Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What Is Your State's Official Soil?

What is your state's official soil?  Do you even have one?  Is there one state official or recognized soil type in your state?  How do you farm it?

Kathy Voth has written a short article about state soils On Pasture.

This is a good topic as a farmer asked how to tile Zook Silt Loam on Crop Talk.  I gave him my best answer.  For any poorly drained or very poorly drained soil, you can't afford to get tile lines close enough to drain them properly if you have an outlet.  If you don't have an outlet, you are very limited in tiling and its resulting lack of production.

Miami Series was pushed as Ohio's State soil but it never got enough attention to be recognized as our state soil by law.  I guess they had better things to do and most people wouldn't know the difference anyway.

The whole point is do you know your soils?  They are difficult to study because they are so complicated and lie below our feet!  Break it down into little segments you can understand and keep adding to your knowledge.  Soil history in your lifetime is extremely important.

The best way to know your soil is dig it deep, down 5 feet or more.  That is preferably done with equipment!

Once you have the soil opened up, you need an experienced person who had studied soils most of their life to help you see what you have, what may have caused it and what you might do in the future to improve it.  I really enjoy doing that and remember the soil pit near Paul Butler's house while our new lifelong friend Chris Pellow from New Zealand was present.  It was pretty awesome!

Any soil can be saved and improved.  I always felt like that was my number one duty on earth.  Save the soil.  This leads to why I learned to no-till and add amendments that improves soil function.  Healthy soil is the root of all man's successes.

It's just ground up rock, it doesn't make that much difference, does it?

Everything that has happened to a soil dictates it's value to man today.

We need to figure out what to do with it within our budget.  The simplest things can yield the biggest results.

Ed Winkle

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