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Department of Agronomy

Department of Agronomy
Kansas State University
2004 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506-0110

Ph: +1-785-532-6101
Fx: +1-785-532-6094


In the Parent Material section of the Handbook, how do we tell the difference between Eolian Loam and Loess?

The Parent Material section of the Handbook provides a good description of the characteristics that will be used to differentiate eolian loam and loess. I would add that the loess in the contest area tends to have <25% sand, approximately. The % sand in eolian loam is quite a bit higher.

Do you recognize Cd horizons in the contest area?

We have Permian mudstones and shales in the contest area that have traditionally been described with a Cr designation, sometimes with the addition of suffix k and/or t (Yes, we can have Crkt). Some people have suggested that our Cr horizons should be designated Cd horizons because material from the material will mostly slake in water, although it could take several days of soaking. Our experience is that these mudstones and shales are at least partly cemented with carbonates. When you see these materials in the field, we are curious about your opinion and whether you would designate them as Cr or Cd. It is not a big deal anyway because paralithic and densic contacts are both root limiting layers. For this contest, we decided to make this an easy decision. We will not use the suffix d on the contest, and densic contact is not on the scorecard.

RMF Conc box on the scorecard: This includes what in the old days we would call high chroma mottles, right?

Judgers should check Yes or Y in the box for RMF Conc if pedogenic accumulations of Fe and Mn occur. Such accumulations would include what would be called high chroma mottles in the old days. However, it would also include Fe and Mn nodules and concentrations and pore linings of Fe and Mn.

RMF Depl box on the scorecard: This includes what in the old days we would call low chroma mottles, from poor drainage, right?

Judgers should check Yes or Y in the box for RMF Depl when zones of chroma 2 or less and normally values of 4 or more are present when either Fe-Mn oxides alone or Fe-Mn oxides and clays have been removed by eluviation. This does not exactly fit what we would have called low chroma mottles in the old days.

I see you assume a blank box on the scorecard is the same as “none,” “no,” or “-“. In our region a blank box that needs a response, but doesn’t have one, is wrong, no matter what, that makes it easier to grade. Also your rules are not consistent, occasionally you require a response, in other places in the rule book you say no response is OK. I think requiring a response is what I would suggest, and a minor change to what you have currently.

We want this to be a positive educational experience for all participants. We will try to avoid enforcing rules that could be considered as “picky” rules. We have indicated in those sections of the handbook where we would prefer a “no”, “none”, and/or “-“ response for a box on the scorecard. Hence, there may be some differences as to what we prefer for a negative response in different sections of the scorecard. In my opinion, a blank is a negative response, although it might not be the response that we would prefer. As long as the answer is not ambiguous, we will give the judger the benefit of the doubt and will count “N”, “no”, “none”, “-“, or a blank box correct.

Can you explain a little more background on "clayey sediments" being listed as a parent material in the soil survey?

The term “clayey sediments” is sometimes used in older soil survey reports from the Bluestem Hills in association with paleosols when the exact parent material source of the sediments was not known. We will not use this term during the contest.

Can you give an explanation of where you expect footslope to be used as a landform?

In the Bluestem Hills, we sometimes have a prominent, elongated footslope at the base of a hillslope. This landform will be shown at one or more practice sites. These elongated footslopes may have formed due to solifluction under periglacial conditions during the Late Wisconsin. Colluvium/pedisediment will be the parent material for this landform. Unless a situation develops that we do not anticipate, the selection of footslope as a landform will accompany the selection of footslope as a hillslope profile position.

In the hydraulic conductivity section, it is stated that "When a natric horizon or dense parent material occurs at or above the specified judging depth, they should also be considered when evaluating the hydraulic conductivity of the limiting layer." However, it is not stated how a natric horizon or dense PM influences hydraulic conductivity. Unlike with a lithic or paralithic contact, Table 10 does not specify how to treat a natric horizon or dense PM, if present.

We will edit the hydraulic conductivity section to state “The presence of a natric horizon at or above the specified judging depth will move the hydraulic conductivity class to the next lower class.” The dense parent material situation will not occur, so we are removing that possibility from the discussion. These changes will be made in the next version of the handbook. They will not cause any editing of Table 10.

