along the river is frequently 10 feet and this is underlain by a
fine sand. Back from the stream a mile or two the deposit is sel-
dom over a foot in thickness, and many times it can not be found
at all. Traces of lacustrine deposits are found at Necedah, but
these consist of silt instead of clay. At Shenington, which is
just outside of the county to the west, on the new line of the Chi-
cago & North Western Railway, the lacustrine silt has a thickness
of 26 feet, as found in two wells. Less than a mile east the deposit
is only from 4 to 12 inches thick. It would seem, therefore, that
the lacustrine material was laid down in basins and not over the
entire low-lying country occupied by the sand plains region.
*In the future soils of the La Crosse series will be included with the
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA. 17
Three types of the Superior series were mapped Superior clay
loam, fine sandy loam, and sand.
The Plainfield series consists of the material occupying a large
proportion of the sand plains region. It seems that all of this
has been influenced more or less by the action of water. All of
the types found are very sandy and of low agricultural value.
They are light in color and contain but little organic matter.
The types mapped as belonging to the Plainfield series are Plain-
field sand and fine sand.
The Dunning series consists of dark-colored soils of similar
origin to the Plainfield, but with which there is sufficient organic
matter to impart a dark color. It occupies a low position bor-
dering the marshes and is poorly drained. Dunning sand is the
only type of the 'Series mapped in the survey.
Peat and Muck (undifferentiated) include extensive areas of
marsh composed of vegetable matter in varying stages of decom-
position, with which there is incorporated only a small amount of
mineral matter. Such areas are quite extensive in Juneau
Sands and Peat (undifferentiated) include large areas of low
marshy land in which there are numerous -small islands of sand.
The total area of the islands is about equal to that of the marsh,
but on the scale used in mapping it was impossible to separate
such small areas. The marsh includes black sand and shallow
Peat, but no separations were possible, on account of the small
areas and the wide variations found. This type of land has little
Meadow includes the low-lying, poorly drained areas along the
rivers and smaller streamy in which the soils were so variable as
to make classification impossible.
Rough stony land includes the steep rocky slopes, outcrops,
and broken regions throughout the county, which are too rough
and rocky to be cultivated and have a very low agricultural value.
The following table gives the name and extent of each soil
mapped in the county :
2 S. S. J. C.
SOIL SURVEY OF JUNEAU COUNTY.
Areas of different soils.
Boone fine snnd...,
Sands and Peat (undifferentiated)
Knox silt loam
Peat and Muck (undiflerentiated)
Rough stony land
Boone fine sandy loam
LJntonia silt loam
Plainfleld fine sand ... ,,.'
Superior clay loa 'U . . . . .
Baxter Silt loam
Total . ....
GROUP OF HtiAVY LIGHT-COLORED SOILS. 19
GROUP OF HEAVY, LIGHT-COLORED SOILS.
KNOX SILT LOAM.
Description. The surface soil of Knox silt loam consists of 12
inches of a grayish-brown or buff-colored silt loam, having a fri-
able structure and a smooth feel. While there is present a small
percentage of fine and very fine sand, but few coarser grains are
found. The lower portion of the soil usually is of a yellowish
color, and on drying the surface becomes ashen in appearance.
As a whole the texture of the material is very uniform, but varies
somewhat in depth with the degree of slope. The subsoil consists
of a heavy yellow silt loam, grading into a silty clay loam at 18
to 20 inches, and usually becoming a light chocolate^ brown color
at 30 to 36 inches. It is compact, contains only a very small per-
centage of material coarser than silt, and is uniform throughout
its entire extent, except as indicated in the phase described below.
The underlying rock lies from 4 to 30 or more feet below the sur-
The most important variation in the Knox silt loam is one based
upon topography and consists of land which is so steep and
broken that it is not advisable to grow intertilled crops because of
the serious damage resulting from erosion. The portions of the
type thus situated have a value somewhat lower than the typical
soil, and because of this fact such areas have been separated on
the soil map and are referred to in this report as the steep phase
of Knox silt loam. The texture of the soil does not differ ma-
terially from the typical, except that the depth is usually a little
less, and where erosion has been extensive the surface soil may be
lacking over areas of limited extent. The underlying rock comes
closer to the surface than typical, and in come instances is within
reach of the soil auger. Outcrops are not uncommon. A more
20 SOIL SURVEY OF JUNEAU COUNTY.
detailed description of the deep phase is given following the de-
scription of the typical Knox silt loam.
