Unique design

An interesting pattern is expressed in the color of soybean leaves in this Iowa River floodplain field. The multi-colored pattern results primarily from a mixture of soil types that have been deposited over past centuries. Each sweeping arc shape tells of a geologic past river channel, sand bar depositions, and how flood waters from the river mixed these elements with silt. Light-colored soybean leaves depict a high percentage of sandy soil, which is more easily drained of water, thus the plants react as if in drought conditions. Dark green vegetation exists over soils with higher mixes of clay, silt and topsoil which holds soil moisture longer. This small field is near the historic Stanley Mill site where during the late 1800s and early 1900s, a man-made dam on the river created a head of water sufficient to turn a large water wheel inside the mill building. Mills at this time were a way for area farmers to get grains ground up for use by livestock. The modern-day river bridge is located one mile west of Albion.