ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 59 Number 2
Research Papers
Influence of physical properties of clay soils on their management for sugar production in Guyana
Compton L. Paul
Physical properties of some clays in Guyana’s sugar-cane growing region are reviewed with respect to their influence on management practices for sugar production. High silt contents of the soils caused rapid breakdown of structure of land preparation. Infiltration of water within the profile was highly dependent on cracks. Generally, a moisture content 25-30 per cent was found to be the optimum range at which the soils should be manipulated. Penetration resistance measurements were considered useful for indicating soil water contents at which the soils were trafficable. Differences in clay type were probably the main reason for differences in the soils’ behaviour between the Berbice and Demerara regions of the costal belt. These differences were observed in shrinkage measurements. Management of the clay soils was thought to be closely linked to understanding and enhance processes which caused dehydration, shrinkage and deep cracking within the soil profile.
Keywords: Clay soils; Physical properties; Sugar-cane