Date of Award:

1932

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Plants, Soils, and Climate

Advisor/Chair:

D. W. Pittman

Abstract

The reclamation of muck soil is a new development in the state of Utah. Knowledge concerning the various properties and requirements of the newly-drained area in Sanpete County, Utah, is extremely limited. A need for fundamental information concerning this type of soil was the basis for the establishment of an experimental farm in this region. The fact that most organic soils respond to mineral fertilizers soon after they have been reclaimed was an important reason for starting fertilizer work on this soil as soon as it was possible to do so. This thesis reports some of the fertilizer work being conducted on the farm.

The soil on which the experimental work is being conducted seems to be fairly representative of an area of about 6500 acres located near the south end of the Sanpete Valley. The muck soil has been developed here in what was originally a shallow lake, with an impervious blue clay as the bottom. The soil was formed by the growth of marsh plants, the remains of which have accumulated and have been preserved in the water.

From the time the valley was settled with white people up until 1926, the area had been used for the production of native hay and for pasture. The native sedge sod was first broken up in this region in the fall of 1926. The drainage of the area was started in the fall of 1925 and consisted of constructing canals around the project to control spring flood water. A central drain was installed, through the bottom of the area, with sufficient small laterals to properly drain the soil. The development of the area for at least two years after breaking the sod has consisted of pulverizing the coarse sod, allowing sufficient time for the roots to decay, so that crops could be grown.

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