Group Title: Circular
Title: Land judging and homesite evaluation in Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014574/00001
 Material Information
Title: Land judging and homesite evaluation in Florida
Series Title: Circular
Physical Description: 28 p. : ill., map ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Herbert, John H ( John Henry ), 1925-
Brown, R.B ( Randall Barber )
Hanlon, Edward A ( Edward Aloysius ), 1946-
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1992
 Subjects
Subject: Soils -- Analysis -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Homesites -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Land use -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by J.H. Herbert, Jr., R.B. Brown and E.A. Hanlon, Jr.
General Note: Title from cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00014574
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA7041
ltuf - AJQ8305
oclc - 29506712
alephbibnum - 001834179
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I 7-A I


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By J. H. Herbert, Jr., R. B. Brown and E. A. Hanlon, Jr.


































101









UN V 7 f TY CF FL )URA R E a









LAND JUDGING AND HOMESITE EVALUATION
IN FLORIDA



by


J.H. Herbert, Jr.
Retired Extension Conservationist
Associate Professor Emeritus


Extension


R.B. Brown
Soils and Land Use
Assistant Professor


Specialist


E.A. Hanlon, Jr.
Extension Soils Specialist
Assistant Professor


















Soil and Water Science Department
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
106 Newell Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611










TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE


INTRODUCTION .................................. ......................... 1

LAND JUDGING....... ........ .... ..................................... 2

Definitions of Land Characteristics ............................. 2
Surface texture........ ........................... ....... 2
Organic matter ................. ................ 4
Thickness of rooting zone................................. 4
Permeability .............................................. 4
Slopee...................................................... 6
Erosion -- wind and water ............... ................ 6
Drainage ................................. ................... 6
Land capability class.............. ...................... 8

Land Characteristics and Their Limitations on Capability Class.... 10

Soil Taxonomy......... ............................. 12

Conservation Practices.................. ...................... 14
Vegetative........................................... ........ 14
Mechanical......... ...................................... .... 15
Fertilizer and soil amendments.............................. 16

How to Use the Land Judging Score Card............................ 18

Conditions of Fields for Land Judging............................ 20

HOMESITE EVALUATION........................ ............ .......... .. 21

Limitation Ratings................................................ 21
Slight limitations........................................... 21
Moderate limitations........................................ 21
Severe limitations........................................ 21
Very severe limitations...................................... 21

Factors Affecting Limitations............................. ... 21
Texture...................................................... 21
Permeability............. .................................... 22
Soil depth................................................... 23
Slope....... ............................................. 23
Erosion.................. ............................... 23
Shrink-swell..................................................... 24
Drainage............................. ..................... 24
Flooding............... ..................................... 24

Summary Table........... .... .................................... 25

How to Use the Homesite Evaluation Score Card..................... 26


GENERAL RULES FOR LAND JUDGING AND HOMESITE EVALUATION CONTESTS.........


28











INTRODUCTION


Soils have always been a basic resource. They will continue to be a most
important resource affecting our individual and national economy.

Soils differ one from another. Because of these differences, land capa-
bilities vary from place to place. A knowledge of soil characteristics will
help to determine the capability of land, the proper use of land, and the
conservation practices necessary.

These differences in soil characteristics can be described in rather
definite terms. Once we have learned the proper terms, we can discuss soil
differences with anyone else who speaks the same language.

First, we must know several things about our soils. From this knowledge,
we can determine what our land is capable of and just how we will have to
treat it. We will need to know about soil texture, organic matter, thickness
of rooting zone, permeability, slope, erosion, and drainage. Soils with
certain combinations of these characteristics can be grouped into soil types.
Similar types of soil may be suited to similar agricultural uses. We arrange
these groups into land capability classes. Understanding capability classifi-
cation makes it easier to plan for conservation farming, ranching, or grove
management. Similarly, soils with certain characteristics may be found to
have predictable degrees of limitation for various urban uses, including
homesites.










LAND JUDGING


Definitions of Land Characteristics

The information contained in this section will help in filling out Part
One of the Land Judging score card, which is found on page 19.

Surface texture

Texture is a soil property related to the proportion of sand, silt, and
clay that a soil contains. The soil should be moist to determine its texture
by sense of touch. When mineral soil is rubbed between the fingers, (a) sand
is gritty, (b) silt is smooth and floury, and (c) clay is slick and sticky.
Fourteen textural grades of mineral soil have been established but are grouped
into three broad textural groups for land judging purposes.

Organic soils contain at least 15 percent non-mineral, organic materials
and are dark colored, light in weight when dry, and smeary or greasy when
moist. "Organic" is not a true textural name. Therefore, the word appears in
parentheses on the Land Judging and Homesite Evaluation score cards.

Surface texture only is to be indicated on the score cards.

The following figures and chart show how to determine soil textures:

100% CLAY


100% SAND


90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10
PERCENT SAND


100% SILT












Textural Names from
Broad Textural Groups USDA Textural Triangle



Sandy soils Coarse-textured, Sands
very sandy soils Loamy sands



Moderately coarse- Sandy loam
textured soils Fine sandy loam




Very fine sandy loam
Loamy soils Medium-textured soils Loam
Silt loam
Silt



Moderately fine- Clay loam
textured soils Sandy clay loam
Silty clay loam



Sandy clay
Clayey soils Fine-textured soils Silty clay
Clay


SANDY SOILS


Feels and sounds
gritty. Ball
usually breaks
in your hand.

No ribbon




LOAMY SOILS

Usually smooth.
Ball shows some
finger marks and
holds its shape.

Has short
thick
ribbon.


CLAYEY SOILS

Feels smooth and
sticky. Ball shows
finger marks.
Holds shape.

Long thin
ribbon.


3










Organic matter

Soil organic matter is the residue of plant and animal material in
various stages of decomposition. It helps hold both water and nutrients in
the plant root zone and, upon decomposition, becomes plant food. Organic
matter of the surface soil (from the surface down to the first significant
change in color) is estimated visually by examining the darkness of color of
an air-dry sample. Usually the darker the color of the surface soil, the
higher the organic matter content. It is generally agreed that, where the
soil organic matter is between 0 and 2 percent, it is low; between 2 and 5
percent, it is medium; and where it is over 5 percent, it is high.

