The Bay of Plenty has a number of different soils that make up
the land in our region. Soil information in the Bay of Plenty can
be accessed through Landcare Research's S-map website. Below are
instructions on how to use this site to find out soil
information for a particular area.
Follow this link to go to the Landcare Research
Also on this page is a list of useful links to soils and soil
management in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, and overseas.
Instructions for using the S-map
website to access information for Bay of Plenty soils
In the opening screen, choose the "Maps & factsheets"
option. Read and accept the "Terms and Conditions". Under "Location
Search", type "Bay of Plenty" or a place name within the Bay of
Plenty (e.g. Rotorua) and accept the auto-suggested place name. The
map will zoom in to your selected place.
In the "Layers"section, click on "Soils" portion. It will now
display the "S-map Polygons and Labels". Inside the map, click on
your area or polygon of interest. An "S-map soil summary table"
will pop out. Click on the soil name to access a pdf version of the
fact sheet. Continue doing this for the rest of the soil names in
your area of interest.
If necessary, adjust the scale of the map. To print the soil map
of your area of interest, click on the Print icon. Use your mouse
to adjust the extent of your area by making it smaller or bigger.
Type the title of your map. Choose paper size A4 or A3 and map
layout (portrait, landscape). Choose the map scale (1:50,000 etc.)
Click create and download pdf. Click "Close"after printing or
saving the pdf map.
If interested in other soil properties, tick on soil drainage,
depth to hard rock/gravel/rock and soil moisture. Print your map as
a downloadable pdf document as above.
Note:If you already know the name of the soil you are looking
for, regional soil information may be obtained via the
(Alternatively, the factsheets can be obtained via the link Landcare Research Bay of Plenty Soil Information
Select "Bay of Plenty Regional Council" and type the name or
partial name of the soil (e.g. Katikati, etc.). Press the 'Enter'
key or click 'Search'. A list of soil types will appear (e.g.
Katikati sandy loam, Katikati hill soils). To open the soil
factsheet, choose between a standard or customised report.
Web Links for Soils and Soil Management
The following links are information resources on soils and soil
management within the Bay of Plenty region and relevant New Zealand
and overseas web sites.
Bay of Plenty
Soils of the Bay of Plenty
Bay of Plenty Regional Council have developed booklets
that cover the soils of the Western, Central and Eastern Bay
of Plenty. They are intended to be used by farmers and other land
managers as a guide to the recognition and management of the
region's soils. The soil descriptions provide information on the
occurrence and distribution of soils, selected soil physical and
chemical properties, general land use suitability ratings, and
generic soil management recommendations to improve production
and/or protect the environment. Each booklet is a companion
resource to complement the web soil map and fact sheets.
Land Management fact sheets
These provide topical
information on land and soil management in the Bay of Plenty.
New Zealand and Overseas Links
A brief introduction to New Zealand soils, soil functions, soil
properties and soil classification from Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of
Soil properties for plant growth
This is a guide for recognising key soil properties important for
the growing of crops.
Visual Soil Assessment (VSA) field guides and soil
VSA is a quick and simple on-farm tool for monitoring the physical
qualities of the soil and relating the assessment to crop
production and environmental protection aspects of farming.
Although an updated second edition has been produced, the original
version of the field guides covering cropping and pastoral land
uses on flat to rolling country and hill country land uses can be
Visual Soil Assessment field guides
These are downloadable VSA field guides covering annual crops,
orchard crops, vineyards and wheat.
Soil quality indicators website
SINDI (soil indicators) is a web-based tool designed to help users
assess the quality or health of the soil using selected biological,
chemical and physical properties.
The Fertiliser Association website has the Code of Practice
for Nutrient Management, nutrient management planning, and fact
sheets and booklets on fertiliser use and nutrient management
Nutrient, water and effluent management
Dairy NZ's Environment section of its Farming Resource Centre has
information on nutrient management, effluent systems, water and
Overseer nutrient budgets model
OVERSEER is a free nutrient management software which assists
farmers and their advisers to examine nutrient use and movements
within a farm to optimise production and environmental
Soil and nutrient management
The Ministry for Primary Industries web page has
information on erosion prevention and management, and nutrient
management. It also has information on cadmium accumulation concern
in agricultural soils and the e-newsletter Smart Farming.
Soil and plant testing
Hill Laboratories' Agricultural Testing Technical Notes provide a
wealth of information on soil testing including soil sampling,
types of soil tests, soil test interpretation, etc. Plant tissue
and compost tests are also included.
Landwise's Resources page includes publications covering a range of
topics relating to sustainable cropping, irrigation, and a focus on
Building soils for better crops
Written with farmers, gardeners and educators in mind, this is a
practical guide to ecological soil management that provides
background information as well as details of soil-improving
practices. It gives the reader a holistic appreciation of the
importance of soil health and suggests ecologically sound practices
that help to develop and maintain healthy soils.
ATTRA National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
This offers information on how to assess, improve and maintain soil
health for both croplands and pastures. Several publications
address fertilisation and composting specifically for organic
production. Soil management can also play an important role in
protecting water quality, and additional resources are listed on
Soil Conservation Technical Handbook
This provides details of recommended soil conservation practices to
combat soil erosion in New Zealand.
Irrigation New Zealand's website contains information on all
aspects of irrigation including the irrigation manual, codes of
Irrigation (horticultural crops)
Crop IR Log is a freely downloadable software tool for scheduling
irrigation of horticultural crops including grapes, kiwifruit,
pipfruit, and summerfruit. It is being co-developed by Plant &
Food Research, HortPlus and Hawke's Bay Regional Council.
An overview of earthworms (native and introduced species) and the
important role they play in New Zealand agriculture.
Guide to New Zealand soil invertebrates
This site provides information on New Zealand soil and litter
invertebrates, their diversity, biology, ecosystem role, and
conservation status. The pages contain photos of these soil
Soil biology video clips
This page contains video clips of organisms that live in the soil
ranging from earthworms, bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, mites,
nematodes, and many more.