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web soil survey

New Data Unveil Underground Detroit

Soils experts from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently completed a five-year project to map underground Detroit.

“Now planners, developers and others in Detroit can use our soils data to understand their soil’s ability to support green infrastructure, development and urban agriculture,” said Luis A. Hernandez with NRCS’ soil science division. “Knowing what’s under the city helps decision-makers prioritize their planning based on soil features and other specific needs to soundly achieve their land use goals.”

Soils in the Classroom: Celebrating the Discovery and Donation of a Historic Soils Collection

Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated science teacher from New Jersey, a valuable piece of soil science history is now available for viewing and research among the special collections at USDA’s National Agricultural Library (NAL) in Beltsville, Maryland.

Jill Guenther, who has taught Earth and space science for 29 years, discovered the antique soils collection tucked away in a classroom cabinet. “I knew it was something special, and I wanted to use it as a display when teaching erosion and conservation issues,” she explained.

All of Georgia's Soils Surveyed and Available Online-Contiguous States Mostly Complete

Soil scientists from across the southeastern region of the U.S. came together recently to celebrate the completion of Georgia’s soil survey. With this mapping complete, very few areas of the nation’s soils in the 48 contiguous states are not recorded.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) mapped soils information for Georgia’s 159 counties. The map data can be accessed online through NRCS’ Web Soil Survey.

Soil surveys involve studying the nature and properties of soils, mapping their location on the landscape and interpreting their unique sets of characteristics. The information found in these soil surveys was used by producers to better understand their soils, and how best to use and protect them.

Earth Team Volunteers Help USDA Soil Scientists Collect Data in Remote Minnesota

A group of dedicated volunteers helped make it possible for soil scientists with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to collect soil samples in remote parts of Minnesota.

Today kicks off National Volunteer Week, and NRCS is celebrating the hard work of Earth Team volunteers like the seven people in Minnesota who aided in the soil survey.

Earth Team volunteers, the agency’s volunteer corps, make a big difference, said Larissa Schmitt, a soil scientist with NRCS. “The volunteers’ wilderness skills were a huge time savings to the soil scientists,” she said.

The Modern Farmer and USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service

For generations, children have been singing about the farmer, his wife and kids, and even the mouse and the cheese. But today, a modern farmer is more likely to be using the mouse on his computer (or more realistically, a smartphone or tablet) than dancing around a small wooded valley with his family and farm animals.

The website of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service,, has been evolving to keep pace with the needs of today’s farmer. Our mission is to provide American farmers, ranchers and other visitors with the tools and resources they are looking for on a site that is easy to use and navigate.

At Agricultural Outlook Forum, Farmer Shows How Conservation Pays Off

Attending a no-till conference forever changed the way North Dakota farmer Mark Jennings farmed. He started using basic conservation practices for conserving moisture.

For the past decade he’s been sowing cover crops and reaping rich returns.

Working closely with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Jennings has become a devoted no-till farmer.

Web Soil Survey Update Improves Data Delivery, Customer Service

Data on soils on the nation’s 3,265 soil survey areas are now updated and available free online from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“This update is a major step-forward in meeting the growing demand for NRCS soils data,” said Dave Hoover, NRCS national leader of Soil Business Systems. “Our soil scientists in every state helped us upgrade all our software and databases, improve our spatial data, and put together a complete suite of soil interpretations and other products our customers want.”

Conservation Partners Celebrate Earth Day and the People’s Garden Initiative

At USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), we subscribe to the “Every day is Earth Day” way of thinking. Celebrating Earth Day provides us with the opportunity to underscore the significance of the work being done every day by our agency, through conservation planning and producer assistance, to benefit the soil, water, air, plants and wildlife for productive lands and healthy ecosystems.

This year, on a glorious spring day, NRCS Florida invited our conservation partners, local school children and the public to join us in celebrating Earth Day. Partner organizations, including the Hernando County Friends of Native Plants Society, NRCS Mobile Irrigation Lab, Audubon Society, the Florida Division of Forestry and many others, set up exhibits with various conservation themes at the NRCS Brooksville Plant Materials Center (PMC). Our soils division was also on hand to demonstrate the NRCS Web Soil Survey.