having experience of
physical methods of soil analysis
and their application to routine
work for dissemination in the



E %




Re c ommendat ions

Survey of Existina Conditions


(2) Laboratory Methods

(c) (Contdo)

Caribbean region.


Systems so far used have
been mostly petrological,
except Puerto Rico, St.
Croix, Antigua and Surinam,
where pedological system
was used Drainage has
been used in classifying
the soils of Trinidad-
Tobago and British


The extent of surveyed
areas and the intensity of
the survey vary greatly,
from nil in some areas to
complete detailed surveys
in parts of Surinam,
Trinidad, Antigua, and
Puerto Rico,

Need for standardisation and
comparison with Puerto Rico

Soil surveys are needed in
different degrees of inten-
sity for most territories;
for example, land settlement
in Surinam, arable land in
the Netherlands West Indies,
most of the lands of Jamaica,
unsurveyed parts of Trinidad
and Tobago, parts of British
Guiana and British Honduras,
the whole of the British
Leeward and Windward Islands,
the French territories, and
the Virgin Islands, both

Individual organizations should
seek aid from USDA authorities,
particularly from those who have
had experience with soils in
Puerto Rico,

Individual territories should es-
tablish survey organizations or
extend activities of existing
survey organizations, as appro-


Survey of Existing Conditions




United States and British,


In view of improper land
use as a result of cer-
tain social and economic
conditions in the Carib-
bean area, and with spe-
cial reference to topog-
raphy, climate and soil
types, soil erosion has
become a very serious

(a) No systematic survey
of soil erosion has
been carried out in
most of the territo-

Inability on the part of terri-
tories to provide sufficient
technical personnel and labora-
tory facilities required for
the procurement of necessary

Individual Governments should be
urged to establish erosion sur-

The methods in use in Puerto Rico,
or modifications to suit local
conditions, should be considered
by other territories.

Reconnaissance data on erosion
and other factors of importance
to soil conservation should be
mapped at the time of the basic
soil survey, as aids in deter-
mining a need for a soil and
water conservation programme.





Survey of Existing Conditions

V. (a) (Contd.)

(b) A definite need is appar-
ent in most territories
for a programme of soil
and water conservation,

There is a general lack, over
much of the area, of the nec-
essary territorial organisa-

Lack of enabling legislation
in most territories, which is
essential for the initiation
and implementation of ade-l
quate conservation programmes,
is a limiting factor.

(c) Lack of technical data on Information is required on
factors affecting erodi- precipitation, evaporation,
ability *r soils, run-off, percolation and
other factors.

Solicit technical and financial
assistance under the Expanded
Technical Assistance Programme of
the United Nations and individual
governments, the Economic Cooper-
ation Administration, the Food
and Agriculture Organisation of
the United Nations, the Conserva-
tion Foundation (New York), and
other sources.

The necessary organisation should
be provided in these territories.

The territories should enact ap-
propriate legislation, such as
the Soil Conservation Districts
Act in force- in Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands of the United
States, which will provide for
the proper execution of suitable

Such legislation should provide
for the appropriation and use of
funds, control of forest reserves
and watershed areas, and the con-
trol of water and soil whenever
these affect the public welfare

Research on these lines should be
instituted by individual territo-



Survey of Existing Conditions

(d) Lack of land capability
maps in many territories.

(e) There is lack of popular
understanding of basic
principles of soil erosion
and soil conservation in
their broadest aspects,

(f) In most of the territories,
conservation farm planning
is not undertaken,

(g) There are large areas of
land which have become un-
suited to cultivation
through soil erosion in
this area.

(h) There is no unified soil
conservation programme
throughout the Caribbean


Absence of necessary data on
which to base land capability

In view of the fact that the
application of soil conserva-
tion methods depends greatly
on the attitude of the popula-
tion, it is felt to be of
great importance that the
people be made conservation

Deficiency of technical knowl-
edge in soil conservation.

Inadequate services for the
dissemination and interpreta-
tion of scientific informa-

Difficulty of conversion to
more desirable land use, owing
to population pressure and
other social and economic fac-
tors, in many cases.

Lack of coordination among the
territories and the agencies
participating in soil conser-
vation in the Caribbean area.

As soon as the necessary basic
data become available, land capa-
bility maps should be prepared in
the territories.

The territories are requested to
consider the various ways and
means of disseminating conserva-
tion information amongst the
population. This could be
achieved primarily by education,
including lectures, moving pic-
tures, and by the distribution of
appropriate educational material.

Governments should be urged to
establish the necessary organisa-
tions to extend technical knowl-
edge and assistance to the agri-
cultural population, where such
organizations are not already

If and where possible, these
lands should be converted from
cultivated crops to pasture,
forage and forest cover crops in
these areas.

A Co-ordinating Soil Conservation
Committee should be appointed by
the Commission to act as an over-
all committee to guide soil con-
servation work in the Caribbean

This committee should be composed
of specialists in the field of






Survey of Existing Conditions

Vo (h) (Contd.)

Many territories or parts
of territories have simi-
lar soils, topography,
and crop conditions, but
there is inadequate in-
formation concerning
their distribution and
extent. This information
is needed to reduce the
expenses of research re-
sulting from duplication
of effort,

The definition of these areas
will depend on the completion
of soil and land surveys

conservation and related subjects.

This Committee should collect and
disseminate all available and fu-
ture information and publications
on soil erosion, conservation,
renovation, legislation and relat-
ed subjects, through the facili-
ties of the Caribbean Commission.

The Co-ordinating Soil Conserva-
tion Committee should expedite
the completion of the necessary
surveys and the designation of
similar land areas.


Adequate base maps are
essential in collecting
and interpreting the data
needed in making both
land capability classifi-
cation and economic land
use classification.

The principal problem in-
volved in acquiring more and
better base maps is that of
finance. In some cases,
there are problems of proce-
dure involved in arranging
for maps and photographs in
the possession of cne Govern-

The necessary steps should be
taken by governments to provide
aerial photographs for their
territories for use in land
classifications Such photographs
should be to a scale at least
1:20,000, and, preferably,



(1) Base s

Survey of Existing Conditions

(1) Base Maps (Contd.)

Adequate base maps and
aerial photographs are
available only for a por-
tion of the Caribbean area.


ment to be used by another

The United States Section of the
Caribbean Commission should be
requested to arrange to make
available to the territories of
other Sections of the Commission
either the negatives of aerial
photographs made by the United
States Army in various Caribbean
territories or enlargements based
upon such negatives.

The United States Section of the
Commission should be requested to
explore the possibilities of the
United States Armed Forces ex-
tending their coverage of aerial
photographs over other territo-
ries of the Caribbean, not yet

The United States Section of the
Caribbean Commission should be
requested to determine the extent
to which the United States Coast
and Geodetic Survey has made top-
ographic maps of Caribbean areas;
to make such maps available to
the other Sections of the Commis-
sion for use in land classifica-
tion; and to explore the possi-
bility of the work of the United
States Coast and Geodetic Survey
being extended into other Carib-
bean territories not yet covered.






Survey of Existing Conditions

(1) Base Maps (Contd.)

Cadastral maps of Caribbean terri-
tories, made through the use of
aerial photographs and other means,
should be completed as soon as
possible in view of their value in
land classification and for other

(2) Land Capability Classifica-

Land capability and similar
maps have been made for on-
ly a small part of the area

Shortage of funds and, parti-
cularly, of trained personnel
for extending land capability

Because of the shortage of
trained personnel, there is a
possibility that work in the
various parts of the several
Caribbean territories will be
done from different points of
view and based on different

Land capability classification
should be initiated in all Carib-
bean territories or completed in
territories where it has already
been begun, as a guide for public
policies and private practices in
land utilisationo

In the process of making land.ca-
pability maps, maps of existing
land use on farms would be pre-
pared as an incidental part of the
land capability classification.

It is highly desirable that land
capability classification should
proceed on a basis of uniform
principles, so that the results
may be comparable and interchange
of information facilitated.

The Caribbean Commission should
explore the possibilities of ob-
taining technical assistance



Survey of Existing Conditions

(2) Land Capability Classifica-
tion (Contd.)


Farm Management Research

Farm management studies are
necessary as a basis for
economic land classifica-
tion, as well as for other
research on the factors in-
fluencing the success of
individual farmers.

