Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Douglas D. Malo


Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) 102A is predominantly used for agricultural purposes with most of the acreage utilized for small grain and row crop production. Much of the area's fertility status has been studied and related to soil classification. Information is needed on the subsoil and parent material nutrient reserves of the soils in this region. With time, money, and qualified personnel as important constraints to agricultural development, agrotechnology transfer is crucial for the short term solutions to agricultural problems in South Dakota. Site-specific research is time consuming and expensive. With decreasing government and private funding, South Dakota does not have the capability to undertake and sustain this kind of research. Agrotechnology transfer is the taking of an agricultural innovation from its site of origin to a new location where it is most likely to succeed. Agrotechnology transfer is used to improve the quality and speed of information exchange. Transfer of soil-based agrotechnologies requires a widely used soil classification system and a soil survey program that employs proven specifications. Soil Taxonomy is the system of soil classification developed by the USDA Soil Conservation Service. The system was designed for making and interpreting soil surveys and is ideally suited for agrotechnology transfer. Soil Taxonomy provides a comprehensive classification system that groups soils with similar physical and chemical properties that affect the soil's behavior and use. The substantial developments in soil classification have been paralleled by improvements in soil fertility evaluation and use of fertilizers and soil amendments. Soil fertility specialists tend to work within their own areas of interest in developing soil management procedures. Additional efforts are needed by soil scientists involved in soil classification and those in soil fertility to integrate the two fields more completely in efforts to make reports more useful to users of the soil. The objectives of this study were: 1) to determine subsoil and parent material nutrient levels in major/benchmark soils in northeastern South Dakota and relate that information to soils taxonomically similar; 2) to determine the relationships between subsoil and parent material nutrient levels with the genesis and classification of these soils; 3) to describe soil variability at the soil series level for selected soil properties within the studied series; and 4) to construct a table indicating subsoil and parent material nutrient levels in soil associations found in MLRA 102A. This will speed up and reduce costs in nutrient level determinations, will aid fertility specialists in improving the quality and quantity of fertilizer recommendations, will aid in increasing the quality of soil surveys and soils data due to soil variability information, and aid pedologists in understanding the processes of soil formation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Soils --South Dakota -- Composition

Soil formation -- South Dakota

Soils -- South Dakota -- Classification



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University