Thickness of rooting zone

The total thickness of surface and subsoil layers readily penetrated by
crop roots is considered to be the thickness of the rooting zone. Dense
hardpan, clay pan, rock, a seasonally high water table, or other
unfavorable conditions may limit the rooting zone. Rooting zone
thickness is described as follows:

Thin 0 19.9 inches
Thick 20 39.9 inches
Very thick 40 inches or more

Permeability

Permeability refers to the rate of water or air movement through the most
restrictive layer in the soil, including bedrock, if present. This may be
considered as internal drainage. Permeability can be estimated from texture,
compaction, and arrangement of soil particles (structure). The drawing
illustrates the common ways particles may be arranged to form soil structure.
This secondary grouping of particles may affect the soil's internal drainage
by either providing a pathway for water to drain (such as around the outside
of granules) or by retarding water movement (such as with platy structure or
where structure is absent and the soil is massive).

Rapid. Soils are generally not finer than loams to sandy loams through-
out the profile, with little if any defined structure other than being
single grained (very little restriction to movement of water and air).

Moderate. These soils are generally light silty clay loam (i.e., on the
coarser-textured side of the silty clay loam category), light clay loam,
or light sandy clay loam with prismatic to granular or blocky structure,
and have no severely restrictive layers. Weakly cemented sandy material
is also included.

Slow. Soils generally would be on the fine side of the loamy group,
such as heavy silty clay loam to heavy sandy clay loam. Such soils would
be structureless (massive) or have platy structure, weakly expressed
blocky structure, or weakly expressed prismatic structure. Strongly
cemented sandy material is included here, as is impermeable or slowly
permeable bedrock.









































C D


A


E wq





Drawings illustrating some of the types of soil structure: A, prismatic; B, columnar; C,
angular blocky; D, subangular blocky; E, platy; and F, granular.


,
..










Slope

Slope is measured in feet of fall or rise per 100 feet of horizontal
travel and is expressed in percent, as follows:

A. Nearly level 0 1.9%
B. Gently sloping 2 4.9%
C. Moderately sloping 5 7.9%
D. Strongly sloping 8 11.9%
E. Steep 12 -- 16.9%
F. Very steep 17% or more

Erosion -- wind and water

Erosion is the loss of soil by forces of water and wind. Proper soil
management can greatly reduce erosion and maintain productivity and usefulness
of the land. The degree to which erosion has occurred is described by the
following terms:

None to slight. Less than 25 percent of surface soil removed. No
gullies.

Moderate. 25 to 75 percent of surface soil removed, with or without
gullies.

Severe. 75 percent or more of the surface soil removed, with or without
occasional uncrossable gullies.

Very severe. All of the surface soil removed, and up to 75 percent of
the subsoil lost.

Drainage

Drainage can be regarded as an index of wetness of the natural soil.
Drainage is associated with the rate at which water is removed from the soil
profile under natural conditions. Wetness of a soil is influenced by many
factors, including internal drainage, permeability, and depth to the water
table. Generally, internal drainage is a reflection of permeability. For
example, a very slowly permeable soil exhibits poor to very poor internal
drainage. The presence and depth of a water table is not necessarily a
reflection of permeability. Establishing depth and permanency of the water
table requires study during different seasons of the year. The terms used to
describe soil drainage are discussed below.

Poor. Water drains so slowly that the soil remains wet for a large part
of the time. The water table is commonly within 20 inches of the surface
during a considerable part of the year. Poorly drained conditions are
due to a high water table, to a slowly permeable layer within the
profile, to seepage, or to some combination of these conditions. Poorly
drained soils are usually characterized by uniform gray or mottled gray
colors immediately below the surface soil. Mottling is normally associ-
ated with loamy or clayey subsoils. Some poorly drained sandy soils may
be light gray or white from the surface downward, with or without mot-
tles. A spodic layer at depths of 10 to 40 inches is frequently an indi-
cator of poor drainage.










Somewhat poor. Water is removed from the soil slowly enough to keep it
wet for significant periods. The water table is at depths of 20 to 40
inches for a considerable part of the year. Somewhat poorly drained
conditions are due to a moderately high water table, to a slowly perme-
able layer within the profile, to seepage, or to some combination of
these conditions. Somewhat poorly drained soils are usually charac-
terized by uniform grayish, brownish, or yellowish colors in the upper
profile and commonly have mottles between the 20- and 40-inch depths.
Mottling is normally associated with loamy or clayey subsoils. Somewhat
poorly drained sandy soils may be white or light gray from the surface
downward with or without mottles.

Moderately well or well. Water is removed from the soil somewhat slowly
so that the profile may be wet for short, but significant, periods of
time. The water table is commonly below the 40-inch depth. Moderately
well drained soils may have a slowly permeable layer within or
immediately beneath the subsoil, a relatively high water table, additions
of water through seepage, or some combination of these conditions.
Moderately well drained and well-drained soils normally have uniform
colors in surface soil and upper subsoil, but may be mottled in the lower
subsoil (below 40 inches).

Excessive. Water is removed from the soil readily. The water table
occurs at depths below 72 inches. The soil is free or nearly free of
mottling throughout the profile. Dominant colors are pale brown, yellow
and red. Some excessively drained sandy soils are white or light gray in
color and lack evidence of wetness.










Land capability class


A Land Capability Class designation is a statement of a soil's suitability for
use as cropland. The different classes are defined as follows:

Class I. Soils in this class are suitable for cultivation over a long
period of time. They are moderately well drained to well-drained, deep,
productive, nearly level, not subject to more than slight erosion regard-
less of treatment, and are free from overflows that interfere with
planting, growing, or harvesting of crops.