Lack of funds, and, princi-
pally, shortage of personnel
trained in the principles and
methods of farm management

For most of the Caribbean
territories, with the ex-
ception of Puerto Rico,
little farm management re-
search has been done,

(4) Economic Land Classifica-
No work has been done, ex- Shortage of personnel ade-

through the United Nations Ex-
panded Technical Assistance Pro-
gramme and other sources in the
training of personnel for, and in
the planning and initiation of,
programmes of land capability
classification as part of a
Caribbean Land Improvement Pro-

Farm management studies should be
initiated in all territories of
the Caribbean where they have not
already been begun, and should be
expanded in most of the territo-
ries where work has already been

The Caribbean Commission should
explore the possibility of ob-
taining technical assistance
through the United Nations Ex-
panded Technical Assistance Pro-
gramme and from other sources,
in the training of agricultural
personnel in the principles and
methods of farm management analy-

Economic land classification maps







Survey of Existing Conditions

(4) Economic Land Classification


quately trained in the princi-
ples of farm management and
economic land classification to
undertake and supervise the
work A secondary problem is
that of obtaining funds for
such classification,

cept in Puerto Rico.

should be prepared as rapidly
as it is possible to obtain or
train the necessary personnel
in all Caribbean territories
where they have not yet been
completed. Detailed maps of
the present use of the land
would be made as an integral
part of the process of classi-
fying the land into economic
land use classes. These land
use maps would be more detailed
and more specific than those
required for the land capability
classification described pre-

The Caribbean Commission should
explore the possibility of ob-
taining technical assistance
through the United Nations Ex-
panded Technical-Assistance
Pro-gramme'and from other
- sources, In obtaining and
training personnel for economic
land use"classification in the







(21) The Conference has given the most careful consideration to
the interest taken by the Caribbean Commission in the Soil and Land prob-
lem of the area, to the hope that it has generally expressed for practical
and practicable recommendations, and to the acuteness of the agricultural
problems of the area which are to be the theme of the West Indian Confer-
ence (Fourth Session), to be held in Curacao in November, 1950,

(22). 'No resource is of such importance in the support of mankind
as the land, including its water supply, on which crops, farm animals, and
forests are produced At the same time, however, the misuse and under-de-
velopment of this resource are widespread, giving rise to hardships and
losses, and limiting the living levels of entire populations, especially
those who obtain their living directly from the land. These conditions
are seen in many parts of the Caribbean area,

(25) Fortunately, ways and means have been devised and used in va-
rious countries in preventing the misuse of land resources, developing the
potentialities of various kinds of land, and thus safeguarding and improv-
ing the livelihood of the people For the successful planning and conduct
of such land utilisation programmes, however, basic information of a sci-
entific nature must be obtained, and organizations and activities must be
established and initiated for this purpose,. These activities are designed,
essentially, to determine and show the varying characteristics of land
that should govern decisions by the public and by private persons as to
how the land is to be used to the best advantage. These essential activi-
ties may be briefly described as follows :

(24) (a) The soil survey, with accompanying soil classification
and research, determines and shows the characteristics of the many types
of soil, their origin and how they have been formed, and their geographic
relation to each other, Soil research determines response of the soil to
fertilizers, cultivation, and other management factors Soil maps can be
made only by soil scientists trained in the subject. As base maps for
soil surveys, aerial photographs and topographic maps are required.

(25) (b) The land capability map classifies the land within farms
and within fields according to the use and treatment to which the land is
adapted from the physical and agronomic point of view, as distinct from
the general economic characteristics of large areas It is a detailed
classification, such as is useful to an individual farmer in planning the


use and treatment of each separate portion of his farm,

(26) In the land capability classification many land characteris-
tics are considered. These include the soil and such factors as slope,
stoniness, rock outcrop, climate, drainage, and past soil losses by ero-
sion. On all these bases the land is first classified as to whether or
not it is useful for cultivation. Land suited to cultivation is subclas-
sified according to the number and force of limitations it possesses as to
its use and treatment. The land not suited to cultivation is similarly
subclassified as to limitations of use and treatment under uses not re-
quiring cultivation, such as, for example, forest or grazing.

(27) Determination of land capability classes is not merely a mat-
ter of field mapping, but is based on scientific investigations made by
specialists in various sciences. It is an art based on science, and can
be accomplished only by adequately trained personnel. For land capability
surveying and mapping, aerial photographs and cadastral survey maps are
needed as base maps. Soil information and relationships obtained in the
soil survey and soil research are utilized in classifying land from the
land capability viewpoint.

(28) (c) Farm management surveys and research are conducted in
order to determine and show the importance of various factors, including
the character of the land, in influencing farming returns and the improve-
ment and development of farms. Information so obtained is indispensable
in guiding the reorganisation of farms based on land capability maps, in
establishing standards for economic land classification, described below,
and for many other purposes.

(29) (d) Economic land use classification is a generalised classi-
fication of larger areas, within which farms are situated, from the view-
point of the degree of intensity of use to which the land is adapted. The
economic land classification serves as a guide for public programs in-
tended to improve land utilisation and to develop land resources as well
as for private decisions of a fundamental nature involving land use.
&mong these programmes is that of soil and water conservation, for which
the land capability maps (described above) are necessary in dealing with
problems on a farm-by-farm basis or on groups of farms whose conservation
problems are related, Other public land improvement programmes for which
the economic land classification serves as a basis and guide include new
agricultural settlements, reforestation, rural electrification, extension
or improvement of irrigation and drainage, improvement of rural roads,
planning of rural school systems, and guiding the formation of policy and
the conduct of programmes in the fields of land taxation, rural credit,
rural fire insurance, agricultural extension or advisory work amongst
farmers, and others. Such maps also serve as an indispensable framework
for agricultural economic research, especially farm management and land
economic research.


(50) Economic land use classification maps are made by specialists
with training in the principles of farm management and land economics and
with the necessary field experience. The base maps required are topo-
graphic maps and aerial photographs. In the classification, soil survey
maps or land capability maps, or both, are used, while economic data in-
cluding detailed data on existing land use are also considered.

(51) The foregoing activities establish a reliable basis for a
land improvement programme in any area where they are carried out In
view of past experience, it is certain that programmes intended to regu-
late, improve, or develop the use of land resources can be safely planned
and conducted only on such a basis.

(32) It is recognized, however, that countries or territories car-
rying out such activities only do so through the use of considerable funds
and trained personnel, and that programmes must be adapted to the resources
of governments as well as the needs of their territories.

It is desirable, for example, to have a complete land capa-
bility map of an area available before making an economic land use classi-
fication map of that area, but it is possible and sometimes necessary to
make an economic land class map before a complete land capability map can
be made. In that case, the economic land classification is based on
whatever physical, soil and other land data are available, together with
data on land use and other economic factors. Similarly, it is best to
have at least a soil association map of the territory to be classified and
detailed soil surveys of sample areas before a land capability classifica-
tion or economic land use classification is initiated; but the urgent need
of land capability maps and economic land use maps may require that clas-
sification of both kinds be begun before the basic soil studies have been
completed to this extent.


(55) The Conference, therefore, recommends :-

l That each Caribbean territory that has not already done so initiate
within its boundaries a comprehensive Land Improvement Programme;
and that a high degree of coordination of effort be maintained as
between the various territories in the planning and carrying out of
these programmers

2, That these programmes comprise the following activities :

(a) Soil surveys, classification, and research

(b) Land capability surveys and classification


(c) Farm management surveys and research

(d) Economid land use classification

(e) Specific land utilisation programmes, including soil and
water conservation, based on the information provided by the
foregoing activities

3o That the government of each territory appoint a general land im-
provement administrator or a coordinating committee for land im-
provement and take other appropriate steps to insure that the above-
mentioned five activities are conducted in such a way as to form an
integrated Land Improvement Programme within the territory.

4. That the territorial governments, with the aid of the Caribbean Com-
mission, seek to obtain such technical assistance, through the ex-
isting Technical Assistance Programme of the United Nations, the
projected Expanded Technical Assistance Programme of the United Na-
tions, technical assistance programmes of governments, and other
sources, as they may require in initiating and conducting the Land
Improvement Programme.

5. That, in view of the shortage of personnel in the Caribbean area who
have been adequately trained in the activities required for a Land
Improvement Programme, the Caribbean Commission and the Food and
Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations assist territorial
governments in making application to the authorities in charge of the
existing Technical Assistance Programme of the United Nations for the
allocation of United Nations fellowships for the necessary technical
training in these fields of specialists of the Caribbean area.

6. That the Caribbean Commission appoint to its staff a technical Land
Improvement Officer; that this Officer have the duty of obtaining in-
formation, through correspondence with appropriate technical officers
of the territorial governments, on the status and progress of each of
the five activities in their land improvement programmes, compiling
and collating this information, and making it available to all
territorial governments and the four National Sections of the Commis-
sion; and that he also have the duty of obtaining and collecting in a
similar manner, and making available to all territorial governments
and the four National Sections of the Commission, information on the
kinds and amount of technical assistance required by all the govern-
ments in initiating and conducting their Land Improvement Programmes.

7. That arrangements be made through the Caribbean Commission whereby
the officers in charge of the land improvement programmes in the va-
rious Caribbean territories would correspond and periodically confer


on the administration of these programmes, so as to achieve as much
coordination as is desirable and feasible between the Land Improve-
ment Programmes of the various territories and advise the Land Im-
provement Officer of the Commission on policy in the administration
of Land Improvement Programmes; and that these officers should con-
stitute a Land Improvement Advisory Council of the Research Council
of the Commission

8, That the Commission, with the advice of the territorial governments,
appoint the following three technical sub-committees of the Land Im-
provement Advisory Council, suitably representative of the organisa-
tions engaged in the Land Improvement Programme in all territories,
to advise and assist the Land Improvement Officer of the Commission
in collecting and collating information and facilitating its ex-
change amongst territories and National Sections :

(a) A technical committee on soil surveys, classification, and
research consisting of specialists engaged in the work,

(b) A technical committee on land capability surveys and classi-
fication and soil and water conservation.

(c) A technical committee on farm management research, economic
land use classification, and land utilization programmes.



