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Chernozemic soil
Chernozem Image
Chernozem field in Black Dirt Region of Orange County, New York, United States
Used in: WRB, other
WRB code: CH
Profile: AhBC
Parent material: Loess
Climate: Humid continental[citation needed]

Chernozem (from Russian: чернозём, tr. chernozyom; IPA: [tɕɪrnɐˈzʲɵm] or Ukrainian: чорнозем, "black dirt" or "black earth", is a black-coloured soil containing a high percentage of humus[1] (7% to 15%), and high percentages of phosphoric acids, phosphorus and ammonia.[citation needed] Chernozem is very fertile and produces a high agricultural yield.


Global distribution

There are two "Chernozem belts" in the world: from eastern Croatia (Slavonia), along the Danube (northern Serbia, northern Bulgaria (Danubian Plain) and southern Romania (Wallachian Plain)), Moldova to northeast Ukraine across the Black Earth Region, Voronezh region and southern Russia into Siberia, and the other in the Canadian Prairies. Similar soil types occur in Texas and Hungary. Chernozem layer thickness may vary widely, from several inches up to 60 inches (1.5 metres) in Ukraine.[2] The terrain can also be found in small quantities elsewhere (for example, on 1% of Polish territory). It also exists in Northeast China, near Harbin.

The sale of agricultural land has been illegal in Ukraine since 1992; despite this, there is a black market for chernozem soil, sold in trucks, with approximately $900 million in annual sale.[3]

Canadian and United Nations soil classification[edit]

Chernozemic soils are a soil type in the Canadian system of soil classification and the United Nations' FAO soil classification.

Chernozemic soil type equivalents, in Canadian, FAO, and USA soil taxonomy
Canadian FAO United States
Chernozemic Kastanozem, Chernozem, Greyzem, Phaeozem Borolls
Brown Chernozem Kastanozem (aridic) Aridic Boroll subgroups
Dark Brown Chernozem Kastanozem (Haplic) Typic Boroll subgroups
Black Chernozem Chernozem Udic Boroll subgroups
Dark Grey Chernozem Greyzem Boralfic Boroll subgroups, Albolls

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "chernozem". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  2. ^ Ukraine: Soils in Encyclopedia Britannica
  3. ^ Black market for black earth, Kyiv Post (9 November 2011)

External links[edit]

The dictionary definition of chernozem at Wiktionary