Class II. This class includes soils that are suitable for cultivation
over a long period of time. However, they have some hazards and limita-
tions such as gentle slopes, slight erosion, or moderate wetness. The
following are some of the practices that may be needed to overcome the
hazards and limitations of soils in this class: crop rotations that
include soil-conserving and soil-improving crops at least one-half of the
time, water control, contour farming, and diversion of water from
upslope.

Class III. Soils in this class are good for cultivated crops, but they
have severe limitations that reduce the variety of plants that can be
grown, require special conservation practices, or both. The following
are the treatments that may be needed: terracing and contour cultivation,
strip cropping, and crop residue management. They also need intensive
crop rotations, which include soil-conserving and soil-improving crops at
least two years out of three. Diversion of upslope water or other water
control measures may also be needed.

Class IV. Soils making up this class have very severe limitations that
restrict the choice of plants, require very careful management, or both.
Some of the limitations are steep slopes, excessive wetness, or poor soil
characteristics. They should be managed in a rotation, which includes
soil-conserving and soil-improving crops at least three-fourths of the
time. When cultivated, sloping land should be broken in strips and will
require practices such as terracing and contour farming. Wet lands will
require water control. Both sloping and wet land will require
conservation of organic residues. As a rule, these soils are best suited
for pasture or hay.

Class V. Soils in this class are not suitable for cultivation but may be
used for permanent vegetation. These soils are not more than slightly
susceptible to erosion and, therefore, they require no special conser-
vation practices or restrictions in use. These soils may be frequently
flooded or poorly drained. Good grazing management is required if uti-
lized for pasture or range, or good timber management if used for wood-
land. All areas should be protected from wildfire.

Class VI. Soils in Class VI have severe limitations that make them
generally unsuitable for cultivation and limit their use largely to
pasture or range, woodland, or wildlife food and cover. Restrictions
commonly needed on pasture and range include deferred and rotational
grazing to maintain a good soil cover at all times. Timberland should be









protected from grazing. All areas should be protected from wildfire.
Class VII. Soils in Class VII have very severe limitations that make
them unsuitable for cultivation and restrict their use to woodland or
wildlife. Practices required are protection from grazing, protection
from wildfire, and other practices to increase woodland production and
wildlife population.
Class VIII. Soils in this class are not suitable for cultivation and are
not suitable for useful permanent vegetation or woodland. It is land of
little or no economic value agriculturally, except for wildlife or
recreational purposes. Class VIII land needs protection from wildfire
and restriction from grazing.


LAND CLASSES AND SAFE LAND USES

THE LENGTH OF BAR SHOWS THE SAFE USES FOR EACH CLASS OF LAND
NOTE: THE SHORTER THE BARS THE FEWER THE SAFE USES


~I


I


NO CULTIVATION BELOW
CLASS IV


MEM


momma










Land Characteristics and
Their Limitations on Capability Class

Factor Best Possible
Land Class

Surface Texture
Sandy ......................................... .* II
Loamy ..................................... ............... I
Clayey ..................................... III
(Organic) .................................................. III

Organic Matter
High .................. ........................ ....... I
Medium ..................................**** ........****** I
Low ...................................****.....................***** ************ I

Thickness of rooting zone
Thin ..................................... ............. III
Thick ........................... ..... ... ........... II
Very thick ............................ ............. .

Permeability
Rapid ............ ......................... ....* II
Moderate ............................ .........************* I
Slow ................................... .... ............** II

Slope
A Nearly level .....................................***** I
B Gently sloping ........................... ......... ..*** II
C Moderately sloping ...................................... III
D Strongly sloping .............................. .....**** IV
E Steep ................................... ................VI
F Very steep ...............................****** VII

Erosion
None to slight ....... ...............************* I
Moderate ................................................. 11
Severe ........ ........................***** ****** III
Very severe ........ .......... ...........********** IV

Drainage
Poor .................................* ..* .. .........* III
Somewhat poor .....................................**** 11I
Moderately well and well ................................... I
Excessive ............ ............. ....*****************... IV


10










If only one factor keeps a site from being Class I, that factor deter-
mines land class. Where two or more factors are involved, the situation may
be more complex. Capability class may be determined by the most limiting
factor. A penalty, or downgrading of capability class, may be assessed under
some circumstances, however, as in the examples given below.

Surface Organic Thickness of Permea-
Ex. Texture Matter rooting zone ability Slope Erosion Drainage Class


1. Sandy Low
II I

2. Loamy Medium
I I

3. Sandy Low
II I

4. Loamy Medium
I I

5. Loamy Low
I I

6. Sandy High
II I

7. Loamy Medium
I I

8. Loamy Low
I I

9. Organic High
III I


10. Sandy
II

11. Sandy
II

12. Loamy
I

13. Loamy
I

14. Loamy
I

15. Sandy
II

16. Sandy
II


Low
I

Low
I


Medium
I


Low
I


Thick Moderate B
II I II


Thick
II


Very Thick
I

Very Thick
I


Thin
III

Thick
II

Thin
III


Very Thick
I


Thin
III

Thin
III

Thick
II

Thin
III

Thick
II


Medium Very Thick
I I


Low
I

Low
I


Very Thick
I


Thin
III


Slow C
II III

Rapid C
II III

Moderate C
I III

Slow E
II VI

Rapid A
II I

Slow D
II IV

Moderate C
I III

Rapid A
II I

Slow B
II II

Rapid B
II II

Slow C
II III

Slow D
II IV

Moderate A
I I

Moderate A
I I

Moderate A
I I
11


Moderate
II


Well
I


III


Moderate Somewhat Poor
II II IV


Slight Excessive
I IV


Moderate
II

Moderate
II

None
I


Well
I

Poor
III

Poor
III


VI


III


VII


IV


Moderate Somewhat Poor
II II VII


Severe
III


None
I

None
I

Moderate
II


Well
I


Poor
III

Poor
III

Well
I


IV


VI


VI


III


Severe Moderately Well
III I VI


Moderate
II


None
I


Well
I

Well
I


VI


None Moderately Well
I I II

None Somewhat Poor
I II III










Soil Taxonomy


Soil classification systems of various sorts have been used for hundreds
of years. Many systems were based on one soil characteristic, such as color,
elevation, moisture, fertility, or acidity-alkalinity. These systems of
classification served a particular purpose for local conditions but were
based on opinions that were difficult to reproduce; they therefore had very
limited meaning. The Land Capability Classification System was an improve-
ment over the older systems because it included the rating of several soil
characteristics by observations and measurements which could be reproduced.
The Capability Class system has helped many people recognize the importance
of various soil characteristics; however, science and technology have
expanded since it was first developed.

