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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Soils: Base saturation and 19th century Piedmont agricultural patterns
Year: 2002
Author(s): Helms, D.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 4
Original Publication:  
Abstract: The relationship of native grasses to neutral soils has been observed in the Southern Piedmont. The same chemical soil conditions that make neutral, base-rich soils favorable habitat for grasses would also benefit some agricultural crops. This correlation would be particularly true before the availability of commercial fertilizers, including lime to correct acidity. Soil Taxonomy the soil classification system of the National Cooperative Soil Survey uses base saturation (by sum of cations) as one of the criteria to define the order Alfisols. Soil surveys of Piedmont counties provide maps and other information on the scattered Alfisols of the Piedmont. Ultisols the dominant soil order of the Piedmont are defined in part by low base saturation. This presentation will examine the relationship of agricultural production, farm structure, and slavery to the pattern of Alfisols and Ultisols found in Piedmont counties. In addition to soil survey data and historical literature, the presentation will rely on an analysis of farm- and county-level data in manuscript agricultural censuses for 1850 to 1870 to examine the effects of soils on agriculture.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall