What Types of Soil Are Found in Kentucky?

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Soil is the building block of landscape and plays an intricate role in American agriculture. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 35 counties in Kentucky have one unique type of soil that belongs only to the state of Kentucky. This Kentucky soil produces crops such as grains, soybeans, corn, hay, tobacco, wheat, fruits and vegetables. There are also other varieties of Kentucky soil.

Crider Soils

  • According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Crider soils cover 500,000 acres across the state of Kentucky. Farmers use most of the 500,000 acres for pasture or growing crops such as soybeans, hay, corn, grains and tobacco. Crider soil gets its name from Caldwell County, Kentucky, a community where it was first discovered in 1957. In 1990, the state of Kentucky officially made the Crider soil the state's national soil. Crider soil goes by another name, "alfisol soil," for its reddish-brown silt and its dark red clay in the upper, middle and upper surfaces of the soil. Crider soils run deep into the surface at a level of 100 inches. This type of soil holds moisture moderately and it drains well for pasture and growing crops.

Baxter Soils

  • Farmers use Baxter soil to grow grains, fruits and vegetables, tobacco and corn. Baxter soils are generally found on ridge tops and hillsides, but can also be found in steep slopes and woodland areas for cultivating. Baxter soils run deep as well, ranging from 99 inches from the surface. 20 percent of the topsoil is fine, gravelly loam and silt that contains small chert fragments. The upper subsurface of the soil contains some gravelly silt, loam and clay. The middle of the subsurface contains reddish, sticky and gravelly clay with 40 percent chert fragments. The Baxter soils lower subsurface contains dark red, light grey, brown and reddish clay and has 40 percent chert fragments.

Maury Soils

  • Maury soils are widely used for cultivating different types of trees such as black cherry, black walnut, ash, elm, black and honey locust, Kentucky coffee and hackberry trees. Maury soils have silty and fine characteristics often found in the upland areas of Kentucky. The surface of the soil is brown, silty loam that can crumble easily. The upper and middle subsurface of the Maury soil is reddish-brown clay. The lower subsurface of the Maury soil is yellowish red, consisting of iron manganese. Maury soil also runs deep, up to 100 inches from the surface.

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  • Photo Credit crops in rows image by david hughes from Fotolia.com
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