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Soils - Part 1: The Origin and Development of Soil (How Soil Gets a Life and a Name)

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Table 1.4.

Table 1.4. Series descriptions for Holdrege, Nora, Sharpsburg and Valentine soils

Holdrege Series

The Holdrege series consists of deep, well-drained, nearly level to moderately sloping soils formed in loess on uplands.

In a representative profile the surface layer is very friable to friable, dark grayish-brown silt loam about 10 inches thick. Beneath this is about 13 inches of subsoil that is friable, grayish-brown silt loam in the upper part and friable, brown light silty clay loam in the lower part. The underlying material is pale-brown silt loam to a depth of 60 inches.

Holdrege soils have moderate permeability and high available water capacity. These soils have moderate organic-matter content and high natural fertility. They absorb moisture easily and release it readily to plants.

These soils are suited to cultivated crops under both dryland or irrigation management. They also are suited to grass, trees and shrubs. Holdrege soils provide habitat for wildlife and areas for recreation.

Representative profile of Holdrege silt loam, 1 to 3 percent slopes, in a cultivated field, 792 feet north and 100 feet west of the southeast corn of sec. 35.T.10 N., R.29W.:

Ap — 0 to 6 inches, dark grayish-brown (10YR 4/2) silt loam, very dark brown (10YR 2/2) moist: weak, coarse, subangular blocky structure parting to weak, medium and fine, granular: slightly hard, very friable: neutral; abrupt, smooth boundary.

A12 — 6 to 10 inches, dark grayish-brown (10YR 4/2) silt loam, very dark brown (10YR 2/2)  moist; weak, medium and coarse, prismatic structure parting to weak, medium,  granular: hard, friable; mildly alkaline; clear, smooth boundary.

B21 — 10 to 16 inches, grayish-brown (10YR 5/2) silt loam, very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) moist; weak, medium, prismatic structure parting to weak, medium, subanglar blocky: very hard, friable; mildly alkaline; clear, smooth boundary.

B22 — 16 to 23 inches, brown (10YR 5/3) light silty clay loam, dark grayish brown (10YR  4/2) moist; weak, medium, prismatic structure parting to moderate, medium and fine, subangular blocky; very hard, friable; moderately alkaline; clear, smooth boundary.

C1 — 23 to 33 inches, pale-brown (10YR 6/3) silt loam, brown (10YR 5/3) moist; weak, medium prismatic structure parting to weak, medium and fine, subangular blocky:  hard, very friable; moderately alkaline; abrupt, smooth boundary.

C2 — 33 to 60 inches, pale-brown (10YR 6/3) silt loam, brown (10YR 5/3) moist; weak, medium, prismatic structure; soft, very friable; violent effervescence; moderately  alkaline.

The A horizon is typically fine sandy loam or silt loam but in places is silty clay loam. It is 8 to 14 inches thick. The B21 horizon is grayish-brown to dark grayish-brown silt loam or light silty clay loam and is 4 to 6 inches thick. Depth to lime carbonate ranges from 24 to 50 inches on very gentle slopes and from 16 to 24 inches on moderately steep slopes.

Holdrege soils are associated in the landscape with Hord, Uly, Anselmo, Coly, Hobbs, and Hersh soils. They have more clay in the B horizon than Hord or Uly soils and less sand in the B horizon than Anselmo soils. Holdrege soils have a thinner solum than Hord soils and a thicker A horizon than Coly soils. The B horizon present in Holdrege soils is lacking in Coly, Hobbs, and Hersh soils.

Nora Series

The Nora series consists of deep, well drained soils on uplands. Permeability is moderate. The soils are on side slopes and ridgetops. They formed in calcareous loess. The slope ranges from 2 to 15 percent.

Nora soils are similar to Moody soils and are adjacent to Alcester, Crofton, and Moody soils on the landscape. Moody soils have a thicker solum than Nora soils and have calcium carbonates at a greater depth. Alcester soils are on foot slopes and have a mollic epipedon that is more than 20 inches thick. Crofton soils are generally on more convex upper slopes. The soils are calcareous at or near the surface and do not have a mollic epipedon

Typical pedon or Nora silty clay loam, 6 to 11 percent slopes, eroded, 400 feet east and 1,100 feet north of the southwest corner of sec. 18,T. 28 N., R. 1 E.

Ap — 0 to 7 inches; brown (10YR 5/3) silty clay loam, dark brown (10YR 3/3) moist; moderate medium granular structure; slightly hard, friable; many fine roots; neutral; abrupt smooth boundary.

