Field Soil Texture Grades
Updated: 26 February 2003 (layout changes only)
Texture Grade * Characteristics of soil grade / type
Sand Little or no coherence when wet, course, medium or fine grades depending on size of grains. Less than 5% clay is usually contained.
Loamy sand Slight coherence. Soil containing sand grains of medium size and around 5% clay.
Clayey sand Slight coherence, sticky when wet, contains 5-10% clay.
Sandy loam Coherent when wet, still sandy to touch, contains 10-20% clay.
Loam Coherent and spongy when wet, with no obvious 'silky' or sandy feel. Contains about 25% clay.
Silty loam Coherent and smooth to touch, almost 'silky'. Contains 25% clay or more.
Sandy clay loam Strongly coherent bolus which is sandy to touch. Contains 20-30% clay.
Clay loam Coherent and 'plastic' bolus. Smooth texture when manipulated. Contains 30-35% clay.
Clay loam, sandy Same as Clay loam only containing visible sand grains.
Silty clay loam Same as Clay loam, except that Silty clay loam has a silky feel when manipulated.
Light clay Plastic and smooth to touch when wet. Has slight resists shearing and contains 35-40% clay.
Light medium clay Same as Light clay however it contains 40=45% clay and has slight to moderate resistance to shearing or manipulating.
Medium clay Wet bolus handles like plasticine. Can be moulded into rods without fracturing. Moderate resistance to shearing between thumb and fore-finger. 45-55% clay.
Medium heavy clay Same as Medium clay, however it has moderate to firm resistance to shearing and contains 50% or more clay.
Heavy clay Same as Medium clay but has firm resistance to shearing and contains 50% or more clay.
* Sections of texture grades written in italics signify the suggested soil classification of this texture grade in the Soil Diagnostic Chart.

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