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Thumbs up for Downer
Jan.15, 2017 – Many states have a designated state bird, flower--and a state soil. The “Downer” is the official state soil of New Jersey. The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) January 15 Soils Matter blog post explains why Downer is important to the Garden State.
Downer soil has a loose, sandy surface and is formed in the coastal plain area. “It’s the base for New Jersey’s woodlands and high-value vegetables and fruits, such as peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, apples, asparagus, and sweet potatoes,” says blog author Wale Adewunmi, a soil scientist with Middlesex County Utilities Authority.
In addition, some of the soil has been used for sand mining, particularly for a soil mineral called greensand (glauconite). This can have value as fertilizer. “It continues to supply sand for glass, and sand and gravel for construction,” Adewunmi says. “The sand formations are productive aquifers and important ground water reservoirs.”
To read the entire blog post, visit http://soilsmatter.wordpress.com.
Follow SSSA on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SSSA.soils, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA has soils information on www.soils.org/discover-soils, for teachers at www.soils4teachers.org, and for students through 12th grade, www.soils4kids.org.