Ask any old hand, and he’ll very likely tell you that high-quality forage is essential to running a successful ranch. He’ll also likely tell you that the quality and yield of your forage depends highly on the property of your soil—which is why knowing what types of soils are to be found on your ranch is important. The more you understand about your soil, the better equipped you’ll be to manage your range.
Understanding your range potential
Getting a soil survey done allows you to access detailed soil descriptions. The value in knowing these descriptions is that different types of soil are suited to growing specific types of crops. Knowing what soils are on your range and understanding their properties can ensure the health of your crops. These may include the texture of the soil, wetness, the available water, slope, depth, and topographic position. This knowledge is directly related to helping you achieve maximum yield
Deep loamy soils are, for instance, known to produce top-quality range plants; these are most often the soils that are found on the bottom-most lands. Upland soils, meanwhile, readily take in water but are often more medium-textured and may not produce quite as high-quality plants. Rainfall is usually more moderate in the uplands; controlled grazing can impact positively on the growth of more desirable plants.
Sandy soils are often more productive than clayey soils. Group the different types of soil on your range together according to their productivity potential. This will help you better determine how to manage planting to increase your forage yields.
Best range management practices
A soil survey can point you towards the best range management practices. Results can allow you to focus on areas where your productivity potential is highest so you can achieve the most favorable yields.
Overgrazing typically leads to the growth of less desirable plants. If you are producing less than your potential, a definitive assessment of your soil will help you determine what species of range plants are best grown on your soil. A survey will also provide estimates of forage yields under various conditions.
Whether you need to establish more pasture or require silage or hay, the information gathered from a soil survey can be indispensable. By rating your soil to determine its suitability for hay and pasture plants, you can maximize productivity.
Supplemental income and conservation
Ranchers may at times lease their land for hunting or wildlife recreation. Doing so helps them generate additional income. A survey can help you manage your land for wildlife habitat and pinpoint which areas to dedicate to recreation development.
Soil maps and soil descriptions can also help you better plan your range’s conservation management. Better identify problem areas, find the best spots for stock ponds, and establish grazing schedules via a soil survey.
Get the most out of your range property
Get the most out of your North Texas ranch property by getting a soil survey done. Sarah Boyd and Company’s blog is a treasure trove of resources you can use to maintain your property. Feel free to browse and find other related topics, such as how to find raw land in Texas. For more information, do not hesitate to call Sarah and her team.