(54) The Conference, in plenary session, adopted the following
recommendations :

1o The delegates-to the Conference record their gratitude for the
assistance rendered by the many observers, visitors and other per-
sons from several countries and organizations interested in or con-
cerned with the study of tropical soils, These observers, visitors
and other persons participated fully in the deliberations, and their
individual scientific eminence and collective competence contributed
equally to the comprehensiveness of the discussions and to the ex-
change of technical information covering a wider field than would
have been possible without them, The Conference regards such invi-
tations, on the widest possible basis, as essential for all similar
technical conferences, and takes this opportunity of emphasising
that technical problems and needs know no political boundaries

2o The Conference, while expressing its appreciation of the many and
varied valuable technical papers presented to it, considers that,
for future technical conferences, any Preparatory Committee appoint-
ed to assist in their preparation should select the scientists who
should be invited to prepare papers and the titles of the papers
which should be prepared, with a view to reducing their number,

o3 The Conference, having given careful consideration to the seminars
which have been arranged, is of the opinion that these seminars re-
present a valuable medium for the dissemination and exchange of per-
tinent information and in facilitating contacts between scientists
in the area and between them and their colleagues outside0 It takes
the view that such seminars should form an integral part of all fu-
ture technical conferences, and that participants should be invited
to prepare papers for such seminars in advance of the Conference.

4, The Conference considers that the Central Secretariat of the Carib-
bean Commission should endeavour to publish the papers submitted to
the Conference, or, if that is not feasible, should use its good of-
fices with appropriate journals and organizations in the metropoli-
tan countries and/or Caribbean territories with a view to securing
the publication of as many of the papers as possible.

5, The Conference records its appreciation of the extensive and valu-
able field trips arranged for its members, and is of the opinion
that similar trips should be included in the programme of all future


technical conferences, to take place, where possible, before the

* Contact is thereby established between the participants of the Confer-
ence at an early stage and the process of interchange of information and
ideas greatly facilitated. Such field trips also perform the valuable
function of making participants acquainted with the problems of the area,



(55) The following resolutions were adopted by acclamation by the
Conference :

o1 The Soils Conference meeting in Puerto Rico wishes to express to the
Government of Puerto Rico its grateful appreciation of the courtesies
and hospitality extended to its members, and particularly of the ar-
rangements made for their transportation

2o The Conference wishes to record its warm appreciation of the facili-
ties extended to it by the Chancellor of the University of Puerto
Rico, who kindly consented to open the Conference, and by the Acting
Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station of the University,
in accommodating the Conference, providing office space and meeting
rooms, and all local transportation,

3o The Conference wishes to record its appreciation of the facilities
extended to it by the Puerto Rico High School of Commerce which
placed its dormitories, cafeteria and auditorium at the disposal of
members of the Conference.

4o The Conference wishes to pay the warmest tribute to Dr. Juan A. Bonnet,
as a result of whose untiring devotion and indefatigable efforts,
first as chairman of the Preparatory Committee, and later as chairman
of the Conference, a large number of eminent scientists was assembled,
a considerable quantity of technical information amassed, and the
success of the Conference is largely to be attributed,

5, The Conference wishes to place on record its appreciation of the
labours of the members of the Preparatory Committee who were re-
sponsible for the arrangement of the scientific programme of the
Conference, and expresses the opinion that the appointment of simi-
lar Preparatory Committees is an essential prerequisite for all
future technical conferences

6, The Conference places on record its appreciation of the services
rendered by the Secretariat staff in enabling the work of the Con-
ference to progress smoothly and successfully


Survey of Existing Conditions

I. Soil Forming Factors Data

o1 Considerable amount of
information available on
geology (Spencer, Purves,
Kugler, etc,)

20 Fair amount known about
topography (WoMo Davis),
Aerial survey completed
by United States author-
ities during World War

3o Considerable information
published regarding
rainfall and other
meteorological matters

4. Fair amount known about
natural vegetation
(Beard, etc,)

II. Standardisation of Soil
Survey Methods

l, Detailed field-to-field
survey of most of the
island carried out by
C.F. Charter (1938).



o1 Need of detailed informa-
tion on clay mineral compo-
nents of parent rocks and
soil materials

2o Need of detailed topograph-
ical maps compiled from
aerial survey photographs

35 Need of recording rain
gauge s


1o Increase the staff and
facilities of British
Caribbean Soil Surveyo

Survey of Existing Conditions

II. (Contdo)

2. Profile pit samples ana-
lysed for most soil types
(Hardy and Rodrigues

III Systems of Soil Classifi-
cation and Mapping

Classification of soils on
IoCoToAo system essential-
ly geological. Charter's
system based on pedologi-
cal principles- :stresses
derivation of parent mate-
rials and their content of
calcium carbonate.

IV, Detailed Regional Pro-
gramme of Soil Survey

Soil survey more or less
completed for the agricul-
tural areas (' J'o Charter,
1938) (See II)o

Vo Survey of Soil Erosion
Conservation, Renovation


Soil maps urgently needed.

Need for systematic surveys.

1. Increase the facilities of the
British Caribbean Soil Survey,

2o Seek help from Government Car-

Increase staff and facilities of
British Caribbean Soil Survey,

No reliable information
available or published
regarding soil erosion


Survey of Existing Conditions

VI. Aplication of Soil Survey
to Land Utilisation

Nothing concrete attempted,
although land settlements
have been initiated.


Need for formulation of more
specific plans for settlement
of peasants.


o1 Formation of committee or ini-
tiation of discussions,

2o Possibly seek aid from U.S,
authored .c-

Survey of Existing Conditions

I. Soil Forming Factors Data

lo Considerable amount of
geological information

20 Some topographical data

35 Abundant meteorological
data available.

4, Considerable informa-
tion available on vege-
tation, both remnant-
forest, weeds and na-
tive flora,

IIo Standardisation of Soil
Survey methods

No data available

IIIo Systems of Soil Classifi-
cation and vapping

No data available.

IV. Detailed Regional Pro-
gramme of Soil Survey

Rough soil map available
Article on soils already
published (Saint, 1934),



Need for information regarding
variation in composition of
limestone of the different
terraces as affected by impuri-

Need for detailed soil survey,
with especial reference to (a)
depth of soil, (b) nature of


1o Seek help

from analytical

o1 Increase staff and facilities
of British Caribbean Soil

Survey of Existing Conditions



IV. (Contd.)

parent materials, whether lagoon
deposits or limestone solution-

2. Seek cooperation of Barbados
Dept. of Agriculture.

V. Survey of Soil Erosion,
Conservation, Renovation

Some information available
regarding soil erosion in
the Scotland District,

VI. Application of Soil Survey
to Land Utilisation

Nothing published as far
as known.

Need for assessment of soil-
losses in the red and black soil

As IV.




JoB oDo Robinson, B. Sco, Agrico (Honse) Agricultural Chemist
(Department of Science and Agriculture, Barbados)

The methods described are being applied to surface composite soil.
samples, and such soil samples taken during the course of soil survey and
other diagnostic soil investigations.

Field : If the area under investigation is small, random surface
soil samples are taken to a depth of 9 inches. Profile pits dug on selected
sites are rectangular and approximate to 3 feet by 5 feet wide, and a maxi-
mum of 5 feet deep Profile samples are taken in relation to visual profile
characteristics, This may not only vary with soil colour, but, as the soils
sampled are all cultivated, with the profile face appearance also, i0o. hy-
drological features, especially where a "catena" classification into. the
four Turner soil groups is being undertaken. The samples taken are placed
in cotton bags and labelledo


Turner, P.E., Report on Development in Sugar Cane Agriculture in Barbados,
with special reference to methods of Tillage, Drainage and
Contour Cultivation, 1945.

Turner, P.oE, Third report on Development in Sugar Cane Agriculture in
Barbados, with'special reference to Cultivation and Drain=
age problems of the four agricultural groups of soils,

Labora'-ory Preparation : The samples are spaced out in wooden.
trays, any large lumps being broken down,, and dir dried. They are broken
down in a wooden mortar and pestle, and sifted through a 2 mm, sieve.
Stones are estimated as per cent gravel,

Laboratory Analysis : All analyses carried out on air dry soil
which has passed a 2 mm, sieve, unless otherwise stated.

(i) Reaction g This is measured on an aqueous suspension, 1 part soil :
2.5 parts water, by means of the quinhydrone electrode,


(ii) Calcium Carbonate Content (free) : This is measured by means of the
Collins Calcimeter.

(iii) Organic Matter : modification of the Walkey-Black method of estima-
tion is used, whereby the green colour of the oxidised reagent is
measured on a spectrophotometer. (This method has recently replaced
the previous wet oxidation method)


Soil Science, 1948, 65, 181,

Soil Science, 1948, 66, 241.

(iv) Nitrog : Nitrogen is determined according to the Kjeldahl method,
using 10 grms, soil, 10 grms. potassium sulphate, a crystal of
copper sulphate as catalyst, and 50 ml. concentrated N free sulphuric

(v) Chloride : For this determination 100 grms. of air-dry soil are
shaken for 15 minutes with 500 ml. distilled water. The filtrate is
titrated with N/55.5 silver nitrate with potassium dichromate as the
indicator ,

(vi) Available Phosphate : & new method has recently been adopted. Twen-
ty-five grins of air-dry soil are extracted with 100 ml, of Morgan's
Universal Extracting solution by shaking for 5 minutes and filtering.
Measurement is made on a spectrophotometer of the blue colour pro-
duced in the presence of phosphate after the addition of molybate
and stannous chloride solutions, This method is both rapid and
accurate, and avoids the error of human element in the colour


JoC.I., 1946, 65, 208.