Bw1 — 7 to 14 inches; brown (10YR 5/3) silty clay loam, dark brown (10YR 4/3) moist; weak coarse prismatic structure parting to weak fine subangular blocky; hard, friable; common fine roots; neutral; clear smooth boundary.

Bw2 — 14 to 20 inches; pale brown (10YR 6/3) silty clay loam, brown (10YR 5/3) moist; weak coarse prismatic structure parting to moderate fine subangular blocky; hard, friable; common fine roots; neutral; clear wavy boundary.

BCk — 20 to 28 inches; pale brown (10YR 6/3) silty clay loam, brown (10YR 5/3) moist; weak medium subangular blocky structure; hard, friable; few fine roots; few medium soft white (10YR 8/2, moist) calcium carbonate concretions; strong effervescence; mildly alkaline; clear wavy boundary.

Ck1 — 28 to 35 inches; pale brown (10YR 6/3) silt loam, brown (10YR 5/3) moist; massive; hard, friable; few fine roots; few medium and coarse, firm and hard, white (10YR  8/2, moist) calcium carbonate concretions; strong effervescence; mildly alkaline; gradual wavy boundary.

Ck2 — 35 to 43 inches; light brownish gray (10YR 6/2) silt loam, grayish brown (10YR 5/2) moist; common medium faint yellowish brown (10YR 5/4, moist) and common fine faint dark brown (10YR 4/3, moist) relict mottles; massive; hard, friable; few medium and coarse, firm and hard, white (10YR 8/2, moist) calcium carbonate concretions; strong  effervescence; mildly alkaline; gradual wavy boundary.

Ck3 — 43 to 60 inches; light gray (10YR 7/2) silt loam, light brownish gray (2.5Y 6/2) moist; common fine distinct light olive brown (2.5Y 5/6, moist) and common medium prominent yellowish brown (10YR 5/6, most) relict mottles; massive; hard, friable; few fine soft white (10YR 8/2, moist) calcium carbonate concretions; strong effervescence; mildly alkaline.

The solum ranges from 20 to 36 inches in thickness. Calcium carbonates are at a depth of 13 to 30 inches. The mollic epipedon ranges from 7 to 15 inches in thickness.

The A horizon ranges from 4 to 12 inches in thickness. It has value of 3 through 5 (2 or 3, moist) and chroma of 2 or 3. It is mainly silty clay loam, but the range includes silt loam. Reaction is slightly acid or neutral.

The Bw horizon is silt loam or silty clay loam. It has value of 5 or 6 (3 through 5, moist) and chroma of 3 or 4. The BCk horizon has hue of 10YR or 2.5Y, value of 5 through 7 (5 or 6, moist), and chroma of 3 or 4. The Ck horizon has value of 5 through 7 (4 through 6, moist) and chroma of 2 through 4. It is mildly alkaline or moderately alkaline. There are few or common segregations of lime in the BCk horizon and in the upper part of the C horizon.

The Nora soil that was mapped with a Crofton soil as Crofton-Nora complex, 11 to 15 percent slopes, eroded (CnE2), is a taxadjunct to the Nora series because it does not have a mollic epipedon, which is a characteristic of the Nora series. This difference, however, does not affect the usefulness or behavior of the soil.

Sharpsburg Series

The Sharpsburg series consists of deep, moderately well drained soils on uplands and terraces. Permeability is moderately slow. The soils formed in loess on uplands and stream terraces. Slope ranges from 1 to 15 percent.

Sharpsburg soils are commonly adjacent to Wymore, Pawnee, Mayberry, Morrill, and Geary soils. In places the nearly level Sharpsburg soils are adjacent to Butler and Crete soils. Pawnee, Mayberry, and Morrill soils formed in glacial till. Wymore, Pawnee, Mayberry, Butler, and Crete soils have more clay in the B2 horizon than Sharpsburg soils, and Geary soils have less clay and are of redder hue.

Typical pedon of Sharpsburg silty clay loam, 2 to 5 percent slopes, 100 feet west and 2,000 feet north of southeast corner sec. 20, T. 12 N., R. 8 E.

Ap — 0 to 7 inches; very dark brown (10YR 2/2) silty clay loam, dark grayish brown (10YR 4/2) dry; weak fine granular structure; slightly hard, friable; medium acid; abrupt smooth boundary.

B1t — 7 to 12 inches; dark brown (10YR 3/3) silty clay loam, dark grayish brown (10YR 4/2) dry; moderate fine and medium subangular blocky structure; hard, firm; medium acid; clear wavy boundary.

