Ultisols: The Most Common Soil Order Found in the Southeastern USA
Ultisols are the most common soil order found in the southeastern United States. These soils are typically quite old, having undergone deep weathering processes that often leave them depleted of essential nutrients and high in clay content. They are found in flat or gently sloping areas with a humid climate, primarily in the states of Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and parts of Virginia and Tennessee (Soil Survey Staff, 2016). Ultisols are generally quite acidic, with pH levels ranging from 4.0 to 6.5, and are generally quite low in organic matter (Kozlowski, 2019). This soil can be quite challenging to work with for agricultural purposes, as it is often lacking in essential nutrients, and any fertilizer applied is quickly leached away due to the high clay content. The low pH of the soil also reduces the availability of many of the nutrients necessary for plant growth. Fortunately, there are a number of management strategies that can be employed to improve the productivity of Ultisol soils. Applying lime to increase the pH of the soil is an effective way to make more nutrients available to the plants. Cont…
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