Regarding Table 10, it is specified in several places that hydraulic conductivity class is influenced by the organic matter content of the soil, referencing "high" or "moderate" or "low" organic matter content. However, the thresholds for these three classes are not specified. Similarly, the Moderately Low HC class refers to "high clay content" but does not specify how much clay is considered "high". Finally, because the posted site information will report organic carbon instead of organic matter, would it be more appropriate to describe these HC classes relative to organic carbon content instead of organic matter content?

These general descriptions of hydraulic conductivity have been in the handbook used in Region 5 for many years. The descriptions are meant to be general enough to be used in the range of soil properties that are often experienced in Region 5 that extends from the Ozarks in Missouri to the Wisconsin till plain in Minnesota. We think it is a better learning experience for students if they see how the official judges handle these situations. Then, they can use their best judgement and make their own interpretations about organic matter and clay contents. We do not want to define arbitrary class limits based on organic carbon and clay contents. Hence, unless you all want to throw rocks at us for not being specific enough, we are not going to change the general descriptions of the hydraulic conductivity classes. Instead, we will add site notes explaining the reasons when the official judges make adjustments in the hydraulic conductivity class because of clay or organic matter contents or shrink-swell potential.

On page 17, assessment of the depth to root restricting layer is described. However, on the scorecard this is labeled effective soil depth.

We consider these two terms to be the same. However, for consistency in the discussion, we will edit the handbook to change the section title from “Depth to Root Restricting Layer” to “Effective Soil Depth.” This will match with the title of the box on the scorecard.

Regarding the description of Table 11, it is stated that "If the profile is not visible to a depth of 150 cm, or if you are requested to describe a soil only to a shallower depth, then you may assume that the conditions present in the last horizon described extend to 150 cm." While it would be highly unlikely, what if the pit is 160 cm deep, the depth of description is 110 cm, and there is observable bedrock at 130 cm? Would the visible root restrictive layer be ignored because it is below the depth of description?

For the scenario mentioned above, we would have made sure that the depth of description included the observable bedrock. For example, we would have given the profile depth as 135 cm (not 110 cm), and we would instruct the pit monitor to make sure that all judgers could see that bedrock was exposed within the profile depth. We should also mention that the depth to bedrock can be quite variable within the pit. For the individually judged sites, there can be much variation between depth to bedrock from one control section to the other. We will make sure that each profile has the same number of horizons to describe so that each profile has the same number of points possible. Judgers should take the depth measurements from the tape measure anchored to the pit face within the control area.

In Table 21, when assessing soil limitations for septic tank effluent treatment areas, the first of the criteria is average hydraulic conductivity between 60 and 180 cm. How do you average two (or more) HC classes? For example if a portion of the specified depth is ML and a portion is L, would this rate as "Suitable" or "Unsuitable"?

This question caused us to find a typo in Table 21. The first criteria should be based on an average hydraulic conductivity between 45 (not 60) and 180 cm. This will be corrected in the next version of the handbook. If it becomes necessary to make this calculation, we would calculate weighted-average contents for % sand and % clay to determine an “average” hydraulic conductivity class between 45 and 180 cm.

The Ivan series is listed as a representative soil for the contest area, but it is classified as a Udoll. How do you plan to deal with that with the current scorecard?

Soil surveys in the contest area have soils correlated from both the ustic and udic soil moisture regimes. The contest area is on the transition from the udic to the ustic moisture regime. In general, soils series (mostly soils on floodplains and terraces and soils formed from glacial till) correlated that are mostly mapped to the east of the contest area were correlated with a udic moisture regime whereas other soils were classified with an ustic moisture regime. Since the contest area is borderline for the moisture regime, we decided to simplify the determination of moisture regime. For this contest, the soil moisture regime is ustic unless the soil has aquic conditions, in which case the soil moisture regime is aquic. Hence, if we had a soil like Ivan, we would classify it as an Ustoll.

If redox concentrations are present, would they be identified as such and also recognized as Fe-Mn matrix concentrations?

Redox concentrations would be recognized with a Y in the Redox Conc. column and with an FE-MN in the Matrix Conc. column.

In reading the guidebook regarding team judging, it appears that at each of the two group sites, there will be duplicate pits? Otherwise, as I calculate, 30 minutes alone for each team at each site would require a minimum of 11 or 12 hours for the group judging, and I am sure your schedule does not include this for Friday.