Extent and distribution. Knox silt loam is confined to the
southern and southwestern portions of the county, in the hilly
region, and is the most extensive type in that part of the survey.
Practically all of this soil lies south of the main line of the Chi-
cago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. Its continuity is broken
by areas of Lintonia silt loam and Boone fine sand, Baxter silt
loam, and a few other types of minor importance.
Topography and drainage. Knox silt loam occupies a section
of country which consists of a series of hills and ridges, through-
out which erosion has been extensive. The typical Knox silt loam
is found occupying the tops of these hills and ridges, where the
surface is nearly level to gently rolling, and also on the more
gentle slopes, and where all ordinary farm operations can be car-
ried on without difficulty. Practically all of the type is subject
to erosion but danger from this source is much greater on the
steep phase than on the typical soil. On account of the uneven
character of the surface the natural drainage is good. The type
is quite retentive of moisture, and seldom suffers from drought
except during long dry spells.
Origin. The geology of this type has not been carefully
worked out, but from its silty texture, its laminated structure,
which is seen in places, and its uniform character, it would seem
to be of loessial origin, having been deposited by wind action.
Some of the highest points, however, have no silty covering,
which fact would tend to eliminate the loessial theory. On some
of the lower slopes a shaley material is found associated with the
Potsdam sandstone, and this may have weathered into the ma-
terial forming the silt loam. 'This formation of shale is fre-
quently found with the Potsdam sandstone in other places, and
may have covered most of this region at one time. The type may
be partially residual and partly loessial in origin. A slight acid
condition exists over part of the type.
Native vegetation. The original timber growth consisted
chiefly of several varieties of oak, hickory, ash, and birch, with
some maple, elm, and butternut. On some of the steep slopes
there is still considerable timber standing, but all of the best
trees have been cut.
GROUP OF HEAVY LIGHT-COLORED SOILS. 21
Present agricultural development .* By far the greater pro-
portion of Knox silt loam is under cultivation, and it is the most
extensive and important highly improved soil in the county.
The type of farming followed consists of general farming in con-
junction with dairying. The crops most extensively grown are
corn, oats, barley, wheat,' and hay. The yields of the different
crops vary considerably, depending largely upon the methods of
farming followed. Corn is an important crop and yields on an
average about 40 to 50 bushels per acre. Oats give an average
yield of 40 bushels and barley about 35 bushels per acre. Wheat
is not grown extensively at the present time, though it was an im-
portant crop in the early history of the county. At the present
time it yields 20 to 25 bushels per acre. Hay, consisting of tim-
othy and clover, yields from 1 ton to 1% tons per acre.
Nearly every farmer produces enough potatoes for home use
and many have some to sell each year. The yield is usually
about 150 bushels per acre. The soil is not as well adapted to
this crop as some of the other types, especially the sandy loams,
though the quality of the potatoes grown 'is fair.
Tobacco was at one time more extensively cultivated than at
present. It is generally grown on the same field f or-iour years in
succession, but during the first 2 or 3 years the yields are best.
Fields must be heavily manured, and this is done at the expense
of the remainder of the farm. Tobacco usually follows potatoes
or corn and is itself followed by wheat. The yields secured range
from 1,000 to 1,600 pounds per acre. Since the crop requires
careful attention and considerable labor, the acreage devoted to it
on any farm is comparatively small.
Alfalfa is being tried by a few farmers, and some have secured
a good stand without inoculating the soil. In order to secure the
best results, however, the soil should be inoculated and liming
may also be necessary, since the type is slightly acid in places.
