Almost all of the soils in Kansas are called mollisols. They generally are fertile, but their productivity varies considerably, usually in proportion to the amount of water they receive.
Udolls, one type of mollisol, cover large areas of eastern Kansas, which is the wettest part of the state. In these areas, especially in the Dissected Till Plains section, field crops are raised on the deep productive loams. In the Flint Hills section, however, fragments of flint in the soil make cultivation difficult. Much of this area is better utilized as grazing land.
The dark-brown udolls of the Osage Plains in southeastern Kansas often contain a faint reddish tint caused by oxidized iron. Relatively high precipitation in this area has leached more plant nutrients from these soils than is the case elsewhere in the state. This leaching must be counteracted by fertilizer if farmers hope to produce good crops.
A second type of mollisol, called ustoll, is characteristic of Kansas west of the Flint Hills. These, too, are fertile soils. Ustolls are slightly lighter in color than the udolls and contain more carbonate. These loams are well suited for the cultivation of wheat and are highly productive in years of adequate precipitation. In extreme western Kansas the ustolls become lighter still in color and contain even more carbonate. These soils, which cover the driest areas of the state, are not usually highly productive. In times of drought they have been subject to wind erosion and the consequent loss of topsoil. "Kansas" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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