We will have duplicate pits for each team-judged contest site or else we will have a large pit with two control sections that will allow two teams to be in the pit at the same time. If two control sections per pit are used, each team will be responsible for making sure that the other team will not be able to hear their discussions. The timing schedule that is currently in the handbook is what we currently use in Region 5. Obviously, it will have to be modified for a contest with 23 teams. Jim Thompson sent me a rotation scheme for group judging that will be used for this contest. It has been used for several national contests and will accommodate 24 teams. Since we have 23 teams, it will work for us to use this scheme. This scheme has two teams sharing a control section at a given time. It allows 50 minutes total for each pit with a 10-minute time period between site rotations. Within each 50-minute judging session, we will have a rotation of 10 in/out, 10 out/in, 10 in/out, 10 out/in, and 10 free time. During the 10 minutes each team is in the pit, there will be no limit on the number of judgers allowed. They will be allowed to enter and exit the pit as they wish during their time allotted in the pit. During the free time, any judger can enter or exit the pit but only three per team will be allowed in the pit at one time in order to avoid crowding of the other team that will be sharing the pit/control section. I will make this change to the handbook and will post a new version of the handbook soon. Also, we will post the spreadsheet showing the proposed rotation scheme.

In Table 23, Criteria for Evaluating Soil Limitations for Dwellings Without Basements, how would an average for rocks > 7.5 cm in diameter be determined? Also, I assume you do not go below a bedrock contact?

If necessary, we will calculate the weighted-average content of rocks > 7.5 cm in diameter from the soil surface to a depth of 100 cm. If an R or Cr horizon occurred at a depth < 100 cm, we would make the calculation to the top of the R or Cr horizon. Please note that in most cases, the occurrence of an R or Cr at a depth < 100 cm would cause a more restrictive limitation than that caused by the rock content.

In Table 21, Criteria for Evaluating Soil Limitations for Septic Tank Effluent Treatment Areas, how is the coarse fragment content in the 45 – 105 cm depth evaluated?

If necessary, the weighted average content of coarse fragments from 45 – 105 cm would be used.

In regard to the Official Series Description for Wymore, there are redox concentrations in the Bt2 (43 – 64 cm) horizon and in horizons below. The matrix color of the Bt2 is 10YR 4/2. Would it be considered to have aquic conditions within 50 cm? Wymore is also listed as moderately well drained. Do the redox concentrations allow us to interpret the colors (value of 4 or more and chroma 2 or less) as redox depleted areas? Would they be described as redox depletions?

Most of the soils in the contest area that are mapped as Wymore would be better drained than the soil at the type location for Wymore. Both Udolls and Ustolls are correlated in the contest area. For this contest, the moisture regime will be ustic unless aquic conditions occur. Wymore is correlated as a Udoll. Typically, the soils mapped as Wymore in the contest area will have a matrix chroma ≥ 3 in the upper part of the Bt and to a depth of at least 50 cm. In addition, for this contest, we would not interpret the morphology of the soil at the type location to have aquic conditions. Please note that this soil has dark colors due to the organic matter content. We would not interpret the chroma 2 matrix color in the Bt2 horizon as redox depletions.

Also, two Wymore soils were used as practice sites for a previous regional contest. We plan on using both as practice sites this year, although they may be moved slightly. These two soils were previously described by the official judges with either a chroma 3 matrix or else with a chroma 2 matrix without RMF concentrations in the upper part of the Bt. Both soils were listed by the official judges as Wetness Class 3.

If a site occurred within a drainageway, what would be the Hillslope Profile Position?

To answer this question, we need to consider first how we are interpreting the landform for a drainageway. We do have landforms in the contest area that could be described as upland drainageways. This landform would occur along a small, intermittent stream. We considered putting an additional landform on the scorecard for this landform that would have been listed as “upland drainageway.” However, we thought it would add too much complexity for the judgers, and we would have difficulty explaining to them how this landform would be separated from a small floodplain. In addition, we have upland drainageways in the contest area where a very small stream valley is filled with colluvium without a noticeable floodplain. For the landform where a small floodplain with alluvium occurs, judgers should check Floodplain as the landform. If the small valley is filled with colluvium without a noticeable floodplain, Footslope should be checked for the landform.

Now, to get to the question of Hillslope Profile Position for the upland drainageways in the contest area. If Floodplain is checked for the landform, the Hillslope Profile Position will be Toeslope. If Footslope is checked for the landform, the Hillslope Profile Position will be Footslope. The upland drainageways in the contest area will not have a floodplain that would be extensive enough to select None (gradient <2%) for the Hillslope Profile Position.

In the bottom of an upland depression, will the Hillslope Profile Position be Toeslope or None (gradient <2%)?

The depressions that occur in the contest area tend to be small and are often filled with colluvium. To avoid controversy, we will give credit for either Toeslope or Footslope for the bottom of these small depressions. The bottoms are not of large enough extent to select None (gradient <2%). It is also possible for these upland depressions to have a backslope and a footslope component along the hillslope grading into the depression.

If Stream Terrace is checked for the Landform, do we mark None (gradient <2%) even if the Hillslope Profile Position is a summit (slopes down on all sides of the terrace)?

Most of the terraces that occur in the contest area are well defined and will be extensive enough to select None (gradient <2%). If the terrace has limited extent with a slope >2%, the Hillslope Profile Position that is the most appropriate should be checked.

There are a few redundancies on the scorecard. For example, marking a “k” under horizon subscript and then marking “K” under Matrix Concentrations while using the same criteria. What is the meaning for this?

We do not view this as a redundancy because these are separate determinations. The horizon subscript k should be used when appropriate according to the definition found in Chapter 18 of the 2014 Keys to Soil Taxonomy. K should be marked as a Matrix Concentration whenever matrix accumulations of calcium carbonate occurs. Please note to follow this same procedure for a y horizon subscript and a Y matrix accumulation of gypsum. We have soil horizons in the contest area that may have matrix accumulations of both calcium carbonate and gypsum.

I am assuming that marking a Y for RMF Concentrations does not automatically require listing FE-MN under Matrix Concentrations?

No, this is not our intent. If a Y is marked for RMF, the type of Matrix Concentration must also be given. Soils occur in the contest area that have multiple Matrix Concentrations in the same horizon. For example, we have soil horizons where Fe-Mn matrix accumulations occur with calcium carbonate accumulations. In this case, Y should be marked for RMF, and FE-MN and K should be marked under Matrix Concentration. 1 point would be awarded for the FE-MN and 1 point for the K.

Is there ever a time when you would put a k, y, or z on the horizon name but not list them under Matrix Concentrations?

We intend for the students to make two separate decisions in regard to the horizon suffix symbol k, y, or z and the type of Matrix Concentration. In our professional work, those two decisions are not linked. For example, it is possible to have a horizon with disseminated pedogenic carbonate in which the Bk designation should be used. However, the disseminated carbonate would not be considered as a concentration of pedogenic carbonate that occurs in the matrix. Also, coatings of pedogenic carbonate can occur along peds. These features are ped coatings and not concentrations occurring in the matrix. It is up to the coaches to decide how they want to teach this to students. If coaches teach their students to link them, this would be correct most of the time for the soils in the contest area. However, these two decisions will be made separately and not linked by the official judges.

Is there ever a time when you would mark Y for redox concentrations but not put FE-MN under Matrix Concentrations?

We also intend for the students to make two separate decisions in regard to marking a Y (yes) for RMF concentrations and for marking FE-MN as a Matrix Concentration. Please note that RMF concentrations can include pore linings or ped coatings of Fe and/or Mn. These features are coatings (cutans) and not concentrations that occur in the matrix. In this case, if no other forms of RMF concentrations were present, we would mark Y for RMF concentrations and mark a "-" for matrix concentrations. Again, coaches can decide how to teach this to their students. If coaches teach their students to link these two decisions, this would give the correct answer most of the time for the soils in the contest area. However, the official judges will make two separate decisions.

John Galbraith has suggested the following change to the first two sentences in the first paragraph describing Matrix Concentrations on page 15 of the handbook:

"Identify the type of visible pedogenicconcentrations, if present, that occur in the soil matrix (including soft, non-cemented masses or other bodies; excluding soft rock fragments) for each horizon. Concentrationsthat occur as pore linings, ped surface coatings, films, or finely disseminated forms are not to be described in this section, but should be considered when naming horizons."

The suggested changes are bolded and underlined. These changes should clarify what will not be considered as matrix concentrations. The changes will be included in the next revisions of the handbook.

What is your interpretation on carbonate 'masses', do you consider them significant for pedogenesis (B vs C horizon nomenclature)?

We generally do not have carbonate masses in the contest area. The carbonate forms in the contest area typically include nodules, ped coatings, and/or filaments (which are probably ped coatings). We believe these forms are pedogenic. The soils exhibiting these features in the contest area usually have soil structure. We generally would describe these horizons as some type of a Bk such as a Btk, Bkss, Bk, etc. Also, we do have Cr horizons with pedogenic carbonate forms. These will be described as Crk or Crtk.

