Small, practically unproductive areas, known locally as “push” soils, are of rather common occurrence in some sections of southern Iowa. They are found on hillsides, usually about midway down the slope, and the name “push” soil seems to have risen because of the behavior of the soil during plowing. The surface soil is shallow and the underlying material is such a heavy, impervious clay that the plow points will not readily cut it, but tend to pass over the surface, “pushing” the thin top soil aside.

The individual areas of these “push” soils are not large, varying from one-tenth of an acre to one or two acres in size, but they are quite unproductive, usually growing nothing but a native grass which is useless for feeding, and their occurrence in otherwise productive areas, as well as the difficulty in cultivating, makes them objectionable. It is quite desirable that such spots be reclaimed, and the work reported in the following pages was undertaken to determine the best methods of making “push” soils productive.



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