Crumbly and free-draining, these volcanic soils in the southern Waikato basin are some of the most productive in New Zealand. However, their allophane content, which holds phosphate in a form only slowly available to plants, means that relatively large amounts of phosphate fertiliser are needed for high dairy or crop production.
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Reference: Les Molloy, Soils in the New Zealand landscape: the living mantle. Lincoln: New Zealand Society of Soil Science, 1988, plate 3.10
Photograph by Quentin Christie
© New Zealand Society of Soil Science
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