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Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey - Cooperators


Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey


The mission of the Cooperative Soil Survey is to provide leadership and service to produce and deliver scientifically based soils information to help society understand, value, and wisely manage natural resources. The soil survey partners in Illinois have agreed to strive to provide a soil survey of the state that is complete, current, and meets the needs of the users.


In 1992 the soil survey partnership renewed their commitment relative to completing, updating, and maintaining the soil survey of Illinois. Four new partners (Forest Service, Cooperative Extension Service, Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and Illinois Soil Classifiers Association) signed on as official cooperators.
The cooperators and their responsibilities:

United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides overall leadership for soil survey activities in the state and publishes the soil survey reports. NRCS has provided more than $47 million in funding for the soil survey effort since 1972.

University of Illinois, College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) provides expertise in soil classification, characterization and correlation. ACES also provides leadership in maintaining and disseminating soil productivity information and in providing academic training in soil science.

Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) serves as the soil surveys liaison to the Illinois General Assembly and allocates soil survey funds as appropriated. Since 1980 the State of Illinois has appropriated more than $12 million for soil survey activities.

Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) provides geologic information for soil survey activities and consultation on geomorphic studies.

Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) provides engineering test data in support of soil survey activities.

USDA Forest Service cooperates and provides leadership for soil survey efforts on national lands.

Illinois Cooperative Extension Service (CES) provides leadership and cooperates in the dissemination of information about soil surveys and their use.

Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts (AISWCD) offers support for the soil survey through information/education activities.

Illinois Soil Classifiers Association (ISCA) provides support for soil survey activities through information/education initiatives and assists in providing quality and timely technical soil service to users.

County Boards of Commissioner provides the level support needed to initiate and complete soil survey projects. More than $13 million of local monies have gone to support soil survey projects throughout the state since 1972.


When one talks about a cooperative soil survey program you don't have to look beyond Illinois to find one of the best in the nation. This year's "second generation-next generation" milestone illustrates that fact.

Through the early leadership of the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station the first soil survey of Illinois was completed in 1928 and the transition through the 1930's and 40's the "modern" era was made. The partnership began to evolve during the 1950's and 60's as NRCS (formerly SCS) assumed leadership and IDOT, ISGS, and county boards became active.

In 1980 about 50% of the state had a "modern" (second generation) soil survey. The first state appropriated funding for soil survey came in 1980. With that funding came increased support from local government and the resulting acceleration of soil mapping. The acceleration was such that the last 50% of the state was mapped in 15 years. Since 1992, 75 update (next generation) projects have been completed.

No way was this accomplishment possible without a cooperative effort!!


The philosophy that the cost of producing soil survey data should be shared between federal, state, and local partners was instrumental in achieving the "second generation" soil survey and is vital to the "next generation."
Cost share agreements date back to the 1960's with local government and to 1980 with the state. Today soil survey agreements call for a 1/3 NRCS/ 1/3 State/ 1/3 local cost share.