Community A - L: Soil Associations
By drawing lines around the different patterns of soils on a small map, one may obtain a map of the general soil areas, or, as they are more frequently called, soil associations. Such a map is useful to give a general idea of the soils, or to compare different parts of the county, or to locate large areas suitable for some particular kind of agriculture or other broad land use. The nine general soil areas, or kinds of soil patterns, in Montcalm County are shown in colors on the General Soil Map (see the map are of this website). Each of the areas shown on that map are described in the following numbered paragraphs.

Soil Associations in Montcalm County
1. Nester-Kawkawlin Association (Perrinton, Ithaca): This soil association consists mainly of light-colored Gray Wooded soils that were formed from loam, clay loam or silty clay loam parent material. These soils are level to strongly sloping and moderately well drained to imperfectly drained. They are used on many farms for dairy and general farming; wheat is grown as a cash crop. The Nester and Kawkawlin soils are the dominant soils in this association; Sims soils make up about 10 percent of the acreage.

2. McBride-Isabella-Newaygo Association (Remus, Tekenink, Fox): This soil association consists of light-colored Podzols formed from sandy loam to sandy clay loam parent material; the Newaygo soils are underlain by stratified gravel and sand. The soils in the association are nearly level to sloping and well drained to moderately well drained. They are used for dairy and general farming. Many farms grow potatoes as a cash crop. McBride, Isabella and Newaygo soils make up a large part of this association.

3. Montcalm-McBride Association (Spinks, Remus): This soil association consists mainly of light-clored Podzols that were formed from loamy sand to sandy loam parent material. They are nearly level to sloping and well drained to moderately well drained. They are used for dairy and general farming; potatoes are grown as a cash crop on many farms. The Montcalm and McBride soils are the dominant soils in this association.

4. Montcalm-Mancelona Association (Spinks, Mecosta): This soil association consists mainly of light-colored, coarse-textured Podzols that were formed from loamy sand or from sand to gravel. They are moderately to strongly sloping and well drained to moderately well drained. They are used for dairy and general farming. A large acreage is in permanent pasture, and there is a considerable amount of second-growth forest. The Montcalm and Mancelona soils are the dominant soils in this association; Grayling soils make up less than 10 percent of the acreage.

5. Grayling Association (Plainfield): This soil association consists of light-colored, coarse-textured Podzols that were formed from sand parent material. These soils are nearly level to strongly sloping and well drained to moderately well drained. The association is used mostly for forestry and recreational purposes. Much of it has been planted to pines, and there are several large lakes. The principal soils are the Grayling, but Mancelona and Montcalm soils make up part of the acreage.

6. Coral and McBride Association (Locke and Remus): This soil association consists mainly of moderately light colored to light colored Podzols. These soils were formed from sandy loam parent material and are level to gently sloping. Most of the acreage is imperfectly drained to moderately well drained. The association is used for dairy and general farming. A considerable acreage is in permanent pasture, and some is in second-growth forest. The principal soils in this association are in the Coral and McBride series.

7. Melita-Iosco-Kawkawlin Association (Plainfield, Wixom, Ithaca): This soil association consists mainly of sands that are 18 to 66 inches thick over clay loam to silty clay loam and of Gray Wooded soils that were formed from clay loam to silty clay loam parent material. The sands, which are Podzols, are moderately well drained t0 imperfectly drained. The Gray wooded soils are imperfectly drained. Relief is nearly level to gently sloping. The association is used for dairy and general farming. Much of it is in permanent pasture and some is in second-growth forest. The principal soils are the Melita, Iosco and Kawkawlin.

8. Mancelona-Gladwin-Epoufette Association (Mecosta, Wasepi, Gilford): This soil association consists mainly of light- to dark-colored, coarse-textured Podzols and Humic Gleys that developed on stratified sand and gravel. Organic soils make up from 10 to 20 percent of the acreage. The topography is nearly level to gently sloping. The association is used for general pasture and second-growth forest. The Mancelona, Gladwin, and Epoufette are the main soils in the association.

9. Rifle-Epoufette-Roscommon Association (Boots-Wasepi-Kingsville): This soil association consists of organic soils that were formed from woody and fibrous parent material and from coarse- and medium-textured mineral soils. The soils are nearly level and poorly drained to very poorly drained. Large areas are in permanent pasture or second-growth forest. The cleared and drained areas are used for truck crops, onions and field crops. The principal soils are the Rifle, Epoufette and Roscommon.