- Berkshire (soil)
Berkshire soil series is the name given to a well drained
loamor sandy loamsoil which has developed on glacial tillin parts of southern Quebec, eastern New York Stateand New Englandsouth to Massachusetts. It belongs to the podzolsoil group and is one of the most important soils in its area of occurrence, supporting extensive forests and a fair number of farms. Many Berkshire soils lack the eluvial (E) horizon characteristic of podzols because they have a history of being cleared for cultivation.
The deep glacial till which provides the foundation of the Berkshire series contains material derived from
mica schistwith fragments of gneiss, graniteand phyllitealso present in some areas. These rocks are not high in mineral nutrients but provide enough fine-grained material to produce a loamy soil.
Cleared areas of the Berkshire series support a livestock industry with an emphasis on
dairying. Grasses, legumes and silagecorn are raised for cattle food. These crops are likely to need lime and fertilizerfor optimum growth. Potatoes are also grown; they are well adapted to the Berkshire's natural acidity. Many Berkshire soils, however, are too rough and stony for easy cultivation and have been allowed to revert to forest.
Most of the Berkshire series supports
mixed forest. Several species of maple, birchand pineare prominent among the trees, along with beech, spruce, fir, ash and basswood.
* [http://www2.ftw.nrcs.usda.gov/osd/dat/B/BERKSHIRE.html Official Series Description - BERKSHIRE Series]
* [http://sis.agr.gc.ca/cansis/publications/pq/pq11/intro.html Soil Survey of Shefford, Brome and Missisquoi Counties]
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