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Mature soils


Photo of North Carolina state
Photo of North Carolina state

North Carolina’s well-drained mature soils belong mainly to the group known as the red-yellow podzolic soils (ultisols), that covers most of the southeastern United States. In the mountains are gray-brown podzolic soils and a few small areas of podzols, two soil types that are similar to the soils of the northeastern United States.

Most of the soils of the Atlantic Coastal Plain are light colored and of sandy texture. They are low in most elements essential to crop growth and are moderately to strongly acidic.

Many of them respond to proper treatment and become quite productive for agriculture when limed and fertilized. Drainage is the major soil problem of the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

Clay and clay loam textures typify Piedmont soils, and stoniness is common. Many of the flatter upland areas and some basins have light-colored sandy and sandy loam soils. The parent material, which is derived from old deeply weathered crystalline rocks, is high in iron oxide, which gives most Piedmont soils their distinctive red color. Piedmont soils are richer in most essential elements than are most Coastal Plain soils. Some of the Piedmont’s best crop soils are derived from water-laid, or alluvial, materials on river floodplains and terraces. Most of the mountain soils are thin, stony, and not fully developed. At lower elevations are many red-yellow podzolic soils typical of the Piedmont. In the higher parts the cooler climate accounts for gray-brown podzolic soils. The best agricultural soils are on floodplains and terraces in valleys and basins. "North Carolina" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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