Do you recommend we bring M HCl to test for carbonates? We are driving so this is not an issue, but people flying might have some issue with the TSA. We judged at Texas Tech some years ago, and the hosts provided us 1/2 a liter of it at check-in.

Frequent use of 10% HCl will be required. We will supply everyone who needs it with at least a 500 mL bottle when they check in on Saturday night. Refills will be available. However, everyone will need to bring their own empty dropper bottles for their judgers.

How common is gypsum accumulation in this area? Are there series that have "y" suffixes mapped in the area? (I didn’t find any in the OSD's).

We didn’t recognize gypsum accumulation in the contest area until we started soil micromorphology for research projects. Gypsum tends to occur in association with pedogenic carbonate in soils in the contest area that also have elevated Na contents. It is difficult to recognize the gypsum in field examination, except it occurs as white accumulations that do not react with 10% HCl. Gypsum commonly occurs in soils with a parent material sequence of loess over colluvium over residuum. Dwight and Konza often contain gypsum accumulations. We have posted a guidebook for a field trip to the Rannells Prairie on the website. The Konza pedon in the guidebook contains gypsum, and the horizon nomenclature includes a y suffix. We will post % gypsum for any soil horizon where gypsum occurs and if the gypsum content is needed for classification purposes.

"k" horizons seem pretty common, but according to the NRCS OSD site, there are no Calciustolls or Calciudolls mapped in either MLRA. What part of the "calcic" definition in the Taxonomy is usually NOT met in these Bk's (>15% CCE or one of the following: >5% more CaCO3 compared to C horizon, OR >5% pedogenic carbonates)?  (for example: Benefield).

We will post CCE for soils where the data are needed for classification. In most cases, the soils in the contest area, which have a k designation, will not have the 15% CCE required for a calcic horizon. Many of the soils in the contest area will have >5% pedogenic carbonate accumulations. Hence, we use a k designation, but the classification for a calcic is not met. We could find inclusions in a mapping unit of a soil like Clime that could make the criteria to classify with a calcic horizon.

Many BC horizons underneath argillics would qualify as cambics, but there is no point in recognizing them. Also, we may find a Bw horizon that qualifies for cambic above a Bk horizon that qualifies for calcic. Should we mark cambic if it is not the diagnostic horizon that determines class placement?

Although it is open to interpretation, the intent of Keys to Soil Taxonomy is probably to not recognize a cambic if it occurs above or below another diagnostic horizon. For this contest, we will not mark cambic if a horizon with cambic properties occurs above or below an argillic or calcic horizon.

In the simplified classification keys in the handbook, Albolls are not required to have aquic conditions. Isn’t aquic conditions within 100 cm of the soil surface a requirement for Albolls?

Yes, aquic conditions within 100 cm is a requirement, but it is typically not an issue for soils in the contest area. However, this criterion will be added to the simplified keys in the next version of the handbook.

Will the students be told if the site floods, and will a frequency be given? Or will it be obvious?

If a site is subject to occasional or frequent flooding, we will provide that information. Otherwise, the students should assume that a site is not subject to flooding.

Yes, we have low terraces that are subject to occasional flooding.

Are the disseminated carbonates visible with a hand lens?

Yes, disseminated carbonates in the contest area are visible with a hand lens.

If a Cr horizon is cemented by finely disseminated carbonates, with no visible coatings or masses in the horizon, are those carbonates considered pedogenic?

In the contest area, the Cr (or Crk) horizons that contain carbonates will exhibit carbonate nodules, masses, and threads (films) of carbonate between mudstone layers that are clearly visible. Cr horizons with no visible coatings or masses of carbonates do not occur in the contest area. At least one practice pit will provide an excellent example of pedogenic carbonate forms that occur in Cr or Crk horizons in the contest area. We will assign a horizon nomenclature of Crk for a Cr horizon with visible pedogenic carbonate.

If a C horizon [parent material] has finely disseminated carbonates, with no visible coatings or masses in the horizon, are those carbonates considered pedogenic?

C horizons with finely disseminated carbonates and no visible coatings or masses of carbonates do not occur in the contest area.

I believe the FAQs say that if a soil has measureable gypsum content, that data will be given. But for carbonates, it will be given if needed for classification. Could there be a soil where there are detectible or visible carbonates but where no lab data will be given?

