December 5th is World Soil Day! World Soil day is an international day supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization branch of the United Nations. It's intended to focus attention on the importance of healthy soil and to advocate for the sustainable management of soil resources. This year, we want to focus our attention on our own official state soil: the Miami Soil!
The Miami soil is named after the Miami Native American nation. The nation included Great Lakes tribes and occupied regions of modern-day Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. In 1986 the Indiana Association of Professional Soil Scientists (IAPSC) voted to designate Miami as our state soil.
Miami soil's native vegetative is hardwood forest, but it's a highly productive agricultural soil too; the less sloping Miami soils are used mainly for growing corn, soybeans, or winter wheat while the steeper areas are used as pasture, hay land, or forest land. This productive cropland, hay land and pasture also supports extensive livestock production. Miami soil has helped keep Indiana nationally ranked for agricultural production!
Due to the critical role the Miami soil has in Indian's success, managing it properly is important. A conservation cropping system that minimizes disturbance, maximizes soil cover, maximizes biodiversity, and provides continuous living roots will maintain the soil's health. Cover crops and no-till drilling are great ways to achieve these goals.
You can learn about soil conservation resources here: MCSWCD resources
Happy World Soil Day!