A new classification system was begun in 1951, and after several
revisions the new system was adopted in 1965. This new system, called Soil
Taxonomy, is based on physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties and
can be used anywhere in the United States. The taxonomic system recognizes
six categories: Order, Suborder, Great Group, Subgroup, Family, and Series.
Soil order is the only category that is required in land judging contests.
Dominant features of soil orders are described below (percent base saturation
will be given in a contest), followed by a map of the soil orders in Florida.

Alfisols. Well-developed soils with a relatively fine-textured subsoil
horizon that has a percent base saturation of 35 percent or more.

Aridisols. Dry soils that occur in arid or semi-arid regions.

Entisols. Soils with little or no horizon development.

Histosols. Soils composed of relatively thick (usually 16 inches or more)
organic materials (mucks and peats).

Inceptisols. Soils of humid regions with profile development sufficient to
exclude them from the Entisols, but insufficient to include them in
Spodosols, Ultisols, or other well-developed soils. Soils that appear to be
like Mollisols but have less than 50 percent base saturation may also be
Inceptisols.

Mollisols. Soils with thick (usually 10 inches or more), dark surfaces that
have a base saturation of 50 percent or more in the surface soil.

Oxisols. Highly weathered soils of the tropics.

Spodosols. Soils with a spodic horizon (a dark-colored subhorizon with a
mixture of organic matter and aluminum [All, with or without iron [Fe]).

Ultisols. Well-developed soils with a relatively fine-textured subsoil
horizon that has less than 35 percent base saturation.

Vertisols. Soils with more than 30 percent clay which appreciably expand
upon wetting and contract upon drying.


12














SOILS OF FLORIDA


SOIL ORDERS


1. ALFISOLS*
2. ARIDISOLS***
3. ENTISOLS
4. HISTOSOLS
5. INCEPTISOLS**
6. MOLLISOLS**
7. OXISOLS***
8. SPODOSOLS
9. ULTISOLS
10. VERTISOLS***


*Widely interspersed areas
**Minor occurrences
***None recognized in Florida


Note: Small areas of contrasting soils would be shown at a larger mapping scale.


13










Conservation Practices


Part Two of the Land Judging Score Card deals with conservation
practices. Local conditions may require some modifications of the following
recommendations. Consult your County Extension Agent, SCS District Conser-
vationist, or Vocational Agriculture Teacher.

Vegetative

Practices Number 1, 2, 3, and 4. Use soil-conserving and soil-improving
crops -- Prevent or retard erosion, maintain or improve rather than
deplete soil organic matter, improve soil structure and tilth, increase
water intake, and increase fertility. Use of close-seeded crops and/or
incorporation of green manure into the soil would help to achieve these
results. Use crops that conserve and improve soil every year between
cash crops on Class I land. Use them every other year on Class II land.
Use them two years out of three on Class III land. Use them three years
out of four on Class IV land.

Number 5. Contour strip cropping -- Grow row crops with strips or bands
of close-growing cover crops in a systematic arrangement on the contour.
Use on Classes II through IV where the slope is 2 percent or more,
except where sandy soil extends from the soil surface to a depth of more
than 20 inches.

Number 6. Manage crop residue -- Turn in rather than burn off crop
residue, or provide a protective cover, leaving the residue of any pre-
vious crops as a mulch on the surface. Employ conservation tillage
where feasible and consistent with overall farm management strategy. Use
on Classes I through IV.

Number 7. Use sod-based rotation -- Grow crops in recurring succession
on the same land using grass pasture three years out of four or six
years out of eight. Use on Class IV.

Number 8. Wind strip cropping -- Produce row crops in long, relatively
narrow strips between strips of tall growing grasses or legumes placed
across the direction of the prevailing wind. Use on Classes I through
IV when a wind erosion problem is indicated on the conditions poster.

Number 9. Use field windbreaks -- Use a border of trees and shrubs,
usually three or more rows, to reduce the force of the wind for the
protection of fields, orchards, groves, feedlots, and homesteads. Use
on Classes I through IV when a wind erosion problem is indicated on the
conditions poster.

Number 10. Control noxious plants -- Keep undesirable vegetation to a
minimum. Mowing and spraying with chemicals are two methods of control.
Use on Classes I through VII.

Number 11. Establish recommended grasses and/or legumes -- Establish a
protective cover on land not producing suitable permanent vegetation or
on unprotected land not suitable for cultivated crops. Use on Classes V
and VI.


14










Number 12. Manage pasture or range properly -- Apply practices to keep
plants growing actively over as long a period as possible, and encourage
the growth of desirable grasses and legumes through controlled grazing
and use of fertilizers and lime. Use on Classes V and VI.

Number 13. Protect from wildfire -- Self-explanatory. Use on Classes V
through VIII.

Number 14. Plant recommended trees -- Use recommended varieties of
trees for post lots and woodland plantings. Use on Class VII.

Number 15. Harvest trees selectively -- Remove mature or undesirable
trees and encourage reproduction under the remaining stand. Use on
Class VII.

Number 16. Use for wildlife or recreational area -- Protect or develop
areas that are not suitable for cultivation, grazing, or forestry. Use
on Class VIII.

Mechanical

Number 18. Terrace -- Use terraces, which are ridges or embankments of
soil constructed across the slope, to control runoff, minimize erosion,
and increase infiltration of water into the soil. Use on Class II
through IV when slope is 2 or more percent but less than 8 percent, if
surface texture is loamy or clayey.