(vii) Available Potash : For the determination of available potash, the
same extract is used from the determination of available phosphate,
A turbidimetric estimation of the stable cloud formed when potassium
reacts with sodium cobaltinitrite in the presence of a glycol-alcohol
mixture which gives maximum dispersion, is made with a spectrophotom-
eter. This method is both rapid and accurate


JoC.o,, 1945, 64, 1820


(viii) Total exchangeable bases and exchangeable hydrogen : These are de-
termined by the Schollenberger neutral ammonia acetate method, using
25 grms, of soil and 500 mlo of leaching solution. Exchangeable hy-
drogen ion concentration in an acid soil is then determined by elec-
trometric titration to pH 7o Evaporation of the leachate heating
gently in a silica dish for a few minutes, and then for 20 minutes
strongly, will give the value on back titration with H. caustic soda,
for the exchangeable bases We are thinking of 10 introducing
the Barium Chloride Triethanolamine (at pH 81l) method of analysis
of calcareous coral limestone soils,.


Soil Science, 1948, 66, 429,

(ix) Total base exchange capacity In addition to the above (viii), this
factor can be determined by replacing the adsorbed NH4+ ions in the
soil after washing out excess ammonia acetate with neutral 80 per
cent, alcohol,


Soil Science, 1945, 5-7, 153

Modification in presence of excess manganese oxides

altica Chemistr, 1948, 20, 1121,

Exchangeable calcium is estimated on the residue from (viii) above,
after separation and precipitation as the oxalate,

(x) Mechanical Analysis : The international pipette analysis method is
used for determination of the ultimate soil particles, after free
treatment althh hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid to destroy
the aggregate soil structure,




J.BoDo Robinson, B.Sc., Agric. (Hons.) Agricultural
Chemist (Department of Science and Agriculture, Barbados)

Soil Erosion

Before specifying the types of erosion which occur in Barbados,
it is necessary, in order to give a clear picture, to mention two facts,
One is that there are two distinct soil areas to be considered in relation
to erosion, vizo, the Scotland soil area on the north east of the island,
comprising one-seventh of the total area, and the Coral Limestone soil area
covering the remaining six-sevenths of the island's surface. The second is
that there is a definite wet season from June July to the end of November,
during which time the great majority of the erosion occurs.

Scotland Area : The soils of this area, which vary from light
sands to clays, are generally much more susceptible to erosion than the
Coral Limestone soils. The sedimentary deposits are folded and faulted,
although the overall elevation is not very great, resulting in extremely
undulating hilly land with short steep gradients. The most obvious types
of erosion are :

(i) Severe gullying of cultivated and non cultivated land, resulting
more often than not in bare faced dry valleys in the higher parts,
This non cultivated land would normally carry a secondary scrub
growth if left to fall down naturally, or could be used for re-af-
forestation, but, due to over-grazing, is left practically bare,
with the results described above.

(ii) Severe sheet erosion occurs over the cultivated slopes, both soil
wash and soil creep, exposing the much less fertile lower layer or
subsoils. The traditional system of cultivation, that of cane hold-
ing with close drains running directly up and down the slope, has
little effect in preventing this during heavy rains, and, as would
be expected, severe gullying often results in the up and down hill
.drains, thus further aggravating the problem.

(iii) Geological slippage, generally in small patches, occurs to a con-
siderable extent over the areas as a direct result of either heavy
rains or the diversion of drainage water from a catchment area to a
point lower down the slope.


(iv) Recently a case of severe wind erosion was found in this area. The
prevailing wind had been funnelled into the depression on a slope
(gradient varying 35 40 per cent.) and had moved the soil, fortu-
nately uphill, to the extent of flattening beyond all trace the
contour furrows laid down four months previously,

(v) Main water course erosion during the wet season is of course ex-
tremely serious. During the dry months it is possible to see what
are virtually small ravines with a trickle of water in the bottom,
and a depth below normal land level of anything from 10 to 40 feet,
and varying in width to as much as 40 feet, with cultivated cane
growing to the edges. During the wet season, these water courses
are quite liable to change course.

Corgi Limestone Area : The soils vary in clay content from 50 per
centlIn the black lowland soils to 70 per cent in the red upland soils. It
is very noticeable, after heavy rains such as last year (10 inches to 15
inches in a matter of 8 hours), that the black lowland soils are much more
susceptible to erosion than the red soils. The land is undulating compared
with the Scotland area, and the gradients are not so extreme.

(i) The major type of erosion sheet washing of the undulating slopes.
This brings about the difference in soil depth which can be determined
almost anywhere between the top of a slope or hillock, and the bottom
of the slope; this, of course, has a major indirect effect on cane
yield through the soil moisture factor.

(ii) Where there is a tendency in the lie of the land for a natural water
course, there occur rilling and incipient gullying. In a few cases
severe gullying will result.

Emphasis with respect to sheet washing must be placed on soil creep
and splash effect, with respect to soil not completely covered down
by a crop in the wet season. Many of these soils are free-draining,
and only under exceptionally heavy rainfall conditions would there
be sheet washing on these soils. (This applies to the red coral
limestone soils particularly).

There is a deficiency of windbreaks in the form of trees throughout
the island. This deficiency is undesirable for reasons other than
soil erosion, of course.

Soil Conservation

It was not until 1943 that steps were taken in Barbados to control
soil erosion, by which time the problem was so urgent that modifications to
suit local conditions of existing methods in the form of Contour Cultivation


were adopted by the Department of Agriculture without previous trial.
Soils in the coral limestone areas are not considered as a whole deep
enough to practice terracing, and the cost is considered prohibitive.
There are also problems in connection with field size, transport of cane,

Thus the measures being taken are :

(i) Contour Cultivation (Coral Limestone soil areas ),. Where no drainage
problem exists, this is laid down without a fall, the system being
based on key contour furrows laid down at an appropriate vertical
interval. There drainage problems exist, one per cent., graded con-
tour systems are laid down.

Where the old Cane Hole system has not been relinquished entirely
the result is a system of key contour furrows with cane holes be-
tween them, instead of the complete contour system.

A recent survey (November, 1949) of contour cultivation in the coral
limestone area revealed that, of the total arable acreage, 2.4 per
cent is now under a complete contour system, and 2,5 per cent is un-
der a semi-contour system, i.eo, key contour plus cane holes. As-
suming that 50 per cent of this area is flat and requires no erosion
control measures this is a very liberal estimate -, still the per-
centages are only 4.8 and 5.0, respectively.

(ii) Protection of the lower cultivated land from the water run-off of
rocky, shallow soiled sour grass pastures situated on the upper
lands in the watershed areas. This is carried out by means of
graded contour drains, in the pastures, and diversion ditches on the
lower side of these pastures, leading excess water into swallow
(suck) holes in the coral rock.

(iii) Contour Cultivation (Scotland area). Here, due to the steeper gra-
dients (up to 75 per cent) on some cultivated lands, the contour
systems have been more severe, with a 2 per cent grade, ensuring
that the overall length was not too great. Figures for this area
comparable to the coral limestone soils indicate that 28.6 per cent
of the cultivated land is under a complete contour system and 6.7
per cent is under semi-contour, ioeo, key contour furrows plus cane
holes In areas of geological slippage referred to earlier, where
typical symptoms of "'slumping" and "flow" are evident, it has not
been successful. Unless it works 100 per cent from the start, it
has a further tendency to retain moisture resulting in aggravation
of the condition. It is proposed now to try a herring bone pattern
of drainage with short laterals, graded 4 per cent, and frequent
outlet drains,


Soil Renovation

(i) General soil renovation and rehabilitation have been carried out as
routine estate practice. This has consisted of moulding up the
"brows", i.e., replacing the soil washed into the bottom of a field
or fields, back on to the brow by hand labour. Now, of course, this
is both costly and needless where measures of prevention are being

(ii) In the Scotland area very severe erosion of hill peaks has resulted,
because of over-grazing by peasant stock, mostly sheep and goats.

Re-vegetation of these slopes would go a long way towards rehabili-
tation, as they fall into the land classification group VII of the
United States Conservation Service. They will re-vegetate them-
selves satisfactorily if left alone, or this can be hastened by tree

Before any of this can be carried out on a large scale in Barbados,
it will be necessary to control by legislation the movement of man
and animal in this area,

(iii) Around the coast line, wherever waste dune areas or poor waste land
subject to severe sea-air blast is situated, plantings of Casuarina
have or could be made. It has proved itself an excellent agent in
these places for binding together loose soil materials, and for pro-
viding shade. On a ten year rotation, the Casuarina provides an in-
come from the firewood harvested by careful rotational cutting.

(iv) The planting of Casuarina as windbreaks on plantation sour grass
pastures is encouraged. When planted 10 feet by 10 feet, they are
used by the plantations as a yardstick at grass cutting time.


