The 1982 NRI was the last inventory for which on-site data was collected nationwide for every sample segment and all segment points. To meet a variety of expanding information needs and address NRI program quality assurance standards, the Annual NRI process will incorporate annual on-site data collections covering selected NRI rural land categories.
Rangeland A special Rangeland NRI Field Study, requiring on-site data collection on 650 segments, was initiated in 2003 in selected western states. The NRI rangeland sampling protocols include vegetation production, cover, height, invasive and noxious weed encroachment, rangeland health attributes, disturbances and conservation needs. Missouri does not have any rangeland on-site sample points.
Pastureland Pastureland ecology is significantly different from rangeland and was not included in the Rangeland NRI Field Study. NRCS grazing land specialists have developed a set of field sampling protocols for use in a pastureland inventory. A pilot study, utilizing the draft pastureland protocols, was completed in 2008. Five states were selected to participate in the initial pilot: Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri and Pennsylvania. Each state collected data for ten segments/points. Additional states were added to a second pilot in 2009. Data collection protocols cover plant productivity, cover and composition; invasive and noxious weeds; hydrology and erosion; pastureland condition; conservation practices and needs; disturbance indicators; soil fertility and nutrients. The NRI Rangeland Field Study and the NRI Pastureland Study have been merged into the NRI Grazing Land On-Site Study for 2010 data collection.