Trucking and small-fruit growing are not carried on to any
extent, though the ordinary garden vegetables and berries are
grown for home use, and limited quantities are marketed in the
*For chemical composition and improvement of Knox silt loam
see page 30.
22 SOIL SURVEY OF JUNEAU COUNTY.
near-by towns. There are a few small apple orchards, though
the fruit industry has not received special attention on this soil.
Considerable fall plowing is done, and this is the best system
to follow whenever possible. This also increases the water-hold-
ing capacity of the soil and destroys more weeds than when
spring plowing is followed. On account of the silty nature of
the soil the type is not difficult to handle, and a fine, mellow
seedbed can be secured with but little difficulty. Erosion must
be carefully guarded against in the cultivation of this type. The
natural drainage is nearly always good, and the type can be
worked under quite a wide range of moisture conditions. Too
wet cultivation, however, may result in the soil becoming slightly
puddled, and this should be avoided. No commercial fertilizers
are used on this soil, but stable manure is applied whenever avail-
able. The plowing under of green crops is not practiced to any
There is considerable variation in the crop rotations followed,
and some pay but little attention to the selection of a system best
adapted to conditions. The best farmers, however, have de-
veloped a definite system of crop rotation, and while this must be
altered to meet the needs of various sections, it most commonly
consists of corn one year followed by barley and oats one year
each, with clover or clover and timothy seeded with the last grain
crop. "When wheat is grown it may take the place of the second
grain crop. Hay may be cut for two years or the field may be
pastured one year after being cut for hay the first year. On the
steep slopes corn is sometimes omitted from the rotation because
the land is more apt to erode when in an intertilled crop than
when in a grain crop or in grass. The steepest slopes which are
used are often kept in grass for the greater part of time, though
some attempt to cultivate crops on land of this character. Stable
manure is usually applied to the sod to be plowed for corn.
Farms on Knox silt loam sell from $40 to $80 an acre, depend-
ing on location, topography, improvements, and the productive-
ness of the soil. A few of the best farms have a still higher value,
where the improvements are above the average, and where the
soil is in a good state of fertility.
<;if<)('l> 01-' HEAVY LIGHT-COLORED
KNOX SILT LOAM, DEEP PHASE.
Description. The soil of the Knox silt loam, steep phase, to an
average depth of 10 inches, consists of a grayish-yellow or buff-
colored silt loam, having a very smooth feel and containing only
a comparatively small amount of organic matter. A few sand-
stone rock fragments occur in places upon the surface and out-
crops are frequently seen on the steep slopes. The subsoil con-
sists of a yellow silt loam or silty clay loam, extending to a depth
of 18 to 30 inches, where fine sand occurs. The underlying bed-
rock may be encountered at 20 to 36 inches, though it is often be-
low the reach of the auger. The fine sand is frequently mixed
with the silty clay subsoil, and in places the material consists of
a sandy silt loam. The first 18 inches is the same as the typical
Knox silt loam in texture and color.
Extent and distribution. The steep phase is confined to the
hilly region in the southern portion of the county, where it is
closely associated with the typical Knox silt loam. The most ex-
tensive development occurs 8 to 11 miles south of Mauston,
though it is fairly well distributed throughout therrough part of
Topography and drainage. The surface of the steep phase is
rough, broken, and often badly dissected by ravines and gullies.
It occupies the tops of narrow ridges and the more sloping sides
of the valleys. On the gentler slopes and broader ridges the
typical Knox silt loam is found. In general it may be said that
the steep phase of the Knox silt loam occupies a topographic po-
sition several degrees rougher and more dissected than the typical
soil. The steep slopes are subject to erosion, and this is the most
important problem to be considered in the management of the
type. On account of the topography and the underlying sand
the natural drainage is good sometimes excessive and crops
are apt to suffer from drought during part of the growing season.
Origin. The silty portion of the soil has the same origin as
the typical Knox silt loam, which is probably loessial. The sandy
material is residual, and is the result of the weathering and dis-
integrating of the Potsdam sandstone.
SOIL SURVEY OF JUNEAU COUNTY.