Survey of Existing Conditions

I. Soil Forming Factors Data

1. Excellent geological re-
ports and maps of the
area (J.B. Harrison;
Dept. Geol.).

2. Some topographical data

5. Rainfall data, etc.,
available for a few sta-
tions, mostly coastal.

4. Recent report on forest
vegetation compiled but
not yet published

II. Standardisation of Soil
Survey Methods

Auger and pit method ap-
plied to some frontland
sugar estates (Chenery:

III. Systems of Soil Classifi-
cation and Mapping


1. Need of geological informa-
tion and maps for southern

2. More topographical data
needed (contours; alti-

5. Much more rainfall data
needed for interior,

4. Intensification of vegeta-
tion surveys needed, par-
ticularly of undergrowth,
as soil-type markers.

Need for working out soil sur-
vey methods for demarcating
agriculturally-useful areas.


1. Seek further cooperation from
Depts. of Geology and lands and

2. Seek further cooperation from
Depts. of Geology and Lands and

5. Seek help from local meteorologi-
cal authorities.

4. Seek further cooperation from
Forest Department.

Increase the staff and facilities
of British Caribbean Soil Survey.

No final system of clas-
sification yet agreed on,
nor yet applied. Litho-
logical system so far

Need further field informa-
tion, both of frontlands and
of interior soils, on which to
base a classification system.

As II.

Survey of Existing Conditions

IIIo (Contdo)

mostly used for classify-
ing soils of the interior.

IV, Detailed Regional Pro-
gramme of Soil Survey

Not yet considered Some
preliminary work done by
F. Hardy, et al., on
frontland and interior
soils C.F. Charter has
briefly investigated some
interior soils.

V. Survey of Soil Erosion,
Conservation, Renovation

Not much information on

VI. Application of Soil Sur-
vev to Land Utilisation



to extend British Caribbean As II.
Survey to allow quick ac-
in regard to local needs,
frontlands and interior.
maps needed.

Need to assess erosion damage
within different type-areas.

Seek help from Depts. of
Geology, Forestry and Agricul-

Need for the formulation of
plans for settlements in the

I. As II.

2o Discuss subject with local
authorities (e.g. Dept. of
Agriculture )

Nothing yet attempted.



Survey of Existing Conditions

I. Soil Forming Factors Data

o1 Geology known only in
outline (Ower, 1928).

2o Topography; not much de-
tailed knowledge.

5. Meteorological data

4. Natural vegetation
(forests) has been in-
vestigated in some de-
tail by Forest Depart-
ment, since the country
depends largely on
forest products,

II, Standardisation of Soil
Survey Methods

1. Profile pit method has
been applied in prelim-
inary survey (Hardy,
Smart and Rodrigues,

2. Reconnaissance methods
applied by Charter


o1 Urgent need of detailed geo-
logical survey.

2, Urgent need of detailed geo-
logical survey.

Detailed soil survey of speci-
fic areas is needed for immedi-
ate development plans.


1. Extend staff and facilities
of British Caribbean Soil

2. Seek help from Colonial Of-
fice; or U.S.A. for services
of geologists.

Increase the staff and facili-
ties of the British Caribbean
Soil Survey.

Survey of Existing Conditions

III, Sstems of Soil Classifica-
tion and Mapping

The system of classification
used by Hardy, Smart and
Rodrigues (1955) is essen-
tially geological. That
used by Charter is based
primarily on topography and
the permeability of the par-
ent materials of the soils
(io.e on natural drainage).
It is essentially agricul-

IV, Detailed Regional Programme
of Soil Surey

o1 Reconnaissance surveys
by IoCoToAo and by
Charter have broadly de-
fined the main soil-types,

2o No detailed mapping has
been yet attempted.

V. Survey of Soil Erosion.
Conservation, Renovation


Need for revised classifica-
tion to link up with system
applicable to Caribbean Re-
gion as a whole,

1. As IIo

2. Seek help from U.oS authori-

Need for systematic soil surP;As III.
vey, especially of areas hav-
ing immediate agricultural

Not much information on

Need to assess erosion damage
in areas already in agricul-
tural use.

Seek help from U.oS authorities,

VI. Application of Soil Survey
to Land Utilisation
(See Charter's memoir),

Seek help from U.oS authorities,

Need for formulation of de-
tailed plans.



Survey of Existing Conditions

Io Soil Forming Factors Data

1o Fair amount of geologi-
cal information avail-
able (J,B, Harrisong
Earle; Macgregor;
Anderson and Flitt)o

2, Some topographic de-
tails known (WOM. Davis).

So Fair amount of meteoro-
logical data published.

4, Considerable amount of
information on forest
and second growths

II Standardisaticn of Soil
Survey Methods

Only reconnaissance: sur-
vey methods so far ap-
plied; profile pit sample,

III, Systems of Soil Classifi-
cation and Mapping


lo Urgent need of aerial surveys
of each and all the islands,

1, Expedite aerial
the compilation
maps of each of

surveys and
of accurate
the islands.

2o Urgent need of accurate maps
for plotting the available
information of soil-forming

5o Need for recording rain

Need for investigation of me-
thods of detailed soil survey-

Increase the staff and facili-
ties of British Caribbean Soil

Classification system so Need for comparison of soil-

lo As IIL

* Grenada, the Grenadines, Sto Vincent, St. Lucia, Dominica, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Litts.

_ ___ I

Survey of Existing Conditions


Recommendations o

III. (Contd.)

far applied is merely lo-
cal and provisional. Main
soil-types being studied
in field and laboratory.

IV. Detailed Regional Pro-
gramme of Soil Survey

Reconnaissance surveys
have been made by pit me-
thod of all the islands
(except Grenadines), with
varying degrees of inten-

V. Survey of Soil Erosion,
Conservation, Renovation

Articles on soil erosion
in St. Vincent and
Montserrat already pub-
lished. Fair amount of
general information a-
vailable but not published,

VI. Application of Soil Sur-
vey to Land Utilisation

types with world groups.

Need for detailed soil sur-
veys, and for accurate maps
on which to plot the field

Need for maps onto which all
available information may be

Need for the elaboration of
plans for better land utili-

Seek help from U.S. soil sci-
entists'and experts on soil

1, As II.

2. Expedite aerial surveys and
the compilation of accunrte
maps on which to plot soil
survey data.

As I, II, III, and IV above.

1o Formation of committee or ini-
tiation of discussions

2o Seek aid from US. authorities

Nothing yet specifically


Survey.of Existing Conditions

Io Soil Forming Factors Data

lo An excellent study of
the geology and petrog=
raphy of French Guiana
by Bo Chouberto

20 Map to the scale of
1/500,000 and sections
of the map to the scale
of 1/100.000 and
1/50,000 prepared by
the National Geographi-
cal Instituteo This
last, coloured, empha-
sises the difference in
vegetation of the ele-
vated portions Photo-
graphic cover of a part
of French Guiana.

3o Very few meteorological

40 Flora of French Guiana
by Fuset Aubleto


Extension of geological pros-

Aerial cover of the whole of
French Guiana to the scale of
1/10,000 or 1/20,000o Prep-
aration of a contour mapo

To increase the number of me=
teorological stations espe-
cially in the interior,

Survey of soils in relation to

Report on the forest
question by Po B$na,
not yet edited


Cooperation of the different sci=
entific organizations engaged in
the study of French Guiana,

Establishment of a service for
the purpose of developing maps
and aerial photographs,

Cooperation of the meteorological
services with'those engaged in
soil research,

Speializa-cion of qualified of-
fiMers for the purpose of carry-
ing oat" pedological and d'ecologi-
cal surveys on the spot

Survey of Existing Conditions

II. Standardisation of Soil
Survey Methods


No work done,

Collate all existing bibliog-
raphies making use, in par-
ticular, of the latest re-
ports of the Goma Conference
(Belgian Congo).

III. Systems of Soil Classifi-
cation and Napping

As above.

Use the information furnished
by aerial photographs.

IV. Detailed Regional Pro-
gramme of Soil Survey

No study made.

This work will be undertaken
by officers specialising in
pedological and ecological
surveys, in collaboration
with all scientific organisa-
tions engaged in soils

Vo Survey of Soil Erosion,
Conservation, Renovation

VI. Application of Soil Sur-
vey to Land Utilisation

Revolutionary views must not

No study made.

As above.


Survey of Existing Conditions Problems Recommendations

VI. (Contdo)

be feared, The conditions of en-
vironment in the tropics being so
different from those in temperate
regions, a form of agriculture
that is typically tropical should
rEul.t from these surveys,


Survey of Existing Conditions

I. Soil Forming Factors Data

1. Geological information
available from Prof. H.
Barrabe of Paris (1954 :
Bull, Comb. Lig.) and,
for the Soufriere, by
Gouault (1946), but no

2. Existing topographical
map not up to date.
Aerial survey photo-
graphs available. Top-
ographical information
recently undertaken by
Topographic Service.

5o Climatological data
available only for the
many stations of sugar
cane plantations, but
rare for the other

4o The ecology o'f egetac
ti6n is now well
known : H, Stehl6, 1955:
Ecology and Plant Geog-
raph; H. and ,. Stehl6,
FoL. Quentin : Flora
(1954-1950); Suppl.
Carib. Forester (1945-
47). Map of plant


Need of more works on geology
and particularly for the Central

Need for more topographical in-

Need for extension to the middle
and higher districts.

Need for continuation and gener-
alisation of these works for
Guadeloupe and Dependencies :
St, Martin, St. Bartholomew,
Marie-Galante, Les Saintes and


Increase the staff and facil-
ities of the Geologists and
World Physicians (Scientific

Cooperation of this staff
with scientists of the
Agronomic Research Centre
and Topographers for pre-
liminary soil survey.