Number 19. Farm on the contour -- Conduct field operations such as
plowing, planting, and cultivation on the contour (i.e., at right angles
to the direction of slope), with or without the use of terraces and/or
contour strip cropping. Use on Classes II through IV where the slope is
2 percent or more, except on excessively drained soils.

Number 20. Maintain terraces -- Keep terraces in shape to work effec-
tively. Do not cultivate across them. Use with practices No. 18 and
21.

Number 21. Construct diversion terraces -- These are larger terraces
constructed to handle a larger flow of water than a normal field
terrace. Use when an upslope water problem is indicated on the condi-
tions poster.

Number 22. Develop waterways -- Use natural or constructed courses to
accommodate runoff from terraces and contoured land. Generally seeded
to grass or hard-surfaced. Use with all terraced and/or contoured land
(practices 18, 19, 20, 21, or 24).

Number 23. Install water control system -- Control water on land by
means of surface or sub-surface drains and structures. Use where the
rooting zone is thin or thick due to a seasonally or permanently high
water table.


15










Number 24. Control gullies -- Prevent further erosion in gullies by
grading the heads and sides of gullies, building temporary check dams,
establishing perennial vegetation, constructing diversion terraces to
divert water from the heads of gullies, and fencing out domestic
animals. Use where gullies are present.

Number 25. Subsoil -- Till soil below the normal plow depth, sometimes
I referred to as chiseling. The intended purpose is to break or shatter a
spodic horizon, claypan, or plowpan which has been limiting the rooting
depth and/or impeding internal soil drainage. Use where a compaction
problem is indicated on the conditions poster.

Fertilizer and soil amendments

Use proven soil testing methods, fertilizer recommendations based upon
research, and good production records as a basis for managing fertilizer and
soil amendment applications. This approach to fertilization will conserve
our resources and still maintain a highly productive soil.

The ratings given to soil tests indicate the level of productivity
expected if a given nutrient were not applied to the soil as fertilizer, and
the probability of crop response if the nutrient were applied. The following
definitions are used by the IFAS Extension Soil Testing Laboratory to deter-
mine if phosphorus (P) or potassium (K) fertilizer should be recommended.
These definitions assume that no other factor, such as water, will limit
growth.

Very Low.......Less than 50 percent of crop yield potential is expected
without addition of the nutrient. Yield increase in
response to added nutrient is always expected.

Low............50 to 75 percent of crop yield potential is expected
without addition of the nutrient. Yield increase in
response to added nutrient is expected.

Medium.........75 to 100 percent of crop yield potential is expected
without addition of the nutrient. Yield increase in
response to added nutrient will probably occur if the
test value is in the lower end of the range.

High...........Soil can supply sufficient quantities of the nutrient for
the crop. Yield increase in response to added nutrient
is not expected. Test again next year if the nutrient is
not applied this year.

Very High......Soil can supply the nutrient in far greater quantities
than considered adequate. Yield increase in response to
added nutrient is never expected. Addition of nutrient
will be wasteful, could induce nutrient imbalance, and
could decrease yields.


16










Since factors that cannot be determined on-site must be considered in
making fertilization decisions, the following information will be given on
the conditions poster for the Land Judging Contest (see sample poster on page
20):

A. The interpretation of whether or not the crop to be grown will
benefit from liming the soil.
B. The phosphorus soil test rating.
C. The potassium soil test rating.
D. A list of other nutrients interpreted to be deficient for the crop
to be grown.

A short discussion of the fertility factors on the contest score card
follows:

Number 27. Lime -- Apply agricultural limestone to reduce soil acidity
(increase soil pH). Lime need is based upon the crop to be grown and
soil test results. The interpretation of whether or not the crop will
benefit from liming will be given on the conditions poster.

Number 28. Nitrogen -- Nitrogen (N) fertilizer will almost always be
needed for non-legume crops grown on mineral soils. Soil testing is not
used for guiding N fertilizer recommendations in Florida. Mark N on the
score card if the conditions poster lists N as deficient.

Number 29. Phosphorus -- Addition of P fertilizer is a recommended
practice when soil test levels are rated very low, low, or medium (mark
P on the score card) but is not recommended when the tests are rated
high or very high (do not mark P on the score card). Florida soils
range from very low to very high in P. Soil testing is a useful tool in
determining the need for P fertilization.

Number 30. Potassium -- Addition of K fertilizer is a recommended
practice when soil test levels are very low, low, or medium (mark K on
the score card) but is not usually recommended when tests are high or
very high (do not mark K on the score card). Potassium leaches in sandy
soils and thus must be managed differently there than on fine-textured
soils. Build-up of K is not practical on most Florida sands.

Number 31. and 32. Micronutrients -- The nutrient elements manganese
(Mn), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), boron (B), and molybdenum (Mo)
are required by plants in very small quantities. A deficiency of any
one of these micronutrients will result in reduced plant performance.
Tests are helpful, but experience with the soil and crop are also
important in determining if one or more of the micronutrients should be
added as fertilizer. Mark No. 31 on the score card if only one of the
micronutrients is listed on the conditions poster as deficient. Mark
No. 32 on the score card if two or more are listed as deficient.


17










How to Use the Land Judging Score Card


1. Score cards must ALWAYS be identified with Field No. and Name.

2. An "X" is used to mark your answers for Part One, Part Two and Soil
Order. Land Capability Class should be circled.

3. In case the land is in Class I, the rule is to mark no factors! For
other classes, the rule is to mark the factors that keep the land from
being Class I.

4. The perfect score of each field is variable, depending on the number of
conservation practices required.

5. The blank lines (items 17 and 26) on the Land Judging Score Card can be
used to write in soil-conserving and soil-improving practices not
listed. When they are to be used, officials will make this announcement
before the contest begins so that everyone may write in the practice or
practices.

6. In selecting conservation practices for Part 2 of the score card, con-
sider the most intensive use that could be made of the land based on its
limitations.

7. Select only the number of conservation practices needed for each site.
If you use more conservation practices than are necessary, the judges
will give credit for correct practices and deduct penalty points for
those practices that have been checked but are incorrect.


