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2009 Soil Survey

Soil Survey - 2009

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the lead agency responsible for the soil survey activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. NRCS conducts and coordinates the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS), which is an effort of Federal State and Local agencies, universities, professional societies and nonprofit organizations to deliver science-based soil information worldwide.

Understanding and Using the Web Soil Survey

soil health demoIn 2009, the NRCS Soil Scientists provided training in several venues.

  • Over 130 high school students received training in basic soil science and how to use the soil survey in preparation for the 2009 Envirothon.
  • A presentation on the web soil survey was provided to the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association in November 2008.
  • A basic soil course was provided to several partner agencies and organizations at the Scherman-Hoffman Sanctuary in September 2009.

Soil Health and Soil Quality

soil quality test kitIn 2009, NRCS Soil Scientists and Resource Conservationists assisted in soil health outreach projects in cooperation with the Ocean County Soil Conservation District. These projects included developing educational programs on Soil Health and assisting with the development of a Soil Health Card for Barnegat Bay.

NRCS staff also demonstrated the Soil Quality Test Kit for staff members of the Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Cumberland County. This facility was interested in using the kit for monitoring changes in their research plots and possibly as an educational tool for their outreach and educational programs.

goat in pasturePasture National Resources Inventory (NRI)

During the summer of 2009 NRCS Grazing Land Specialists, Soil Conservationists, and Soil Scientists conducted a pilot study of the Pasture NRI project, which is part of the 2009 National Resources Inventory Grazing Land On-Site Study. A total of 10 sample sites (segments) were selected, with each segment consisting of one farm operation. On each segment, two sample sites or points were located from which extensive field data was collected, including information relating to pasture plant extent, health, and variability. Soil samples were also collected to determine pasture fertility levels. This project will continue with data collection on different farms during the summer of 2010.