Publication of a meteorolog-
ical map (Meteorological
Service'and Agronomic Re-

Cooperation between Agronom-
ic Research (Botanist),
Agriculture and Forestry,
Seek appointment of soil
survey officer

Survey of Existing Conditions

I, 4. (Contdo)

associations by H.
Stehl (1956). Plants
recognized as biological
markers or as "soil
type" are listed.

II Standardisation of Soil
Survey Methods

Soil survey methods have
been standardized by the
Forest/Topography Services:
G. Chatelain, P. B6na,
Guichon and Huguet.

III. Systems of Soil Classifi-
cation and Mapping

Classification of soils is
essentially geological,

IV. Detailed Regional Programme
of Soil Survey

o1 Programme mentioned in a


As I. 40

System based on pedological
principles must be applied,
For Grande-Terre, Desirade
and Marie-Galante, limestone
islands, need for knowledge-
of the content of calcium
carbonate for the main soil
types. For Guadeloupe and
Les Saintes, volcanic is-
lands, need for knowledge of
derivation of parent materi-
als and composition.

As I io1

Soil survey for agricultural As I. o1


Survey of Existing Conditions

IVo lo (Contdo)

brief Report by Ho Steh14

20 Trials begun by Agronomic
Research since July, 1949
on disintegrated soils
around Prise d'eauo

Vo Survey of Soil Erosion,
Conservation, Renovation

1, No general policy, but
"Code Forestier" is in
application Principles
of Code must serve as

VI, Application of Soil Sur-
vey to Land Utilisation

lo Map of main crops under
cultivation available by
Ho Stehl (1949) for
Guadeloupe and Dependen-

2o Land settlements are in
the primary stages.

areas is urgently needed Work
in progressby the Forest Service
(Huguet) and by the Agronomic
Research (Stehl6) since 1949,

Need for systematic surveys and
legislation regarding land

As I. lo

As I1 lo

Need for formulation of plans for Appointment of staff and pro-
settlements and for systems suited vision of facilities for Soil
to rational economic and ecologi- Surveyo
cal conditions



Survey of Existing Conditions

Io Soil Forming Factors Data


Information about the vegeta-
tion factor is limited, and
there is very little area
left which is still support-
ing its natural vegetation,
Reafforestation has hitherto
proceeded at a relatively
slow rate, and land which is
not now being cultivated is
reverting to secondary bush,
the character of which is de-
termined by rainfall and the
degree of erosion which has
taken place.

The demands of a rapidly in-
creasing population have ne-
cessitated extensive defores-
tationo This, coupled with
the ruinous practice of clean
cultivation of crops nota-
bly banana, ginger and yams -
has caused severe truncation
of all sloping land, reducing
the soil in many instances to
what is virtually decomposing
.parent material.




There has been no ecological
survey of the island, and there
is no exact knowledge of the
actual sequence of the regener-
ation of vegetation on aban-
doned land,

Survey of Existing Conditions

I. (Contd.)


The mean annual temperature.
varies from around 57F at
7,000 feet to 78OF at sea
level, and total annual
rainfall varies from under
50 inches on the southern
coastal plains to well in
excess of 200 inches in
parts of the Blue Mountain
Range. In the absence of
protective covering, run-off
is excessive, and the actual
quantity of water percola-t
ing through the soil is
small, even on the almost
horizontal alluvial plains
with soils of high infiltra-
tion capacities and perme-

The high rainfall assists
greatly in the soil destruc-
tion or truncation process -
so much so, that it is al-
most impossible to get a ma-
ture profile developed. In
the lower rainfall areas,
considerable upward movement
of water exists in the sur-
face soil, and the rainfall
effect is modified by evapo-

Lack of adequate data on evapora-
tion, run-off, percolation, etc.



Survey of Existing Conditions

I, (Contdo)


On the older geological for-
mations, the topography is
extremely bro1sno Sedentary
soils are rare, and confined
to small areas of Forest Re-
serve in the Blue Mountains
and the soils derived from
Eocene limestone which have
remained relatively undis-
turbedo Over large areas of
the older shales, conglomera
ates and granodiorites, the
soil represents the decom-
posing parent material and
are either immature or have
been rendered seemingly im-
mature through severe trun=
cationo For this reason, it
would appear necessary to
classify the soils on a
lithological basis, with the
exception of the small area
of true laterite (derived
from serpentine), and soils
developed under undisturbed

lo Soils derived from strati-
fied shales and sandstones
the Richmond Series of
Hill are acid or alka-
line in reaction, depend-
ing on whether the origi-

There has been no lithological
survey of the island, and there
is pressing need for a geologi-
cal survey, paying special at-
tention to lithology as distinct
from sequence and economic geol-



n ^mmnA4 4- di,

f,,>LWV ?.Y UJ. ,A..LAJ. U JJ1. .LUJ.AJ1A AL 'JLLJ..lI.i 1o A V. UiLpU AAW UJA.'l, P
I. 1. (Contd.)

ial parent material was
calcareous or not. The
distribution of acid and
alkaline soils so derived.
does not appear to be re-
lated to areas of high or
low rainfall.

2. Rendzinas are formed in
the high rainfall dis- 0
tricts of Portland as well
as in the low rainfall
belt of St. Mary and St.
Ann. Rendzina formation
appears to.be governed by
the soft nature of the
parent limestone.

3. In Manchester, St. Eliza- 0
beth and St. Ann, bauxitic
soils rest on Eocene lime-
stone, whereas apparently
similar soils derived from
the same white limestone
formations in the Montpe-
lier area of St. James are
not bauxitic. The dif-
ferences in soil formation
may be due to the differ-
ent chemical composition
of the impurities in the
original limestone.

4. The red limestone soils of Lack of fundamental data on the Proposed soil survey on a West
Manchester variously scientific characterisation of Indian basis should be expe-

S f E i ti C diti


Survey of Existing Conditions

I, 4. (Contdo)

called terra rossa, later-
ite, bauxite are not
soils in the true sense or
geological deposits. No
zones of elluviation or
illuviation occur, and
chemical analyses indicate
that the composition of
the profile remains re-
markably constant with
depth. These soils are
probably not laterite but
lithosols, with bauxite as
the parent material.

soils. The primary need is for
a detailed soil survey of agri-
cultural stations and other ex-
periment sites, so that field
experiments can be properly lo-
cated with respect to soil type

died, and future recommenda-
tions should be based on

Two main kinds of bauxite
soils are distinguished -
one deep red and the other
yellow-brown in colour
The differences in colour
are attributed to the dif-
ferent degrees of hydra-
tion of iron oxides pres-
ento The distribution of
the two types bears no ob-
vious relationship to rain-
fall distribution, and pe-
dologically the two soils
would be grouped together.
Distinct properties are
associated with the two
types in the field the
deep red soils are lacking
in available phosphate and
respond to applications of



Survey of Existing Conditions Problems Recommendations -a

I. 4. (Contd.)

phosphate fertilizer,
whereas there is no re-
sponse to phosphate on the
yellow soils.

Soils of limestone origin
are the dominant soil

So far as is known, there
are no examples in Jamaica
where the same type of
soil has been derived from
different parent material.
Pedological agencies are l
of secondary importance,
the controlling factor be-
ing the great differences
due to different geologi-
cal parents.

Geological survey with
limited objective is now
in progress.

II. Standardisation of Soil
Survey Methods

No data available.

III. Systems of Soil Classifi-
cation and Mapping

No data available.

Survey of Existing Conditions

IV. Detailed Regional Programme
of Soil Survey

No information available.

V. Survey of Soil Erosion,
Conservation, Renovation

(a) Soil Erosion

Erosion continues unchecked
over a considerable portion
of the arable area of Ja-
maica. Very little area
still supporting its
natural vegetation remains.
Indiscriminate clearing of
lands in the mountain
catchments of rivers causes
severe flood damage during
heavy rains with very rapid
run-off of water. Sheet
erosion in varying degrees
is almost universal.

On soils derived from hard
White Limestone, erosion is
not as prevalent, because
rain water percolates
quickly, On this geologi-
cal formation, however, new
soil is formed very slowly
from the underlying materi-
al, and loss of top soil is
very serious, because the
organic matter is confined
to the shallow surface lay-


Great difficulty experienced
in the rehabilitation of crops
due to severe deterioration of
soils as a result of erosion
and accompanying factors,


Survey of Existing Conditions Problems Recommendations

Vo (a) (Contd.)

ers. Soils derived from
Yellow or Soft Limestone
are heavier and less po-
rous, and erode more rap-
idly, to expose marly
subsoil which does not
weather rapidly. The
most widely cultivated
soils are the Carbonace-
ous shales and Trappean
shales the main banana
soils. They are mostly
heavy, need drainage and
erode very quickly. The
parent material is quick
weathering The Con-
glomerates and metamor-
phosed shales of the
Blue Mountain range pro-
vide lighter and freer
draining soils. Due to
steep slopes and clean
cultivation, serious
erosion has taken place,
On the Granodiorite
soils erosion has re-
duced the area into a
series of steep-sided,
knife-edged ridges now
mostly abandoned to sec-
ondary scrub.

