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.

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