A report on soil survey was published in November 2011 by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association in collaboration with TECNOAZUCAR and the Research Institute of Sugarcane (INICA) of Cuba in order to establish fertilizer recommendations and general agronomic management.
According to the report, the sugarcane territory of Belize consists mainly of slightly acidic to alkaline soils with high carbonate content. The soils are relatively young with a predominating clay loam to clay soil texture. The main limitations of these soils are low effective depth, poor drainage, compaction, water logging and micro nutrient deficiencies.
The predominant soils identified by the study on the sugarcane area of Belize are separated into four orders: Inceptisols, Vertisols, Mollisols and Alfisols. The distribution of these profiles can be seen in the figure to the left.
Inceptisols: This soil type occupies 71.9% of the total sugar cane area. It is located primarily
in the northeastern portion from the Belize Sugar Industries, coinciding with the branches of Corozal, Xaibe, Louisville and San Narciso. Most of the soils in this order have medium to coarse texture, generally moderate to good drainage, good organic matter content and a slightly acidic pH.
Vertisols: This soil type occupies 24.50% of the total sugar cane area. It is mainly located in the
south central portion from the BSCFA, coinciding with the branches of San Narciso, San Jose, Orange Walk and Yo Creek. It’s pH is also slightly acidic to neutral and its organic matter content is medium to high. This soil type has a medium to fine texture and drainage is generally moderate to imperfect.
Mollisols: This soil type occupies 0.99% of the total sugar cane area. It is mainly located in the
southwestern portion from BSI, coinciding with the San Lazaro branch. It is a deep dark soil with high organic matter content and a saturation ratio above 50 percent. It has mild to severe compaction, a clay loam to clay texture and moderate to imperfect drainage. It is characterized by a slightly acidic to neutral soil reaction with good moisture retention capacity.
Alfisols: This soil type occupies 2.61% of the total sugar cane area. It is mainly located in the
Southeast portion from BSI, coinciding with the branches of Orange Walk, San Lazaro and Guinea Grass. It is an average deep soil with reddish coloration. It has light to heavy compaction, a clay loam to clay texture and moderate drainage. This soil type also has an acidic soil reaction and a medium to low organic matter content.