Estimating Soil Texture by CEC

AGVISE now provides you more information on soil samples when you test CEC (Cation Exchange Capacity). Soil CEC and soil texture are permanent soil characteristics and are highly correlated to each other. In general, the lower the CEC of a soil, the more coarse textured or lighter the soil is. Knowing the soil texture is important information when making decisions for nitrogen management. AGVISE has examined soil test data from thousands of samples tested for both CEC and for soil texture by the hydrometer method. We found the relationship to be strong enough to use the CEC to estimate the soil texture for most soils. We are now using the CEC information to report “Estimated Soil Texture” for samples with a pH less than 7.6. Soils with a pH higher than 7.6 may have high levels of calcium carbonate, which inflates the CEC value and does not allow us to estimate the soil texture.

Estimated Texture CEC
Sands (Coarse) 0 to 10
Coarse Loams (Medium) 11 to 20
Fine Loams (Medium) 20 to 30
Clays/Clay Loams (Fine) 31+
Peat/Muck if OM >20%