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Read the following article from the Sandly Examiner. 

"Tomorrow night in the Sandly Secondary School auditorium, wheat farmer Alicia Johnson will give a talk about the sustainable farming methods that have helped her turn Montana farm into one of the most productive and profitable farms in the area. Johnson is a major proponent in crop rotation and cover crops, which she describes as "absolute necessities," for farming the Scobey soils of northern Montana, a brown clay loam composed of fine, uniformly sized particles that can be highly productive if supplemented with certain nutrients, particularly nitrogen. By mixing legumes such as alfalfas, peas, and clover into her crop rotation, Johnson has increased the amount of nitrogen in her fields to levels that far exceed those of neighboring fields. As an added benefit, Johnson states, her soil is less vulnerable to erosion. When asked if her talk would contain any surprises, Johnson could barely suppress a grin. "By next year," she vowed, "My farm will be 100 percent organic."


  1. Explain why the soil on Johnson's farm is less vulnerable to erosion than soils on neighboring farms.
  2. Based on the information in the article, identify two characteristics of Scobey soils, focusing on the top two soil horizons, and explain how each characteristic likely makes it difficult to grow crops in Scobey soils. Explain how crop rotation and cover crops could help a farmer overcome these difficulties.

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