The State Soil of Wisconsin is the Antigo Silt Loam
Antigo Silt Loam was first identified near the city of Antigo, Wisconsin during the initial Langlade County Soil Survey project, and was named after the nearby city by Francis D. Hole, Professor at UW-Madison. A historical marker is located northeast of Antigo on Highway 52. Antigo Silt Loam was named the official State Soil of Wisconsin by the State Legislature in 1983, a declaration reminding us of the importance of our soil resources. Antigo soil represents the more than 800 different types of soil in Wisconsin.
Antigo is one of the most productive and extensive agricultural soils in north central Wisconsin. Antigo is found in approximatly 300,000 acres of land in Northern Wisconsin. Many areas are used for growing corn, small grains, and hay. In some places, potatoes or snap beans are important crops. Other areas are used for pastureland or timber production.
Formation of Antigo About 11,000 years ago, near the end of the last Ice Age, glacial meltwaters deposited the sand and gravel outwash that forms the lower subsoil and substratum of the Antigo soil. Strong winds and glacial meltwaters then deposited 2 to 3 feet of silty loess and loamy outwash on top of the sand and gravel. Soil development, under northern hardwood forests, produced an organic enriched surface layer and a clay enriched subsoil.
A Prime Agricultural Soil, Antigo occurs mostly on nearly level ground, suitable for agriculture. The organic enriched surface layer provides an excellent seedbed and good tilth. The silty upper layers hold plenty of nutrients and water for plant growth. The underlying sand and gravel layers allow for good drainage. These factors, combined with a favorable climate, make Antigo a Prime Farmland soil, one of the most productive agricultural soils in north central Wisconsin.
Antigo soils are well-drained and formed in loess and loamy sediments over stratified sandy outwash. The average annual precipitation ranges from 28 to 33 inches, and the average annual air temperature ranges from 39 to 45 degrees F. Click here to view the Official Series Description for the Antigo Silt Loam.
Soil quality is a good indicator of a healthy ecosystem. The soil stores water for use by plants and filters our ground water and surface water. We depend on the soil to provide us with food and fiber. Soils play a major role in recycling carbon and nitrogen. Without soils neither we or the ecosystems in which we live could exist. The quality of our soil resources directly affects our quality of life. Good conservation practices allow us to use the soil while protecting the environment and keeping the soil healthy for future generations.
The USDA-NRCS helps landowners conserve, protect, and improve the soils and other natural resources on private lands.
WSPSS promotes the advancement of soil science knowledge and education, protection of our soil resources, and the application of soil science in resource conservation and management.
Visit the Wisconsin USDA-NRCS website to hear the Antigo Silt Loam song by Francis D. Hole!
Recently we came accross a cover of Francis Hole’s Antigo Silt loam song by Erika on YouTube. Do you have a video of YOU singing this song? Share it with us!