University of California

Soil variables for use in economic analysis


David Weeks
J. Herbert Snyder

Authors Affiliations

David Weeks was Professor of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Economist in the Experiment Station and on the Giannini Foundation, University of California, Berkeley; J. Herbert Snyder was Assistant Professor in Agricultural Economics, Junior Agricultural Economist in the Experiment Station and on the Giannini Foundation, University of California, Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 26(11):497-520. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v26n11p497. April 1957.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


As a preliminary step in evaluating the economic benefits of soil conservation practices, it has been necessary to quantify physical soil productivity in terms of a minimum number of variables. With this objective in view, this paper reports the preliminary results of a graphical analysis of functional relations between certain soil characteristics and yields of Yellow Newtown apples in the lower Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz County, California. It has been concluded that the percentage by weight of surface soil particles 5 microns or less in diameter, or the corresponding moisture equivalent, may be used as a fairly adequate representation of the more important surface soil characteristics within the research area. Factor A of the Storie soil-rating index similarly may be used to represent approximately the soil profile characteristics. Variations in these two measures and in tree age accounted for about 44 per cent of the variations in yields.

Literature Cited

Bodman G. B. Notes on soil characteristics. Syllabus KQ. 1938. Berkeley, California: Univ. California Press. 149p.

Bodman G. B. Laboratory experiments on the physical properties of soils. Syllabus IP. 1941. Berkeley, California: Univ. California Press. 40p.

Briggs L. J., McLane J. W. The moisture equivalents of soils. U. S. Dept. Agr. Bur. Soils Bul. 1907. 45:1-25.

Ezekiel M. Methods of correlation analysis. 1947. 2d ed. New York, N.Y.: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. 531p. DOI: 10.2307/3538352 [CrossRef]

Hendrickson A. H., Veihmeyer F. J. Permanent wilting percentages of soils obtained from field and laboratory trials. Plant Physiol. 1945. 20:517-539. DOI: 10.1104/pp.20.4.517 [CrossRef]

Jenny H. Factors of soil formation. 1941. Inc., New York, N.Y: McGraw-Hill Book Co. 281p. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-194111000-00009 [CrossRef]

Joseph A. F. The moisture equivalent of heavy soils. II. Jour. Agr. Sci. 1927. 17:12-20.

Middleton H. E. The moisture equivalent in relation to the mechanical analysis of soils. Soil Sci. 1920. 9:159-167. DOI: 10.1097/00010694-192002000-00006 [CrossRef]

Piper A. M. Notes on the relation between the moisture equivalent and the specific retention of water-bearing materials. Amer. Geophys. Union Trans. 1933. 14:484-485. DOI: 10.1029/TR014i001p00481 [CrossRef]

Storie R. E. Natural land divisions of Santa Cruz County, California: their utilization and adaptation. California Agr. Exp. Sta. Bul. 1940. 638:1-56.

Storie R. E. Revision of the soil-rating chart 1948. p.4. p. California Agr. Exp. Sta. (Processed.)

Storie R. E., Cole R. C., Owen B. C., Koehler L. F., Anderson A. C., Leighty W. J., Retzer J. L. Soil survey of the Santa Cruz area, California. U. S. Bur. Plant Indus., Soils, and Agr. Engin. [Soil Survey Rpt.] Ser. 1935, No. 1944. 25:1-90.

United States Department of Agriculture. Soil survey manual. Agr. Handbook. 1951. 18:1-503.

United States National Resources Planning Board. Land classification in the United States. 1941. D.C: Washington. 151p. Rpt. of the Land Committee.

United States Soil Conservation Service. Soil conservation survey guide, Pacific region 1951. Rev. ed.p.24. p. Portland, Oregon. (Processed.)

United States Soil Conservation Service. Soil conservation survey guide, Pacific region 1952. Rev. ed.p.39. p. Portland, Oregon. (Processed.)

Veihmeyer F. J. Effect of organic matter on the infiltration of water into soils. 1938. Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union: Rpt. of Committee on Physics of Soil-Moisture. p. 326-342. DOI: 10.1029/TR019i001p00326 [CrossRef]

Wohletz L. R. Soil conservation survey guide, California. 1948. Pacific region, Portland, Oregon: U. S. Soil Conserv. Serv. 19p. (Processed.)

Weeks D, Snyder J. 1957. Soil variables for use in economic analysis. Hilgardia 26(11):497-520. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v26n11p497
Webmaster Email: sjosterman@ucanr.edu