18












LAND JUDGING SCORE CARD

Name ...................................... Field No. ..................

Indicate your answer by an X in the O


LAND CHARACTERISTICS PART ONE
SURFACE TEXTURE
Sandy ........................- [ .
Loamy ..................... . .
Clayey. ......... ............ .D
(Organic) .......................
ORGANIC MATTER (SURFACE SOIL)
High..........................
Medium........................
Low ......................... .
THICKNESS OF ROOTING ZONE
Thin ......................... E
Thick ........................
Very Thick. ................... .
MOVEMENT OF AIR AND WATER IN THE


SOIL (PERMEABILITY)
Rapid .......................
Moderate .....................
Slow ........................
SLOPE
A Nearly level .................
B Gently sloping................
C Moderately sloping. .............
D Strongly sloping ..............
E Steep......................
F Very steep ..................
EROSION WIND AND WATER
None to slight..................
M moderate .....................
Severe .......................
Very severe ...................
DRAINAGE
Poor........................
Somewhat poor ................
Moderately well or well ...........
Excessive .....................
FACTORS DETERMINING LAND CLASS
Texture ......................
Organic matter .................
Thickness of rooting zone..........
Permeability. ...................
Slope .......................
Erosion ......................
Drainage .....................
LAND CAPABILITY CLASS
I II III IV V VI VII VIII
Circle one of the above
SOILORDER
Alfisol........ Mollisol ........
Aridisol...... .E Oxisol ........
Entisol....... .D Spodosol .......
Histosol....... . Ultisol.........
Inceptisol ..... Vertisol ........


CONSERVATION PRACTICES PART TWO
VEGETATIVE
Use soil conserving and improving crops:
E 1. Every year between cash crops.
E- 2. Every other year.
n 3. Two years out of three.
E] 4. Three years out of four.


OE



OE
E
OE
I1


OE
El
1D
1D
Di
1D
1D
D-
i-


.El
.0
.El
.D
.0
.
.D
.0
.
.0
.I1
.D
.E

.E
.E
.n
.E
.O
.n

.n
.o
.El
.n


5. Contour strip cropping.
6. Manage crop residue.
7. Use sod-based rotation.
8. Wind strip cropping.
9. Use field windbreaks.
10. Control noxious plants.
11. Establish recommended grasses and/or
legumes.
12. Manage pasture or range properly.
13. Protect from wildfire.
14. Plant recommended trees.
15. Harvest trees selectively.
16. Use for wildlife or recreational area.
17. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..


MECHANICAL
[3 18. Terrace.
E 19. Farm on the contour.
DE 20. Maintain terraces.
E 21. Construct diversion terraces.
O 22. Develop waterways.
O 23. Install water control system.
E 24. Control gullies.
E 25. Subsoil.
E 26. ....... ... .... .. ...... .

FERTILIZER & SOIL AMENDMENTS
E 27. Lime.
O 28. Nitrogen.
0 29. Phosphorus.
O 30. Potassium.
0 31. One micronutrient.
0 32. Two or more micronutrients.
E 33 ...... .......................



SCORE PART I ...........

SCORE PART II ...........

TOTAL SCORE ...........


.E
.E1
.E
.D
.Dl


Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida, Gainesville


19











Conditions of Fields for Land Judging

A Conditions Poster at each site will give information useful in judging
individual sites. An example of the poster is shown below:





CONDITIONS OF FIELDS FOR LAND JUDGING
FIELD NO.


Assume that the following interpretations of farm records and soil
tests have been made for the crop to be grown:


Thickness of the surface soil was

Other conditions are:


Pay no attention to current practices on this field.

Consider the most intensive use of the land.

The crop (will, will not) benefit from
reduction of soil acidity.

Phosphorus soil test is rated as

Potassium soil test is rated as

The following nutrients will be deficient:


20


1.

2.


3.

4.

5.


6.

7.

8.


--










HOMESITE EVALUATION


The following information is designed to show the importance of soils and
their limitations for non-agricultural purposes. While the discussion is
restricted to homesites, the importance of a soil's suitability for parks and
playgrounds, roads and streets, and other uses should also be kept in mind.

Many of the features used in judging soils for agricultural use will
also be used in evaluating an area for a homesite.

This information will help in filling out the Homesite Evaluation score
card shown on page 27.


Limitation Ratings

Soils are rated according to their limitations for specific uses. The
limitations are defined as follows:

Slight limitations

Soils or locations have properties favorable for the planned use and
present few or no problems.

Moderate limitations

Soils or locations have one or more properties considered somewhat
restrictive for the planned use. Limitations can be overcome or modified
with special planning, design, treatment, or maintenance:

Severe limitations

Soils or locations have one or more properties unfavorable for the
planned use. Limitations are difficult and costly to modify or overcome for
the use desired.

Very severe limitations

The soil or location has features so unfavorable for a particular use
that overcoming the limitation is very difficult and expensive. For the most
part, this kind of soil should not be used for the purpose being rated.


Factors Affecting Limitations

Texture (See discussion and definitions on pages 2 and 3.)

Texture refers to the texture of the surface soil. Surface texture is
not considered here in relation to septic systems, because such systems
usually are dug below the surface.

Sandy. Slight to moderate limitations -- This soil may require
stabilization with organic material and/or loamy topsoil to improve


21










moisture and nutrient holding/supplying capacity for desired plant
growth. Washing and blowing may be a problem during construction.
Shrink-swell potential is low.

Loamy. Generally slight limitations -- Care should be exercised during
construction to ensure that the surface soil is not covered by less
desirable material. Shrink-swell potential is moderate in loamy soils if
the clay particles are dominantly made up of montmorillonite or other
smectite minerals; shrink-swell potential of all other loamy soils is
low.

Clayey. Severe limitations -- Soil is sticky when wet, hard when dry,
difficult to work when used for lawns, shrubs, and gardens. The soils
crack when dry, swell when wet. Clayey soils have a high shrink-swell
potential if the clay particles are dominantly made up of montmorillonite
or other smectite minerals; otherwise, shrink-swell potential is
moderate. Special planning and design are required for foundations.

