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Soil in Arkansas

photo of physiographic regions of Arkansas

Soil is one the most precious natural resources in Arkansas as it is the foundation of our most important activity - agriculture.

    • Most of the agricultural activity occurs in the Mississippi River Alluvial Plain. Soils in this region were formed mainly by the depositions of the Mississippi river, resulting in soils with a wide variety of chemical and physical properties.

    • A relatively small percentage of the soils in the region were formed by the action of wind (Loess) and are mostly concentrated on what we know as Crowley’s Ridge.

    • Crop productivity on these soils is often limited by their physical properties. In the southern part of Arkansas we find Coastal Plain soils, which are marine deposits formed when the ocean covered a good portion of southern Arkansas.

    • Some row crop agriculture is also present in the Arkansas River Valley. Soils in this area were formed by deposition of the river, by landslides that moved to the foot slopes, and by the weathering of the existent parent material.

    • Crop production in the Ozarks Plateaus and Ouachita Mountains is limited, mainly revolving around pasture lands.

Hands holding soil [Photo courtesy USDA Agricultural Research Service)

Soil Fertility

Healthy soils are more resistant to erosion and require less fertilizer.

Learn about soil fertility
"Stuttgart" - the Arkansas State Soil [Photo courtesy USDA |  Natural Resources Conservation Service - Arkansas)

Soil Management

Protect soil and enhance its performance so you can farm profitably and preserve environmental quality for decades to come.

Learn about soil management

Extension Resources

Don't Guess, Soil Test - March, 2014

Dr. Leo Espinoza, Extension Soil Scientist

Soils, Fertilizers, and Soil Test - Dr. Victor Ford, Southwest Research and Extension Center

Soil Testing Laboratory - Marianna


Additional Resources

Arkansas State Plant Board Feed & Fertilizer Division
Arkansas State Plant Board