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Lester Minnesota’s State Soil Your Name Here, PSS Minnesota Association of Professional Soil Scientists MAPSS
The Naming of Lester Prairie Lester Prairie was named “Lester” in honor of John and Maria Lester and their family, who settled in the area, and “Prairie” for the little prairie on which it was situated. In 1856 when the prairie opened up, they staked their homestead. The Lester farm is on the NW ¼ of the section that the town of Lester Prairie sits on. Photo of John and Maria Lester used with permission from the Lester Prairie Herald Journal/McLeod County Historical society John & Maria Lester © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved 2
Sioux Uprising - In August of 1862 the Sioux Uprising flared up, starting out in Meeker County, close by where some settlers were killed. The Lester’s fled to Hutchinson after reportedly burying their wagon. Maria Lester was related to 2 U.S. Presidents: She was the Niece of John Adams; and the first cousin of John Quincy Adams. We name soils after the place it is first recognized and since Lester Prairie is named after the Lester farm on the prairie, it is a natural fit to talk about the pre-settlement vegetation and how this soil is located near the edge of the forest © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved 3
The Lester Farm Near Lester Prairie Key: Areas mapped as Lester Soil Location of the Lester Homestead © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved4
The Story of Lester The Lester soil was first proposed in 1939, in McLeod County – near Lester Prairie, Minnesota. Lester was established in 1945, in Dakota County Minnesota. Lester developed at the prairie/forest interface and is currently mapped on approximately 400,000 acres in 16 Minnesota Counties. Lester soils have properties developed from both grassland and forest environments and are primarily used for forage, corn and soybean production. Ron E. VanNimwegen © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved 5
The Story of Lester In 1985, the Minnesota Association of Professional Soil Scientists (MAPSS), formed a committee to designate a state soil. Selection criteria was that the soil had to be: 1.A Minnesota Soil Series; 2.Extensive; 3.Economically important; 4.‘Teachable’ (photogenic). The members voted to designate Lester as their state soil in In 2012, a significant legislative effort was undertaken to establish Lester as the "Official Minnesota State Soil". Legislation establishing Lester as the "Official Minnesota State Soil" was signed by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton on April 28, 2012 © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved6
Why is soil important? Just ask yourself: Where does food come from? Where does paper and wood come from? How is spent water and our waste water cleaned or filtered before entering streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater? What supports our homes and buildings, gardens, lawns, parks, and recreation areas? The answer is Soil - Without soil, clean water and air we can not exist. © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved7
What is soil? All natural resources...are soil or derivatives of soil. Farms, ranges, crops, and livestock, forests, irrigation water and even water power resolve themselves into questions of soil. Soil is therefore the basic natural resource. --- Aldo Leopold Soil - The unconsolidated mineral or organic material on the immediate surface of the earth that serves as a natural medium for the growth of land plants. Photo by L. Clarke NRCS Photo © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved8
or…. What is soil ? The unconsolidated mineral or organic matter on the surface of the earth that has been subjected to and shows effects of genetic and environmental factors of: 1.Climate; 2.Organisms; 3.Relief; 4.Parent Material; & 5.Time © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved 9
What is a soil series Soil series as established by the National Cooperative Soil Survey of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are a level of classification in the USDA Soil Taxonomy classification system hierarchy. The actual object of classification is the so-called soil individual, or pedon. Soil series consist of pedons that are grouped together because of their similar pedogenesis, soil chemistry, and physical properties. © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved10
A Soil Series More specifically, each soil series consists of pedons having soil horizons that are similar in ◦ soil color, ◦ soil texture, ◦ soil structure, ◦ soil pH, ◦ mineral and chemical composition ◦ arrangement in the soil profile. These result in soils which perform similarly for land use purposes. There are approximately 963 different soil series mapped in Minnesota Clarion Soil Series Nebish Soil Series A prairie soil A forest soil © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved11