Organic. Severe limitations -- Soil is dominated by non-mineral, organic
materials that are subject to subsidence when drained.

Permeability (See discussion and definitions on pages 4 and 5.)

Permeability refers to the rate of water or air movement through the
most restrictive layer in the soil, including bedrock, if present, and may be
considered as internal drainage of the soil. Laterals for septic systems may
be located below restrictive layers in some soils. Final design of septic
systems should be based on detailed studies of permeability and of seasonally
high water tables. Such investigation is an important factor in deciding
between a septic tank system or a community sewage system. Soil percolation
tests may be required before making final plans.

Rapid. Soils are generally not finer than loams to sandy loams
throughout the profile. Slight limitations in use for septic tank
absorption fields, or foundations and basement construction. Moderate
limitations for lawns and shrubs.

Moderate. Slight limitations for all uses. Soils are generally light
silty clay loam (i.e., on the coarse side of the silty clay loam
category), light clay loam, or light sandy clay loam with prismatic to
granular or blocky structure, and have no severe restrictive layers.
Weakly cemented sandy material is included here. Organic soil layers
also tend to have moderate permeability.

Slow. Severe limitations for septic tank systems. Soils generally would
be on the fine side of the loamy group, such as heavy silty clay loam to
heavy sandy clay loam and clay. Strongly cemented sandy soil material
has slow permeability, as does impermeable or slowly permeable bedrock.
Such soils would be structureless (massive) or have platy, weakly
expressed blocky, or weakly expressed prismatic structure. The cost of
modification or size of filter field necessary would generally be
prohibitive. Limitations would be moderate for foundations and for
lawns, shrubs, and gardens.


22










Soil depth

This refers to the vertical depth of a soil to bedrock, such as lime-
stone or consolidated clays, that restrict or prohibit excavations. Severity
of limitations due to depth may vary greatly for different uses; therefore,
the following table should be used as a guide for evaluation of soil depth
for alternate uses:

Adjective Depth Lawns, Shrubs, Septic
Rating (in) Foundations and Gardens Systems

Shallow 0 19.9 Severe Very Severe Very Severe
Moderately Deep 20 39.9 Moderate Slight Severe
Deep 40 + Slight Slight Slight


Slope

Slope refers to the steepness of the surface, or to the vertical rise or
fall per 100 feet of distance, expressed in percent. The following table
will aid in interpretation of the slope:


Adjective Slope Lawns, Shrubs, Septic
Rating % Foundations and Gardens Systems


Nearly level 0 1.9 Slight Slight Slight
Gently sloping 2 4.9 Slight Slight Slight
Moderately sloping 5 7.9 Moderate Moderate Slight
Strongly sloping 8 11.9 Severe Severe Moderate
Steep 12 16.9 Very Severe Very Severe Severe
Very steep 17 + Very Severe Very Severe Very Severe


Erosion (See discussion and definitions on page 6.)

Erosion of the soil can increase the expense of landscaping.
gullying will impose additional limitation on septic disposal fields.


Severe


None to Slight and Moderate Erosion. Slight limitation for any use.

Severe Erosion. Moderate limitation for any use. Modification of sur-
face or bringing in of top soil may be required for lawns, shrubs, and
gardens.

Very Severe Erosion. Severe limitations; usually severely gullied,
requiring much filling or leveling, extra cost on septic disposal
systems, extensive modification for lawns, shrubs, and gardens. Time of
development should be selected for the least erosive time of year.


23










Shrink-swell

Shrink-swell potential is implied in the permeability, texture, and
mineralogy of a soil. Because it is important in foundation design, it
should have special consideration. The most clayey layer in the profile is
generally considered in relation to shrink-swell. Shrink-swell potential is
not generally a factor for lawns, shrubs, and gardens.

Low shrink-swell. Sandy soils and those loamy soils that are not
influenced by smectite clay. Slight limitations for any use.

Moderate shrink-swell. Loamy soils with clay particles dominated by
smectite clay, and clayey soils not dominated by smectite clay. Moderate
limitations for foundations and septic systems.

High shrink-swell. Fine-textured soils having clay particles dominantly
of montmorillonite or other smectite minerals. Severe limitations for
foundations and septic systems.

Drainage (See discussion and definitions on pages 6 and 7.)

Poor. Limitations would be severe for foundations, lawns, shrubs, and
gardens and very severe for septic systems.

Somewhat poor. Limitations would be none to slight for foundations;
moderate for lawns, shrubs, and gardens; and severe for septic systems.

Moderately well or well. Limitations are none to slight for foundations,
lawns, shrubs, and gardens, and moderate for septic systems.

Excessive. Limitations are none to slight for foundations and septic
systems, but moderate for lawns, shrubs, and gardens.

Flooding

The occurrence of flooding is a factor frequently overlooked in planning
the use and management of land. Flooding may not occur on an area for many
years; then a serious flood can occur. Urban development on the watershed of
a small stream can increase runoff by as much as 75 percent, thus greatly
increasing flood hazards. Soils may give an indication of flooding, but
records must be studied to determine the true condition. Position in the
landscape and proximity to nearby streams are good indicators of frequency of
flooding. In contests, this is normally given information.

No flooding. Slight limitations for any use.

Occasional flooding. Less frequent than one year in five. Severe limi-
tations for development.

Frequent flooding. Flooding is at least as frequent as one year in five.
Very severe limitations for development.


