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Water resource management question set 4


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Another week another set of questions. I will leave my thoughts tomorrow morning. Please feel free to leave your thoughts aswell.


1.A low CEC soil test value tells us what about soil texture and water holding capacity?


2.What are three best management practices to consider when working in a low CEC soil?


3.List one pro and one con forms deal with when growing crops in the following soils: Clay? Sand? Silt?


4.In a perfect world, which soil texture would you choose to grow high yield corn and why? Please list the percent sand, silt and clay along with the texture classification.

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Soils with low CEC are easily deficient in cations. Sandy soils are considered non-cohesive and because of their large size, have low specific surface areas and have low nutrient retention capacity. soils with low CEC have low ability to hold water. Sand particles can hold little water due to low specific surface area and are prone to drought, therefore have a very low CEC and fertility status The implication of this is that negatively charged nutrients such as nitrates, sulfate and chlorides are vulnerable to leaching down the soil profile due to the texture and large pores.


The best management practices to consider well working in a low CEC soil is the soil will most likely be acidic, you can bet on that. So using lime to keep your PH under control will help a lot. Also most soils with a low CEC are very course and can leech to quickly, by adding organic matter, your top soil will retain a much higher level of nutrients giving the soil more time to break it down and to be absorbed by the plants before leeching occurs.


Clay-pro- Clay is where the nutrients in soil are stored,  Sand and silt do not store nutrients. Con- It holds lots of water so the soil stays wetter, colder and can be hard to work with.


Sand-proSpecific species of plants and trees grow much better in sand. These types of plants can withstand drying cycles easily and prefer a soil environment that does not retain excessive moisture. Con- Even though in nature you will most likely never find sand in its pure state without some amount of silt, sand itself has the inability to retain water and nutrients.


Silt-pro- Silt promotes water retention and air circulation. Con- Silt can be hard to drain, and only holds a limited amount of nutrients. 


My thoughts on the best soil texture to grow high yield corn would be a  percentage of all three soil types mixed with organic matter, this would be the prime crop growing soil. Using a mix of 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt, and 20 percent clay. The sand and silt together give great aeration and water retention, while the clay holds the nutrients and creates a stable platform for the structural integrity of the plants.

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