Field Determination of Soil Properties Soil Scientists have to study the soil in the field. They will use soil pits, soil probes or road cuts to sample the soil horizons. The soil is next classified using field techniques: Soil Texture - soil scientists push moist soil between their thumb and index finger to form a ribbon. The length of the ribbon along with if the soil feels gritty, sticky or smooth will determine the soil texture. ◦ Click to play Soil Texture Ribboning Video: Soil Color -A ‘Munsell’ soil color book is used to determine the soil color (soil is held behind the hole in the page to determine the color). Soil Structure – Soil peds are the shape of the soil, blocky, platy and prismatic are some of the shapes. © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved12
* describes the characteristics of the soils in a given area. * plots the boundaries of the soils on a map, the map uses an aerial photo as the base * makes predictions about the behavior of soils © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved13
Properties and Interpretations For Lester Scientists classify soils according to a National taxonomic key (NRCS Keys to Soil Taxonomy, 11 th Edition, 2010 ). Lester is classified as a: Mollic Hapludalf, fine-loamy, mixed, superactive, mesic. © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved14
A Lester Soil Profile This monolith is a Lester soil profile as it would look if you dug a hole straight down into the soil to 78 inches. The color, texture and structure change as you go deeper into the earth. Soil scientists describe the layers as “horizons” using the scientific notation on the right side of the monolith. © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved 15
Lester Soil Horizons The following is a brief description of each horizon: The A Horizon – This is the surface horizon. It is darker than other horizons as it contains the most organic matter. Organic matter coats and stains the soil particles. The organic matter comes from annual accumulation of plant material that decomposes in the soil each year. © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved 16
Lester Soil Horizons The E Horizon – This horizon is lighter in color than horizons above or below. The E has been leached of clay and organic matter by water movement through the soil. Soils that have formed under a forest have these horizons as the decomposing leaf litter is more acid creating a more intensive leaching zone. Soils that have formed under prairie grasses typically lack E horizons. © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved17
Lester Soil Horizons The Bt Horizon – This horizon has clay accumulation that leached from the horizons above. ( t = clay) This layer has the most clay in the Lester profile and has the most effect on water movement, (slower) density (higher), and ease of root movement (harder). The lower part of this horizon has the most clay and organic coatings in root and earth worm pores and faces of peds, thus it looks a little darker © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved18
Lester Soil Horizons The Bk Horizon – Calcium carbonate (lime) accumulates in this horizon. (k = calcium carbonate) The parent material (till) was high in lime and the lime leached from the surface when the soil was first forming about 12,000 years before present. Because of the lime this horizon has a higher pH than horizons above. This horizon will bubble or fizz when HCl is added to the soil. © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved19
Lester Soil Horizons The C Horizon – This is the unaltered parent material (Des Moines Lobe glacial till) produced by glaciers grinding up rocks, boulders and stones as they bulldozed their way through Minnesota. The till originated in Canada north of Lake Winnipeg. The C has had little or no soil development and looks much like it did when first deposited by the glacier. © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved20
Physical and Chemical Properties CEC = Cation Exchange Capacity (meq/100 grams) CaCO3 = Calcium carbonate (percent) AWC = Available Water Capacity (inch/inch) OM = Organic Matter (percent) M-BD = Moist Bulk Density (grams/cubic centimeter). © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved21
Soil our Sustainable Resource All of our soils in Minnesota directly support crop production, horticulture, livestock, energy production, forestry and fiber production, home lawns, recreation areas and parks, wastewater and biosolid treatment; The indirect benefits of this primary production include the production of food, meat and dairy products, and wood and paper products; With careful and wise management that includes soil and water conservation practices, our critical soil resources, highlighted by the Minnesota State Soil - Lester, are sustainable for us and future generations. © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved22
Soil Education Websites MN Association of Prof. Soil Scientists (MAPSS) Places to see Lester in MN (Google Maps App) https://www.google.com/maps/ms?msid= cdc 6fe1f86c0566f0&msa=0 Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) Global Soil Partnership Web Soil Survey UC Davis Soil Web Lets Talk about soil video Smithsonian Forces of Soil Website © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved23
For Additional Information Visit with MAPSS members to: ◦ -Learn more about Soil Science and our organization; ◦ -Learn about soil science careers; ◦ -Get a copy of up the state soil poster and postcard. To Download this Presentation go to: © 2013 MAPSS All Rights Reserved24
Questions? Your Name, (###) ###-#### MAPSS Website: MAPSS © 2012 MAPSS All Rights Reserved 25
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