B21t — 12 to 23 inches; brown (10YR 4/3) silty clay, brown (10YR 5/3) dry; moderate medium prismatic structure parting to moderate subangular blocky; hard, firm; medium acid; gradual smooth boundary.

B22 — 23 to 34 inches; yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) silty clay loam, light yellowish brown (10YR 6/4) dry; few fine faint yellowish brown (10YR 5/6) mottles; moderate medium prismatic structure parting to moderate medium subangular blocky; hard, firm; slightly acid; gradual smooth boundary.

B3 — 34 to 44 inches; yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) silty clay loam, very pale brown (10YR 7/4) dry; few fine faint yellowish brown (10YR 5/6) mottles; weak medium prismatic structure parting to weak medium subangular blocky; slightly hard, friable; slightly acid; gradual smooth boundary.

C — 44 to 60 inches; light yellowish brown (10YR 6/4) silty clay loam, very pale brown (10YR 7/4) dry, common fine faint yellowish brown (10YR 5/6) mottles; weak coarse prismatic structure; slightly hard, friable; few small very dark brown iron-manganese concretions; slightly acid.

The solum is 36 to 50 inches thick. The mollic epipedon is 10 to 20 inches thick.

The A horizon has value of 2 or 3 (3 through 5 dry) and chroma of 1 or 2. Reaction ranges from strongly acid to slightly acid. The B2t horizon has hue of 10YR, value of 3 through 5 (4 through 6 dry), and chroma of 2 through 4. It is silty clay loam or silty clay that ranges from 36 to 42 percent content of clay. The B3 horizon and the C horizon have hue of 10YR or 2.5Y, value of 4 through 6 (5 through 7 dry), and chroma of 2 through 4. Mottles have hue of 5YR, 7.5YR, or 10YR; value of 4 or 5; and chroma of 4 through 6. Also included are grayish brown and olive gray mottles. In some places the B3 horizon and the C horizon are mixed brown and gray.

In Sharpsburg silty clay loam, 5 to 9 percent slopes, eroded, and Sharpsburg silty clay loam, 9 to 15 percent slopes, eroded, the dark surface layer is thinner than is defined for the series.

Valentine Series

The Valentine series consists of deep, excessively drained, nearly level to very steep soils in the sandhills. These soils formed primarily on hummocks, hills, and dunes of eolian sand. In places they are adjacent to the Platte Valley and to other major valleys in the county. In a representative profile the surface layer is loose fine sand that is grayish brown in the upper 2 inches and light brownish gray in the lower 4 inches. Beneath this, the under-lying material is pale brown fine sand to a depth of 14 inches and very pale brown fine sand to a depth of 60 inches.

Valentine soils have rapid permeability, low available water capacity, low organic-matter content, and low natural fertility.

These soils are suited to grass and trees. They provide habitat for grassland wildlife and areas for recreation. Where they are not too steep or too coarse, Valentine soils are suited to cultivated crops under dryland or irrigation management.

Representative profile of Valentine fine sand, rolling, in native range, 1,320 feet north and 950 feet east of the southwest corner of sec. 7, T. 15 N., R. 30 W.:

A11 — 0 to 2 inches, grayish-brown (10YR 5/2) fine sand, very dark grayish brown (10YR 3/2) moist; single grained; loose; neutral; abrupt, smooth boundary.

A12 — 2 to 6 inches, light brownish-gray (10YR 6/2) fine sand, dark grayish brown (10YR 4/2) moist; single grained; loose; neutral; clear, smooth boundary.

C1 — 6 to 14 inches, pale-brown (10YR 6/3) fine sand, brown (10YR 5/3) moist; single grained; loose; mildly alkaline; clear, smooth boundary.

C2 — 14 to 60 inches, very pale brown (10YR 7/3) fine sand, pale brown (10YR 6/3) moist; single grained; loose; mildly alkaline.

The A horizon is loamy fine sand or fine sand. It is 1 to 7 inches thick and is dark grayish brown or light brownish gray. The C horizon is brown to very pale brown loamy fine sand or fine sand.

Valentine soils are associated with Anselmo, Hersh, and Dunday soils in the uplands and with Elsmere soils in the Platte Valley. They have more sand in the C horizon than Anselmo or Hersh soils. Valentine soils have a thinner A horizon than Dunday soils. Depth to the water table is more than 10 feet in Valentine soils and is between 2 and 5 feet in Elsmere soils.

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