24










Summary Table


Planned Use and Interpretation
Lawns, Shrubs, Septic
Characteristic Foundations and Gardens Systems


Texture: Sandy Slight Moderate
Loamy Slight Slight (No Rating)
Clayey Severe Severe
Organic Severe Severe


Permeability: Rapid Slight Moderate Slight
Moderate Slight Slight Slight
Slow Moderate Moderate Severe


Depth: Shallow Severe Very Severe Very Severe
Moderately deep Moderate Slight Severe
Deep Slight Slight Slight


Slope: Nearly level Slight Slight Slight
Gently Sloping Slight Slight Slight
Moderately sloping Moderate Moderate Slight
Strongly sloping Severe Severe Moderate
Steep Very Severe Very Severe Severe
Very Steep Very Severe Very Severe Very Severe


Erosion: None to slight Slight Slight Slight
Moderate Slight Slight Slight
Severe Moderate Moderate Moderate
Very Severe Severe Severe Severe


Shrink-Swell: Low Slight Slight
Moderate Moderate (No Rating) Moderate
High Severe Severe


Drainage: Poor Severe Severe Very Severe
Somewhat poor Slight Moderate Severe
Moderately well
and well Slight Slight Moderate
Excessive Slight Moderate Slight


Flooding: None Slight Slight Slight
Occasional Severe Severe Severe
Frequent Very Severe Very Severe Very Severe


25










How to Use the Homesite Evaluation Score Card


1. The total perfect score at one site is 70 points.

2. The total perfect score on Part I is 16 points. The total perfect score
on Part II is 54 points (18 points for each use).

3. Part I of the score card has to do with those factors the contestant
must determine about the site. With the exception of depth, shrink-
swell, and flooding, the factors are similar to those for land judging.

4. After Part I is completed, determine the severity of limitations that
the existing soil conditions impose on the planned uses as listed on
Part II of the score card.

5. The final evaluation of the site is determined by the worst degree of
limitation found for the particular planned use.

6. The contestants should be given 15 to 20 minutes to fill in the answers
on their score cards on each site.

7. In order to insure that the contests are not lengthened too much by the
addition of homesite evaluation, and that grading does not become too
burdensome, several alternatives are possible:

Example 1. Three land sites and one or two homesites to judge.
2. Other.

The primary concern is to make sure that there are enough interpretative
uses required to test the contestants' skills in homesite evaluation.


26













Name


HOMESITE EVALUATION SCORE CARD

Site No.
Indicate your answer by an X in the F-


PART TWO PLANNED USE AND INTERPRETATION
PART ONE
CHARACTERISTIC Degree of Foundations Lawns, Shrubs, Septic Systems
Limitation Gardens
SURFACE TEXTURE:
Sandy El Slight 0 0
Loamy D Moderate D O D
Severe E E -1
Clayey O V. Severe
(Organic) O- U I-
PERMEABILITY: Slight 1 13 0
Rapid Moderate D I 0
Moderate El Severe [1 0 El
Slow O V. Severe El El E
DEPTH: Slight E E
Shallow E Moderate D O 1
Moderately deep E Severe Ol El
Deep D V. Severe 1 El El
SLOPE:
Nearly level E
Gently sloping O Slight E O OEl
Moderate D E E
Moderately sloping Severe ElO O O
Strongly sloping 0 V. SevereEl
Steep DE
Very steep 17
EROSION:
None to slight E Slight l El
Moderate E Moderate EO O
Severe V. Severe El El
Very severe El
SHRINK- SWELL: Slight 0 El-
Low O Moderate D D D
Moderate E Severe 1 0 El
High l V. Severe E El El
DRAINAGE:
Poor E Slight E 1 El
Somewhat poor E Moderate ElO E E
Moderately well Severe E
or wl D V. Severe E E
or well E I El
Excessive E
FLOODING: Slight 0 El
None El Moderate E El El
Occasional E Severe E O El
Frequent E V. Severe E E l1

FINL LSlight 0 E O
Moderate l E E
FINAL EVALUATION: Moderate IO O I
Severe EO O
V. Severe El O E


Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida, Gainesville


SCORE PART ONE .........................
SCORE PART TWO .........................
TOTAL SCORE ............................


27











GENERAL RULES FOR LAND JUDGING AND HOMESITE EVALUATION CONTESTS

1. DO NOT USE BULLETINS, BOOKS, NOTES, LEVELS, DRAWINGS, SOIL SAMPLES, OR
OTHER SOURCES OF ASSISTANCE OR INFORMATION IN THE CONTEST. It is per-
missible to carry a small bottle of water to moisten the soil for making
a determination of surface texture.

2. Do not copy information from others in the contest.

3. Officials ask that there be NO TALKING BETWEEN CONTESTANTS DURING THE
TIME OF THE CONTEST.

4. Twenty minutes will be allowed to make the placings on each field unless
otherwise designated.

5. Location of the fields for the contest will not be announced before the
start of the contest.

6. It is very important that you comply with the rules. Your cooperation
is appreciated. Please pay close attention to guides or leaders and be
prompt in following instructions.

7. Field 1 will be the first tie breaker. The tabulators will continue in
this manner with fields No. 2, 3, and 4 if necessary to break a tie. If
a tie still exists after comparing scores from Fields 1 through 4,
judges should determine the winner based on the score of Part 1 of Field
1, Part 1 of Field 2, etc.

8. Paid agricultural workers are ineligible to compete for prizes.

9. Decisions of the judges will be FINAL!


28











ACKNOWLEDGMENT


Some of the ideas and material in this booklet have been obtained from
several state and federal publications. Suggestions were made by many
individuals in the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural
Sciences (IFAS); USDA-Soil Conservation Service; the Florida Department of
Education, Agribusiness and Natural Resources Education; and land judging
coaches from around the state.

Special appreciation is due Dr. G. Kidder, Associate Professor of Soil
Science, IFAS; Dr. V. W. Carlisle, Professor of Soil Science, IFAS; and Mr.
Robert W. Johnson, Deputy State Conservationist, USDA-Soil Conservation
Service.

This wealth of assistance is gratefully acknowledged.










































COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, John T. Woeste, _
director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this information to further the purpose of the May 8 and June 30,
1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that
function without regard to race, color, sex, handicap or national origin. Single copies of extension publications (excluding 4-H and youth publications)
are available free to Florida residents from county extension offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers is available from (
C.M. Hinton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this publication,
editors should contact this address to determine availability. Printed 10/92.




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