For the last 45 years,
banana, cultivated clean-
ly and with frequent

Survey of Existing Conditions

V. (a) (Contd.)

drainage trenches, has
been responsible for the
greatly accelerated ero-
sion of thousands of
acres of land in Jamaica.

As a result of the de-
mands of the rapidly in-
creasing population for
land, the system of
shifting cultivation has
broken down.

Over many areas, over
grazing has caused the
land to be exposed and
compacted by trampling.
This has greatly accen-
tuated sheet erosion.

(b) Soil Conservation,

It is estimated that,
since 1945, approximate-
ly 10,000 acres have been
soil-conserved on es-
tates and 3,000 acres on
small holdings.

There is no Soil Conser-
vation Service as such,
but the method adopted
is to introduce latent
compulsion into various
rehabilitation and devel-


lo Lack of consciousness of the
seriousness of the problem.

2. Lack of funds.

3o There is a shortage of staff.

4C lack of knowledge regarding
the rate at which erosion
occurs on the various soil
types and under the varying
climatic conditions. No ex-
perimental,-work, in this con-

1. Continued education in Soil
Conservation methods.

2, Development of cooperative
action by farmers and

3. J.ltho.s of soil conserva-
tion that have a direct ap-
peal to the farmer should
be evolved,


Survey of Existing Conditions

V. (b) (Contd.)

opment schemes, by making
grants and allowances
conditional on the adop-
tion of proper soil con-
servation measures.
There are 67 Agricultural
Instructors in the Exten-
sion Service but soil
conservation is only one
of several duties of the

Investigational work on
the agricultural stations
is concerned with

(1) testing of different
plants as barriers -
whether the barrier
crop should be dual
purpose or specific;

(2) observations on the
different methods of
soil conservation.

(c) Soil Renovation

(i) Pasture Improvement.
It is estimated that 52
per cent of the total
land area is in grass -
20 per cent in commons
and woodland grass, 9
per cent in Guinea

nection has been carried out. -

Basic problem is the building up 1. The resting of steep slopes
of organic matter and the im- from cultivation.
provement of structure of soils
that have been properly con- 2. The provision of an ade-
served. quate protective cover on
uncultivated land.



Survey of Existing Conditions

V. (c) (i) (Contd.)

grass (Panicum maximum),
and 3 per cent in fodder
grasses. The rapid ex-
pansion of the livestock
industry now taking
place is a very promis-
ing method of soil reno-
vation protective
grass cover is rendered
economic and the policy
of fostering rotational
farming with grass is
being encouraged.

The chief grasses and
legumes of the island
have been listed, and
investigational work on
pasture improvement is
being pursued, designed
to gain information on

(1) the seasonal yields
and nutritive composi-
tion of "commons"
grasses and of tall
tropical fodder
grasses in different
parts of the island;

(2) the possibility of in-
creasing both the bulk
and nutritive value of
pastures through the
use of fertilisers;

5. The adoption of proper soil
conservation measures on cul-
tivated land.

4. The continued fostering of
grass leys in rotational

5. The continuance of investiga-
tional work on pasture im-



Survey of Existing Conditions

V. (c) (i) (Contd.)

(5) the carrying capacity
of the different
types of pastures,
and improvement by
controlled grazing
and management, in-
cluding the use of
artificial fertilis-

The Revolving Herd
Scheme and the Dary
Assistance Trust,, are
both designed to aid
soil renovation through
livestock. Prerequi-
sites for assistance
under the schemes are
the establishment of'
proper soil conserva-
tion measures, and the
planting of 1 acre of
fodder grass per cow.

(ii) Afbrestation. It is
estimated that 55 per
cent of the total land
area is in woodland,
The Forest Department
has 14 projects for re-
planting, distributed
over the island. To
date, 4,600 acres have
been planted upo The
objective is to plant

Re c commendations

The main problem is to determine
the most suitable species for
the different ecological areas
of the island.

In the Blue Mountain area, there
is a specific problem of finding
a suitable species for estab-
lishment under Guinea grasso


Survey of Existing Conditions

V. (c) (ii) (Contd.)

500 acres per annum.

In the central moun-
tains, a block of 1,000
acres is being refor-
ested as an anti-ero-
sion measure. There
are 5 central nurseries,
and the Forest Depart-
ment can distribute up
to half a million trees
per annum. There is a
high percentage of for-
est land privately
owned, and every en-
couragement is given to

(iii) Crop Rehabilitation. A
basic feature of sever-
al crop rehabilitation
and development schemes
is the stress laid on
the adoption of proper
soil conservation mea-
sures. aItent compul-
sion is introduced by
specifying that soil
conservation is a pre-
requisite for assis-
tance in the case of

1. The Coffee Rehabilita-
tion Scheme. -
2. The Coconut Rehabilita-



Surny- of Existing Conditions Problems Recommendations
V. (c) (iii) (Contd0o)

tion Scheme.
So The All-Island Banana
Growers' Association
Fertiliser Scheme.
4. The Citrus Development

The Farm Improvement
Scheme provides assis-
tance for land clearing,
soil conservation, farm
buildings, water sup-
Splies and applications
of lime and phosphate,
where necessary. The
policy is to encourage
the development of
mixed husbandry with
livestock as the basis
of building up soil

Survey of Existing Conditions

I. Soil Forming Factors Data

lo Geological information
available from Prof. A.
Lacroix of Paris (1902-
1940) and Giraud (1905),
Several books (about
Mount Pelee in particular)
and articles on local ge-
ology published, with some
sketch maps.

2o Fair topographical map
available : Heumier, Profo
of Geology in Paris and
Grignon. Aerial survey
photographs available,

5o Much climatological data
available principally for
districts of sugar cane
plantations and for Mount
Pelee, by the Meteorolog-
ical Office of Fort-de-
France and by Ho Stehle in
Caribbean Forester (Supplo

40 Vegetation now well known:
Ho Stehl6, "Esquisse des
Associations Vegetales"
(Bullo Ago Fort-de-
France, 1957) and' Descrip-
tive Flora (1958-50). Map



Need of comprehensive and com-
plete treatise, with detailed
maps after new geological in-

Need for more accurate topo-
graphical information and of
detailed topographical maps,
compiled from aerial survey
photographs now available.

Need for a good and up-to-date
map according to these records

Need for more information on
vegetation requirements as
"biological indicators,"


Organization of soil survey for
all French territories, includ-
ing Martinique.

Cooperation between Forestry,
Agronomic Department and Topog-
raphers of the Island.

Publication of available map
(Meteorological Service and
Agronomic Research)o

Appointment of soil survey of=
ficer' and cooperation with Di-
rector of Agronomic Researcho

Survey of Existing Conditions

.I..4, (Contd.)

on Plants and Plant Sci-
ence in Latin America
(Waltham, 1945) by H.
Stehl6. Relationship
with soil is indicated.

II. Standardisation of Soil
Survey Methods

Soil survey methods have
been standardised by the
Forest and Topography Ser-
vices : D. Kervegant, H,
Stehle and A, Sobesky,

III, Systems of Soil Classifi-
cation and M~pping

Classification of soils is
essentially geological and

IV. Detailed Regional Pro-
gramme of Soil Survey

Programme mentioned in a
Report by Do Blanche and
Ho Stehl6, 1946 (brief re-
sume in Caribbean Commis-
sion Monthly Information
Bulletin, Oct., 1949),

Vo Survey of Soil Erosion,
Conservation Renovation
No general policy for soil


Recommendati ons

As Io 4,

Application of a system based
on pedological principles
(Hardy, Charter)

Soil survey for agricultural and As I, 1,
forestal areas is urgently

Need for systematic surveys, As I, o1

Survey of Existing Conditions



V, (Contdo)

conservation yet in opera-,
tion, but application of
"Code Forestier" must serve
for basic principles.

VI. Application of Soil Survey
to Land Utilisation

S1 Map of main crops under
cultivation available by
Ao Sobesky (1954-1945)

2o No land settlements or
land utilisation in ac-
cordance with a rational
soil survey.

land allocation policy and leg-
islation regarding land tenure.

Need for economical and ecologi-
cal systems and for their appli-

Appointment of staff and provi-
sion of facilities for soil


Survey of Existing Conditions

io Soil Forming Factors Data

1o Excellent geological pub-
lications and maps. A
complete bibliography has
been published in Over-
zicht van de Geologische
en Mynbouwkundige keunis
der Nederlandse Antillen
(Survey of the Geology and
Mining of the Netherlands
Antilles), Royal Institute
for the Indies, Amsterdam,
1949, with a summary in
English, by JoHoWestermanho

St. Martin has been mapped
recently by geologists of
Princeton University- pub-
lication and map will be
published in 1951o For
the volcanic islands of
Saba and St. Eustatius,
detailed maps are not

2. Excellent topographical
maps available for Lee-
ward group Curacao,
Aruba and Bonaire --and
for St. iMrtin (Dutch part)
and St. Eustatius. Hydro-
graphic map of Sabao


Need of information on minor
geological details.

Need of detailed information
and petrographical maps of
Saba and Sto Eustatius.

Need of an aerial survey


Seek further cooperation from
Netherlands Universities,



Aerial' survey is being planned by
the Government,

Survey of Existing Conditions

I. (Contd.)

5. Climatological data

4. Fair amount of informa-
tion on vegetation
(Boldingh, 1909 for
Windward Group St.
Martin, Saba, St. Eusta-
tius -, and 1914 for
Leeward Group).