Native vegetation. The original timber growth consisted
chiefly of white, black, and red oak, and hickory, with some
maple and birch. The best timber has been removed, but on
many of the slopes there is still some standing. From some slopes
the trees have been cut and the ground is now covered with a
thick growth of berry bushes and shrubs of various kinds.
Present agricultural development* While the Knox silt loam,
steep phase, is not sufficiently steep and broken to be classed as
non-agricultural land, the surface is rough enough to be the lim-
iting factor in the selection of crops to be grown. Crops requir-
ing intertillage, such as corn and potatoes, are not adapted to this
type on account of the danger from erosion on the cultivated
fields, and these crops are almost entirely excluded from the rota-
tions followed on this soil. The crops most frequently grown
consist of oats, wheat, hay, buckwheat, and sometimes barley.
Oats yield on the average 35 bushels, wheat 18 to 20 bushels, buck-
wheat 8 to 10 bushels, and timothy and clover from 1% to 2 tons
per acre. The most common rotation practiced consists of oats
one year, oats or wheat one year, followed by clover and timothy
one or two years, and pasture one year.
The following table shows the results of mechanical analyses of
samples of the typical soil and subsoil and of the steep phase of
this type :
Mechanical analyses of Knox silt loam.
Soil . .
*For chemical composition and improvement of this soil see
GROUP OF HEAVY LIGHT-COLORED SOILS. 25
BAXTER SILT LOAM.
Description. The surface soil of Baxter silt loam consists of
10 inches of gray silt loam, which contains only a small amount
of organic matter. There is present upon the surface and mixed
with the soil from 10 to 25 per cent of angular chert fragments.
The subsoil consists of a heavy red clay, which also contains from
10 to 15 per cent of angular chert fragments. One well record
showed that the red clay extended to a depth of 30 feet and rested
upon sandstone. This is much deeper than the average, however,
for in a number of places the sandstone can be reached with the
auger. In places the subsoil is a yellow silty clay, and in a few
instances a sandy clay was found at from 18 to 24 inches, which
then graded into the stiff, heavy red clay. Wherever the red
clay is found the chert is abundant, but the chert may occur with-
out any red clay being present. The chert is frequently so
plentiful as to form an almost complete covering over the surface.
This makes cultivation very difficult. One exposure of lime-
stone (Lower Magnesian) was seen where a limekiln had once
Extent and distribution. The type is of small extent and oc-
curs in long, narrow areas, chiefly on the tops of high, narrow,
flat-topped ridges. The largest area is about 5 miles east of Won-
ewoc. A smaller tract is found 4 miles east and another 5 miles
northeast of Elroy. The total area covered by this soil is only
Topography and drainage. The surface of the type varies
from nearly level to undulating. There is always sufficient slope
to insure good surface drainage, though seldom steep enough to
be damaged by erosion.
Origin. Baxter silt loam is derived from the weathering of
the Lower Magnesian limestone, a few remnants of which still re-
main. The chert present represents a more extensive and much
thicker bed of limestone than exists at the present time. The
chert, being extremely hard, has withstood weathering, while the
limestone has been largely removed. There is no loessial material
occurring over the residual limestone soil. While the surface
26 SOIL SURVEY off JUNEAU COUNTY.
soil is sometimes slightly acid, the subsoil usually contains a con-
siderable amount of carbonate of lime.
Native vegetation. The original timber growth consisted
chiefly of oak, hickory, and maple, with some walnut. All of the
merchantable timber has been removed, but in uncultivated
places there is quite a thick undergrowth.
Present agricultural development* A considerable propor-
tion of the type has been under cultivation at one time, but on
account of the numerous chert fragments, which interfere with
cultivation, some of the fields have been left uncultivated. Where
the chert is not too plentiful the type is considered a fairly good
general farming soil, and the ordinary farm crops are grown
successfully. Corn yields 40 to 60 bushels, oats 45 bushels, and
wheat about 25 bushels per acre. Hay consists of timothy and
clover mixed and yields of 1^2 to 2 tons per acre are secured.