If a soil horizon has measureable gypsum content, we will provide % gyspum because of the difficulty in identifying the gypsum and distinguishing it from pedogenic carbonate. Some soil horizons in the contest area will have pedogenic carbonates, but the soil matrix is non-calcareous, and the quantity of pedogenic carbonate is low enough so that it is obvious that the CCE is less than 15%. CCE data will be given only if the official judges believe that the data are needed for classification.

In a related question, if lab data reveals any measureable content > 1%) of gypsum or carbonates or sodium in an A or B horizon [more than a C horizon if one exists], is that enough to warrant use of the lowercase letters for naming the horizon?

Since gypsum will be difficult for the judgers to identify and separate from pedogenic carbonate accumulations, we will designate any horizon in which the gypsum content is reported with the suffix y. We tend to put a k on any horizon with visible pedogenic carbonate. Many soils in the contest area will have measureable amounts of Na. We will provide SAR data only if needed for soil classification. We tend not to use the n suffix unless the SAR is approaching 13, and the soil morphology is typical for a natric horizon.

In the keys that you provided us, for definition 4.b. under Diagnostic Subsurface Horizons or Features, could I assume that finely disseminated lime could be added to the list if we think it is pedogenic in nature?

Finely disseminated carbonates are more or less similar to soft powdery forms of carbonate, which are included in the list. For clarity, we would consider finely disseminated carbonates as a pedogenic form of carbonate.

In the keys that you provided us, for definition 9.a. under Diagnostic Subsurface Horizons or Features, if we substitute the phrase “of the overlying horizon for the word “epipedon,” will that retain the rule as you intended?

Yes, “of the overlying horizon” could be substituted for “epipedon.” However, at this point, we will not change the classification keys.

Table 23. What is the limitation being referred to in the criteria “Texture of most limiting horizon”? Is it the most limiting for subsurface hydraulic conductivity, or does it refer to the texture of any horizon that occurs within the 25-100cm depth range?

It refers to the texture of any horizon that occurs with the depth range of 25 to 100 cm.

If we encounter a strongly contrasting class within the control section (upper boundary of argillic to 100 cm), is there only one particle-size choice "loamy-skeletal over clayey" or should we be marking a #1 PSC and a #2 PSC with other combinations?

The only possible strongly contrasting particle size class that occurs in the contest area is loamy-skeletal over clayey.

Looking at resources on the website, do you anticipate any further updates to the scorecard or handbook? If they are finalized, I will proceed with making sufficient copies for the practice pits.

There will be no further updates. The latest versions posted will be the final version. Version 3.0 is the final version of the handbook, and version 1.1 is the final version of the scorecard.

You indicated that you would provide 10% HCl for those who need it. Do you want teams to notify you in advance if they will need HCl? While we are not flying, I would prefer to not travel with a bottle of acid. If possible, I would like to request a bottle of HCl when we check in on Saturday evening.

We will have plenty of acid and 500 mL acid bottles. I will have these available when you all check in on Saturday evening. You will need to bring your own empty squirt bottles.

Regarding Table 21 in the Handbook, you previously explained that the average HC between 45 and 180 cm is based on the weighted average sand and clay percentages, which would yield an "average" texture class to yield an "average" HC class. What is the procedure if an R or Cr horizon is present within 180 cm, particularly if it is deeper than 105 cm such that the depth to bedrock does not make the rating "unsuitable"?

After judging 16 practice sites, we have decided it is impractical and too tedious for the judgers to calculate a weighted average. Instead, we will base the determination on the most restrictive layer between 45 and 180 cm. If an R or Cr occurs within that depth, the hydraulic conductivity would be very low. Please note that this procedure will be used for all practice and contest sites. It is different than what is written in the handbook, but it is too late to make changes to the handbook at this point. For the practice sites, the judges have written a note for the reason for the suitability rating.

If a Cr horizon is cemented by finely disseminated carbonates, with no visible coatings or masses in the horizon, are those carbonates considered pedogenic?

This question was asked previously. However, we are going to give a different answer following the judging of the practice sites. In the previous answer, we indicated that Cr horizons with no visible coatings or masses of carbonate do not occur in the contest area. Most of the Cr horizons in the contest area have clearly visible pedogenic carbonate forms such as nodules, masses, and threads. Such horizons will be designated Crk. In rare situations in the contest area, Cr horizons can occur that lack visible forms of pedogenic carbonate. We will designate such horizons as Cr.