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Publication Abstract

Midwestern Climate Center Soils Atlas and Database Hollinger, Steven E., 1995  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS C-179    Full Text Available
The Midwestern Climate Center (MCC) uses soils data to produce near real-time simulations of soil moisture throughout the year, and corn and soybean yields during the growing seasons. The results of these estimates are made available to users of the Midwestern Climate Information System (MICIS). The original soil for each Crop Reporting District (CRD) was estimated using only one or two of the major soils in each MCC region’s CRDs. Generally these were the better agricultural soils in each CRD.

Recently, the State Soil Geographic (STATSGO) database became available. It includes all the soils in each state, and these soils are geographically referenced to map units of irregular shape and size. The soils in each map unit can be further mapped in individual counties.

This report presents maps and tables of the weighted average of soil variables used in modeling soil moisture and crop yields for 1,172 counties in the North Central region of the United States. The averages were obtained by weighting each soil variable by the fraction of the total county area that each soil component occupied. In computing the weighted averages only arable farmland (farmland that is easily tilled and comprising more than 0.01 percent of a county) was included in the computation.

The maps and tables presented show the variability of the surface slope, soil water characteristics, bulk density, and soil texture throughout the region. Close study of the maps also indicates which soil variables are important factors in limiting crop yields.

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