Where free from numerous rocks not much difficulty is experi-
enced in putting the fields in good tilth, if plowing is carried on
when the moisture conditions are the most favorable. The rota-
tion of crops most extensively followed consists of corn, oats,
wheat seeded to clover, and timothy, which is cut for hay one or
two years and pastured one year. The wheat may be omitted
and the oats used as a nurse crop for the clover. Manure is us-
ually applied to the sod to be plowed under for corn.
The following table shows the results of mechanical analyses
of samples of the soil and subsoil of this type :
Mechanical analyses of Baxter silt loam.
Fine ( Very fine
sand. ' sand. Silt.
Per cent. Per cent. Per cent.
6.1 7.9 63.4
9.4 i 3.8 38.7
*For chemical composition and improvement of Baxter silt loam
see page 30.
GROUP OF HEAVY LIGHT-COLORED SOILS. 27
LINTONIA SILT LOAM.
Description. The surface soil of Lintonia silt loam, consists
of a heavy grayish-brown to nearly black silt loam, from 12 to
18 inches deep, having a very smooth feel and containing in
places a considerable amount of organic matter. The subsoil
consists of a drab or yellow silt loam to silty clay loam, which
frequently contains a considerable amount of fine and very fine
sand. The subsoil sometimes has a reddish color, due to iron
stains, and usually the material has a mottled appearance, due
to poor drainage conditions.
The type is a gradation from Knox silt loam on the one hand
to La Crosse silty clay loam on the other, containing areas of the
latter too small to map separately on the scale used. The higher
portion of the soil is light colored, while the lower portion is dark.
Extent and distribution. Lintonia silt loam is confined to the
southern and southwestern parts of the county and is associated
with Knox silt loam. One of the largest areas lies directly south-
west of Mauston. More of the type is found in the vicinity of
Union Center. Other areas are scattered throughout this portion
of the survey. This may be classed as one of the types of minor
importance, since it occupies a total area of only 6J528 acres, or
1.3 percent of the area of the county.
Topography and drainage. The surface of this type is level to
undulating, the highest portion extending up the slope and grad-
ing into Knox silt loam of the upland, and the lower portion ex-
tending frequently into the valley of streams and bordering La
Crosse silty clay loam. The natural drainage of most of the type
is deficient and before the best results can be obtained tile drains
will be necessary.
Origin. Lintonia silt loam consists of silty material, a large
proportion of which has doubtless been washed from the higher
lying soils and is therefore colluvial. The highest part of the
type is sometimes in the form of a terrace, which may be several
feet above the flood plain of the stream along which it occurs.
The lowest portions of the type along the streams are partially
alluvial. Had these latter areas been large enough they would
have been shown on the maps as La Crosse silty clay loam. Tests
with litmus paper indicate that this soil is somewhat acid.
28 SOIL SURVEY OF JUNEAU COUNTY.
Native vegetation. The original timber growth on Lintonia
silt loam consisted of oak, hickory, and some birch on the higher
portion, and ash, elm, and some oak on the lower areas. Only a
small amount of good timber is still standing.
Present agricultural development* -The type is limited in ex-
tent, and because of its poor drainage it is not highly improved.
Hay is the most extensive crop grown and yields of 2 tons per
acre are secured. Some oats, corn, buckwheat, and barley are
sometimes grown, but the soil is usually too moist, especially in
the. spring and early summer and the fields are low. On the
highest portion of the type the drainage is better and yields on
such areas, which are limited in extent, 'are nearly equal to those
obtained upon Knox silt loam.
SUPERIOR CLAY LOAM.
Description. The surface soil of Superior clay loam consists
of 8 inches of a grayish-brown compact silty clay loam. On dry-
ing the surface becomes quite hard and frequently cracks. The
organic matter content is comparatively low. The subsoil to a
depth of 36 inches or more consists of a heavy, red, tenacious
clay, which shows fine laminations and a joint structure where
exposed in cuts.' A silty phase consists of 9 to 10 inches of gray
silt loam, underlain to a depth of about 16 inches by a yellow silt
loam, which is in turn underlain by heavy red clay or silty clay.