Soil Survey of Lubbock County, Texas Page: 28
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appropriate tillage practices, including time of tillage and
steedlbed preparation and tilling when soil moisture is
favorable; control of weeds, plant diseases, and harmful
insects; favorable soil reaction and optimum levels of
nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and trace elements for
each crop; effective' use of crop residues, barnyard
manure, and green-manure crops; harvesting crops with
the smallest possible loss; and timeliness of all fieldwork.
For yields of irrigated crops, it is assumed that the ir-
rigation system is adapted to the soils and to the crops
grown; that good quality irrigation water is uniformly ap-
plied in proper amounts as needed; and that tillage is
kept to a minimum.
The estimated yields reflect the productive capacity of
the soils for each of the principal crops. Yields are likely
to increase as new production technology is developed.
The productivity of a given soil compared with that of
other soils, however, is not likely to change.
Crops other than those shown in table 4 are grown in
the survey area, but estimated yields are not included
because the acreage of these crops is small. The local of-
fices of the Soil Conservation Service and the Coopera-
tive Extension Service can provide information about the
management concerns and productivity of the soils for
.loi: . NORRIS, range conservationist, Soil Conservation Service,
helped prepare this section.
Range is land on which the natural plant community
consists of grasses, forbs, and shrubs valuable for grazing.
About 15,203 acres in the county was used for range in
1967, according to the Conservation Needs Inventory (6).
This acreage was used for the production of native
vegetation and was grazed by domestic livestock and wil-
(life. Since the inception of irrigation on the High Plains,
ranching has been confined to about five units on the land
below the "caprock" escarpment. Small plots of range
occur throughout the rest of the county, but none are
large enough to constitute an economical unit.
All of the soils of the county produce a mixture of
plants suitable for grazing by livestock. Cattle are the
main animals grazed. A few deer and antelope make up
the wildlife population.
Where climate and topography are about the same, dif-
ferences in the kind and amount of vegetation that range-
land can produce are related closely to the kind of soil.
Effective management is based on the relationships
among soils, vegetation, and water.
Table 5 shows, for each kind of soil, the name of the
range site; the total annual production of vegetation in
favorable, normal, and unfavorable years; the charac-
teristic vegetation; and the expected percentage of each
species in the composition of the potential natural plant
community. Soils not listed cannot support a natural plant
community of predominant grasses, grasslike plants,
forbs, or shrubs suitable for grazing or browsing. The fol-
lowing are explanations of column headings in table 5.
A range site is a distinctive kind of rangeland that dif-
fers from other kinds of rangeland in its ability to
produce a characteristic natural plant community. Soils
that produce a similar kind, amount, and proportion of
range plants are grouped into range sites. For those areas
where the relationship between soils and vegetation has
been established, range sites can be interpreted directly
from the soil map. Properties that determine the capacity
of the soil to supply moisture and plant nutrients have
the greatest influence on the productivity of range plants.
Soil reaction and salt content are also important.
Potential production refers to the amount of vegetation
that can be expected to grow annually on well managed
rangeland that is supporting the potential natural plant
community. It is expressed in pounds per acre of air-dry
vegetation for favorable, normal, and unfavorable years.
In a favorable year the amount and distribution of
precipitation and the temperatures are such that growing
conditions are substantially better than average; in a nor-
mal year these conditions are about average for the area;
in an unfavorable year, growing conditions are well below
average, generally because of low available soil moisture.
Dry weight refers to the total air-dry vegetation
produced per acre each year by the potential natural
plant community. Vegetation that is highly palatable to
livestock and vegetation that is unpalatable are included.
Some of the vegetation can also be grazed extensively by
Common plant names are given for grasses, grasslike
plants, forbs, and shrubs that make up most of the poten-
tial natural plant community on each soil. Under Com-
position, the expected proportion of each species is
presented as the percentage, in air-dry weight, of the
total annual production of herbaceous and woody plants.
The amount that can be used as forage depends on the
kinds of grazing animals and on the grazing season.
Generally all of the vegetation produced is not used.
Range management requires, in addition to knowledge
of the kinds of soil and the potential natural plant com-
munity, an evaluation of the present condition of the
range vegetation in relation to its potentiaL Range condi-
tion is determined by comparing the present plant com-
munity with the potential natural plant community on a
particular range site. The more closely the existing com-
munity resembles the potential community, the better the
range condition. The objective in range management is to
control grazing so that the plants growing on a site are
about the same in kind and amount as the potential natu-
ral plant community for that site. Such management
generally results in the maximum production of vegeta-
tion, conservation of water, and control of erosion. Some-
times, however, a range condition somewhat below the
potential meets grazing needs, provides wildlife habitat,
and protects soil and water resources.
The soils of the rolling land below the "caprock" escarp-
ment in the southeastern part of the county produce a
mixture of medium and short grasses and some forbs and
woody plants. Mesquite has increased and invaded on the
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Blackstock, Dan A.; Blakley, Earl R.; Landers, Clifford R.; Koos, William M. & Putnam, Lee A. Soil Survey of Lubbock County, Texas, book, 1979; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth130232/m1/39/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.