II. Standardisation of Soil
Survey Methods


Need for extended recording.

Need for more information on The Scientific Foundation for
vegetation types. Surinam and Curacao, Holland,
plans to compile a new flora.

Need for investigation of
methods of soil surveying.

Seek help from Netherlands Soil

III. Systems of Soil Classifi-
cation and Mapping

Classification system so
far applied still incom-
plete. Main soil types
have been studied in lab-
oratory, Amsterdam (R.
Hamilton & W.M. Sesseler,
1945), as well as by H.A.
Ballou, Trinidad, 1934.

IV. Detailed Regional Pro-
gramme of Soil Survey

Need for further comparison
of soil types and soil
mapping with other Caribbean

Need for detailed soil sur-
veys in arable areas.

As II. A complete soil survey of
the three islands of the Windward
Group is being organized for

As II.

Still lacking.



Survey of Existing Conditions



IV. (Contd.)

1950-51 by the Foundation for
Development and Welfare in the
Netherlands Antilles.

V. Survey of Soil Erosion,
Conservation, Renovation

Some general information
available in reports, but
not published.

VI Application of Soil Sur-
vey to Land Utilisation

Nothing yet specifically

Need for survey.

Need for specific plans for
settlement, of farming communities.

Seek help from local depart-
ments.' For the Windward Group
see IV.

Seek help from local and
Netherlands agencies,


Survey of Existing Conditions


I. Soil Forming Factors Data

1. Climate

(a) Rainfall

Data on local.climate are available
through the Weather Bureau of the United
States Department of Commerce. Detailed
records have been kept at numerous sta-
tions throughout the Island over a long
period of years. Maps showing monthly
and annual distribution of rainfall are

(b) Temperature


1. Continuation of collection of statistics to
provide current records.

2o More stations if complete statistics are to
be obtained,

5. Collection of local data to ascertain the
relation between microclimate and soil va-
riability within generalized climatic

4. Measurements of rainfall intensity.

Idem. Also maintenance of maximum and minimum
temperature records, particularly in the inte-

(c) Evaporation

Two stations, one at San Juan in the
north, and one at Mayaguez in the west,
are maintained by the Weather Bureau,
and one by the Soil Conservation Service
Research, at Central Aguirre in southern
Puerto Rico.

Further stations, particularly in arid and
semi-arid areas.

Survey of Existing Conditions

I. 1, (Contdo)

(d) Relative humidity

Records are available for San Juan for a
number of years. Central Aguirre recent-
ly started to collect similar data.

Maintenance of more records over the Island,
at least in about 10 selected stations.

(e) Wind

Limited data available only for the three Idem.
above stations.

2o Organisms

(a) Flora

Preliminary ecological work has been done
by Cook and Gleason,

(b) Fauna

No specific studies conducted.

1,oFurther study of the relationship between
soil and plant development.

2o Investigation of the role of bacteria,
fungi, actinomyces and other organisms in
soil genesis.

Thorough research on the soil forming activi-
ties of ants, white grubs, earth-worms, crabs,
and other macroanimals, and investigation of
the effect of the microfauna,

3, Relief

Topographic maps of the Island have been
published on a scale of l10,000, and are
available through the Insular Department of
the Interior. The role of relief as a

Studies on the modifying effect of relief va-
riation on climate and the effect of expo-
sures on soil climate and on crop growth,


Survey of Existing Conditions

I. 5. (Contd.)

pedogenic factor has been pointed out in
some soil associations.

4. Parent material

The Island has been divided into seven re-
gions whose geologic features have been
studied. Reports are available for each. A
comprehensive report regarding the geology
of the Island as a whole has been published.
The ground water resources have been

5. Time

Observations have been made regarding the
rapid rate at which soil formation proceeds
under Puerto Rican conditions.

II. Standardisation of Soil Survey Methods

1, More research as to the role of parent
material in tropical soil genesis.

2. Investigation of the weathering of the
different minerals.

Quantitative measurements should be made. The
time required for soil renovation must be as-
certained under different environmental condi-

1. Field methods

A survey of the whole Island was completed
and published in 1942 by the U.S.D.A. in co-
operation with the University of P.R. Agri-
cultural Experiment Station.* Maps on the
scale of 1:50,000 are available. Infiltra-
tion rates of more than 90 soil types have
been determined, although not published.

Infiltration studies should be completed, in-
cluding all important agricultural areas.


Survey of Existing Conditions

II, (Contd,)

2. Laboratory methods

(a) Physical measurements

Textural studies have been made on most
soils. Limited data available on soil
structure. Limited mineralogical analy-
sis of soils has been done in the past
for lateritic soils. Studies of x-ray
patterns and petrographic analyses are
now under way for a large number of soils.
Moisture studies have been mostly limited
to standard gravimetric determinations of
field moisture content. Better techniques
are under consideration, Preliminary
studies of the whole moisture range in
surface soils have been conducted, but not
yet published. Water retention capacity
and water transmission power of soils are
under study,

(b) Chemical measurements

Complete chemical data for the surface

1. More research on physical properties of
'soils for their proper characterization,

2. Structural studies be conducted.

3, Investigation of soil mineralogy, particu-
larly as to the relation of clay minerals
to the sand and silt fractions under dif-
ferent environmental conditions.

4. Contact phenomena between the coarser
fractions of soils and the clay minerals
as a means of releasing plant nutrients
from relative insoluble material should be
considered similar to the work of Marshall
and Graham (Soil Science, 49, 277-281,

5. Determination of particular types of clay
minerals in highly weathered tropical

6, Determination of the water supplying power
of different soil types

7. Further study of soil moisture-plant rela-

o1 More data with respect to the content of


Survey of Existing Conditions

II. 2. (b) (Contd.)

layer of a large number of soils are
available. Considerable data on acidity
and organic matter are also available.
Data have been collected on exchange ca-
pacity and exchangeable bases of Puertb
Ricaa soil, but have not yet been pub-
lished. De Lrminations of available and
total phosphoric acid and total silica
have been reported. Preliminary work
with boron has been conducted. Plant
analysis and foliar diagnosis as indexes
of the fertility of the soil are receiv-
ing much attention. Methods are being
studied for preliminary work with minor

(c) Microbiological determinations

Nitrification rates have been determined
for soils in northern Puerto Rico.

minor elements in soils, such as copper,
cobalt, iodine, fluorine, etc.

2. Correlation between foliar diagnosis, soil
analysis, and crop yields.

1. Considerable expansion of investigations of
soil microbiology.

2. A microbiological survey.

III. System of Soil Classification and Mapping

1. Textural classification

Soils have sen grouped into several classes
according to particle size in the surface

2. Topographic classification

8 physiographic groups have been set.

Determinations of free sesquioxides to know
what is their proportion in the clay fraction.

Studies to determine fitness of soil areas for
mechanization on basis of their topography.


Survey of Existing Conditions

III. (Contd.)

3. Geologic classification

Soils have been grouped according to their
geologic origin.

Use of mineralogical data as criteria for clas-

4. Productivity rating

Soils have been grouped according to thpir
productive capacity for individual crops.
A general rating has also been established.

More detailed data for specific areas.

5. Great soil groups

22 of the great soil groups of thE world
have been mapped in Puerto Rico. A report
with maps has been published. The soils
are grouped into 117 series comprising 358
types and phases.

Considerable research needed in soil systematics,
The soils classed as podzolic and chernozem
should be investigated and perhaps renamed.
Lateritic soils should be regrouped in view of
new knowledge.

6. Land utilisation classes

The Soil Conservation Service has grouped
the land into 8 utilization classes. This
classification is based upon adaptation of
the land to cultivation and the required
conservation practices.

IV. Survey of Soil Erosion, Conservation Reno-
1. Land Capabilities Determination and Util-
ization Classes

Land capability tables have been prepared
or are being prepared for the 19 soil con-
servation districts in Puerto Rico and the

See information for IV.

These tables are dynamic and are subject to revi-
sion as more information is gained in soil
studies such as permeability, available moisture

Re c commendations

Survey of Existing Conditions

IV. 1. (Contd.)

U.S. Virgin Islands,

These tables were prepared in accordance
with the "Guide for Soil Conservation
Surveys" prepared by the U.S. Soil Con-
servation Service.

2, Problem Areas in Soil Conservation

A problem area map including Puerto Rico
and the U.S. Virgin Islands was prepared
as a part of the Soil Conservation Prob-
lem Area Map of the United States which
is being prepared by the Soil Conserva-
tion Service.

The island of Puerto Rico was divided
in two main physiographic regions, first,
the Central Mountainous Area and Valleys,
and second the Bordering Coastal Plain
Area. Each of these was broken down into
soil conservation problem areas differen-
tiated on the basis of major differences
in soils topography and climate. These
were further broken into land resources
units, each of which has a comparable
pattern of soil, slope, erosion, cli-
matic conditions, and conservation prob-

Similar divisions were made in the land
area of the Virgin Islands,

capacity, inherent fertility, etc.

Further research in developing legumes grasses
and tree crops for steep slopes unsuitable for

No research is needed, but a more detailed map
of each of the soil conservation districts of
a scale of 4" to the mile will give a better
picture of the conservation needs for these
problem areas.


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