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Say My Name.
14,730 Posts
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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