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Lecture 8.

Pallic Soils
Southern and eastern North Island and
eastern South Island
Areas of low summer rainfall: moisture

151 Pallic Soils


Parent materials commonly

loess, colluvium, alluvium,
Parent rocks usually
greywacke-argillite, schist
and mudstone.
Quartzo-feldspathic minerals
(quartz, feldspar and rock
Most common on river and
marine terraces, but also
uneroded hill slopes.

Photo 8.1

151 Pallic Soils

Pallic Soils
physical properties

Imperfectly poorly drained

High dry bulk density:
Topsoils 1.1 - 1.3 t m-3
Upper subsoil (Bgt) 1.5 1.7
t m-3
Lower subsoil (Cxg) 1.5 1.8
t m-3
Low macroporosity (< 5%)
except topsoil
RAWC low moderate
TAWC higher
Low hydraulic conductivity
(<10-9 m s -1)




Photo 4.8

151 Pallic Soils

Pallic Soils
chemical properties

pH moderate; topsoils in North

Island lower than South Island
pH and BS% increase down
profile to 7 and 90-100
CEC moderate in topsoils (OM),
variable in subsoil depending
on clay mineralogy
Soils weakly weathered in
south; mica and vermiculite
Soils moderately weathered in
north; vermiculite, kandite and
mica clays

151 Pallic Soils

Photo 1.4

Photo 1.5

Pallic Soils

Mole and tile (or plastic pipes) are effective

Tiles put at 80-90 cm depth, near top of fragipan
Must backfill with permeable material
Spacing 20-40m across slope
Protect outlets
Moles downslope at 2m intervals
40-50cm depth in Bgt horizon
Optimum timing in late spring
Avoid slopes > 7-10 degrees
Danger of dispersal around drains
Drainage can increase pasture utilisation from as little as 30 to
as much as 90.

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Photo 8.2a

Pallic Soils

Without drainage

Photo 8.2b

Photo 8.2c

With drainage

151 Pallic Soils

Photo 8.2d

Pallic Soils
Land use
South Island:
Soils weakly- moderately
weathered and imperfectly
Dairying, grain crops,
sheep and cattle, some
shallow rooted vegetables.
Prone to tunnel gully erosion
on hillsides, and rilling
under cultivation

151 Pallic Soils

Pallic Soils
Timaru silt loam
Downlands near Timaru

Photo 8.4

Timaru silt loam

Photo 8.3

151 Pallic Soils

Pallic Soils

Timaru silt loam

Photo 8.5

Tunnel gully erosion - Blenheim

Photo 8.6

151 Pallic Soils

Pallic Soils
Land use

North Island:
Soils moderately
weathered and mostly
poorly drained.
Grain crops, sheep and
cattle, dairying.
Prone to tunnel gully and
slip erosion on hillsides,
and rilling under

Photo 8.7

Stormy Point and Rangitikei River.

151 Pallic Soils


Pallic Soils
Land use
Marton silty
clay loam

Photo 8.8

Dannevirke silt


Photo 8.9

151 Pallic Soils

Photo 8.10


Pallic Soils
Arable farming

Far more suited to wheat and barley in rotation with

lambs, rather than dairying
Can be problems of getting crops in on time
Maize for seed or grain less suitablesoils often too
wet by harvest time.

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Pallic Soils

Main problems with dairying are:

- mud
- need for drainage
- compaction,
- drought
- uneven feed supply (supplements needed)
- difficulty of irrigation
- effluent disposal and
- metabolic disorders.

151 Pallic Soils


Pallic Soils
Hill and steepland
Often called summer dry country
Usually poorly drained
Prone to landslip erosion events
Slips slow to heal
Prone to sheet erosion after summer droughts
Survival of poplars and willows poor
Pugging and compaction under cattle a major
Suited to higher sheep: cattle ratio
Dams seldom last longdispersive soils

151 Pallic Soils


Wairarapa Steepland
North facing

South facing

Photo 8.11b

Photo 8.11a

151 Pallic Soils

Photo 8.11c