Monday, December 26, 2011


About 40,000 acres in LeFlore County are used for crops. Most of the cropland is on the Arkansas River bottom lands. HOwever, small acreages of bottom lands along the Poteau River and small acreages of upland, primarily in the extreme northern part of the county, are used for crops.

Crops grown most extensively on soils on the bottom land are alfalfa, soybeans, and wheat. Spinach and field peas are also grown on small acreages. Soybeans is the crop commonly grown on uplands.

Because cultivated crops are grown primarily on nearly level soils on the bottom land, erosion control is not a major concern. In minor undulating areas that are cropped, erosion can be minimized by a cropping system that keeps a vegetative cover on the ground for extended periods. Crop residue returned to the soil increases infiltration and reduces runoff and erosion. Terracing and contour farming help minimize erosion on sloping soils of upland farms.

Surface drainage is the major concern in management on many clayey soils on the bottom lands of the Arkansas River and on much of the acreage of loamy soils on the bottom land along the major local streams. Lateral ditches and field drainage ditches are used to remove excess surface water. On some well drained soils, ditches are needed to help drain pothole areas.

Crops grown on uplands respond to fertilizer and lime. Line is not needed on soils on the Arkansas River bottom land, but it generally is needed on soils on the other bottom land. Fertilizer generally increases yields on the soils on bottom land. Additions of lime and fertilizer should be based on current soil tests, the needs of the crop, and the expected level of yields.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Soil

Deep, nearly level to sloping, moderately well drained loamy soils that have a loamy or clayey subsoil over colluvium or shale; on uplands.

Area soils are in broad, smooth areas and in narrow valleys. These deep, nearly level to gently sloping, moderately well drained soils are very slowly permeable. The surface layer is brown silt loom. The subsoil is dark yellowish brown silty clay in the upper part and mottled., yellowish brown and gray silty clay in the lower part over soft shale.

Soils of minor extent are the moderately deep Cowton soils on low ridges and the deep Wing soils, along small drainage ways, that have a high sodium content in the subsoil. Also included are the deep, shaley Kanima soils on strip mine pit spoil banks and soils similar to the Stigler soils on low, circular mounds.

About 75 percent of the soils in this area are in tame pasture and native grass meadow. A few areas are in soybeans and small grains. Both tame pasture and cultivated crops respond favorably to fertilizer and lime. Native vegetation mainly is mid and tall grasses and a few scattered hardwood trees.

The dominant management problem in broad, smooth areas is removing excess surface water. Because of wetness in winter and spring, these soils have medium to low potential for cultivated and sown crops. If row crops are grown on sloping soils, terracing and contour farming are needed to control erosion. Mounded areas that are too irregular for terracing are better suited to tame pasture or sown crops. Crop residue management is needed to help maintain tilth.

The soils have low potential for woodland. The clayey subsoil restricts root development, and seasonal wetness restricts equipment use.

Because of seasonal wetness and the high shrink-swell potential, the soils in this area have low potential for most urban and recreational uses. Potential is high for use of these soils as habitat for bobwhite quail, mourning dove, and cottontail rabbit.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our Climate

The winter average temperature is approximately 43 degrees (F) and the average daily minimum temperature is 32 degrees (F). The summer average temperature is 80 degrees (F) and the average daily maximum temperature is 93 degrees (F).

Average annual precipitation is 45 inches. Of this, 26 inches, or about 60 percent, usually falls in April through September. The growing season for most crops falls within this period. In 2 years out of 10, the rainfall in April through September is less than 20 inches. The average seasonal snow fall is 4.2 inches. On an average of 2 days, at least 1 inch of snow is on the ground. The number of such days varies greatly from year to year.

The average relative humidity in mid-afternoon is about 50 percent. Humidity is higher at night, and the average at dawn is about 80 percent. The sun shines 70 percent of the time possible in summer and 50 percent in winter. The prevailing wind is from the southwest. Average windspeed is highest, 10 miles per hour, in March.

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, which occur occasionally, are local and of short duration. The pattern of damage is variable and spotty.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Land We Farm

LeFlore County is mainly in the Arkansas Valley and the Ouachita Mountains physiographic sections. Topography differences range from the nearly level flood plains of the Arkansas, Poteau, and Kiamichi rivers and major creeks to the steep mountainous areas in the southern part of the county. Most of the drainage is into the Poteau and Kiamichi Rivers by way of creeks and streams.

Soil, water, timber, coal, natural gas, stone and gravel, fish, wild game, and scenic beauty are the main natural resources of the county.

Soil, the most important natural resource in the county, produces pasture and hay, timber, and crops. Farm ponds are a source of water for livestock and are used for fish production. Sandstone is the most common surface rock in the area (it is excavated and used in building construction). Fishes, wildlife, and game are abundant. Crappie, bass, and catfish are the most common fishes in lakes and rivers. The habitat has abundant cover and food for deer, dove, turkey, quail, squirrel, and duck and for fur-bearing animals such as mink, beaver, fox, and bobcat.