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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did you know that every county in the US has had a soil inventory and that this information is free for the asking?

Michigan has 159 types of soil with some even being divided further into percent grade or slope?

This index is in matrix format and the 11 columns are as follows:

soil name and map symbol
grain and seed crops
grasses and legumes
wild herbaceous plants
hardwood trees
coniferous plants
wetland plants
shallow water areas
openland wildlife
woodland wildlife
wetland wildlife

If you refer to your soils map (which is a marked up aerial photo of your land) you will note numbers, letters denote slope in percent, some symbols and lines indicating different soil types.

The number is the soil name as found in the chart. Then cross reference the number wtih each column to find out what the potential for habitat is.

This information has helped me from making some mistakes in the planning of the layout of my land. It will help you with yours. Best of all this info is available free from your conservation district office. It may help you decide on a land purchase.

The potentials are rated in terms of :

very poor
poor
fair
good

My land has 4 different soil types and a symbol like the 5 on a pair of dice (sand deposit). I find it usefull and the data is right on the money.
 

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I'm a 59B - Algonquin-Springport complex the entire farm -
0 to 7 inches - dar brown, mottled silt loam :-/

What are the ordination symbol? (6W in my case)

and

the soil management group symbols? mean? (1b and 1c)

ferg....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To my knowledge this info is not available on the web if it is I haven't found it. I've only got a limited amount of info at home the rest is out at camp so here's a little more.

As far as letters go:
A.........0-3 percent slope
B.........0-6 percent slope
D.........6-15 percent slope or up to 15%
E.........15-35 percent slope or up to 35%
F.........25-50 percent slope or up to 50%

As far as 4 soil types at my camp goes:

soil name and map symbol.. Ontanagon 10F
grain and seed crops..........poor
grasses and legumes.........fair
wild herbaceous plants......fair
hardwood trees.................good
coniferous plants...............good
wetland plants...................very poor
shallow water areas..........very poor
openland wildlife................poor
woodland wildlife...............good
wetland wildlife..................very poor


soil name and map symbol..Biscuit 92A
grain and seed crops...........fair
grasses and legumes...........good
wild herbaceous plants........good
hardwood trees...................good
coniferous plants.................good
wetland plants.....................fair
shallow water areas............fair
openland wildlife..................good
woodland wildlife.................good
wetland wildlife....................fair


soil name and map symbol..Bowers 95A
grain and seed crops..........fair
grasses and legumes.........good
wild herbaceous plants......good
hardwood trees.................good
coniferous plants...............good
wetland plants...................good
shallow water areas..........fair
openland wildlife................good
woodland wildlife...............good
wetland wildlife..................fair


soil name and map symbol..Soo 112
grain and seed crops..........poor
grasses and legumes.........poor
wild herbaceous plants.......fair
hardwood trees..................fair
coniferous plants................fair
wetland plants....................good
shallow water areas...........good
openland wildlife.................poor
woodland wildlife................fair
wetland wildlife...................fair

As you can see in these examples it's pretty easy to determine your best land use practices.
 

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I love my soil survey book, and have studied it from cover to cover. I know, it would help if I got a real life.:p

18 different soil types listed on my farm. Excluding those that differ from themselves only by slope letter, as luv2 indicated, here they are, in rough relative order of abundance.

Williamstown-Conover Loam Complex
Miami Loam
Pewamo Silt Loam
Wolcott Silt Loam
Hillsdale-Riddles Complex
Steamburg Sandy Loam
Houghton Muck
Palms Muck
Fox Sandy Loam
Histosols/Aquients Ponded (I'm told the surveyors got lazy here)
Spinks Loamy Sand
Thetford Loamy Sand
Coloma Sand

The top 4 listed probably make up about 80% of the whole land area. Most of the rest are only found in one location.

Don't regard the precise location of contour lines in your soil map as gospel. Much of the survey work was contracted out, and quality assurance was not airtight. Based on my own field studies, I have found 2 glaring errors; one big expanse of Coloma Sand on high ground, surrounded by muck soils, was completely missed. Another small area of Spinks Loamy Sand is in reality much smaller in size than my survey map shows.

The general soil association type in my area is known as "Miami-Conover-Brookston Association". It is described as "Deep, well to very poorly drained loamy soils on depressional to strongly sloping topography. They have high available water capacity and moderate or moderately slow permeability." No wonder spring planting is frequently delayed in the neighborhood.

MSU Extension publishes a big (46"x27")multi-colored statewide soil association map, complete with general descriptions of each association type, for a mere $1, plus $1 postage/handling. Nice looking, and a good general reference, but you need your county-based soil survey book for the real soil type detail on your ground.
 

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Please help the uninformed. I have a few questions.

What is the website I go to look up my contact info for my soil district (Gladwin county)? Will they send out the requested info or do you have to get it in person?

The multi-colored statewide soil association map is used a reference guide for the soil types and what not found on your specific soil map? How do I contact the MSU Extension office for this map?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

DaveK
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
DaveK

Click on the link for a starting point.

I got a muli-colored map from my conservation district office for free, but I have helped out the people there with other issues.

Go in and see the people in your district office. Each one is a little different. They are there to help you, so go there with questions in hand and an open mind.

http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/f...hreadid=55382&highlight=conservation+district

Land stewardship has been the best investment I've made in my land and in my lifestyle.

Good luck and have fun.
 

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Thanks for the link Luv2hunteup.

I'll contact the Gladwin office and go from there. The only problem I have with just stopping in is I live in Oxford (Oakland county) and Gladwin is about two hours away. If they have weekend hours then no problem but I'm guessing they don't.

I have contacted a timber company to survey the poplar and birch prospects on my 40 in Gladwin. The neighbor accross the street did ok by the timber company on his 40. The gentleman doing the surveying was going to give an $$ estimate and a land evaluation for deer, turkeys, and such.

I really want to do everything right the first time around so I am taking my time and trying to as much homework on food plots and land development as possible.

Thanks again,
DaveK
 
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