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Soil Survey in 2010

field kit for field investigation of soil characteristicsSoil Survey 2010

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 Soils Information and the Web Soil Survey

In 2010, the NRCS Soil Scientists provided training in several venues.

  • Assisted the New Jersey NRCS resources staff with training for soil conservationists at the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area in May 2010.
  • Provided training on basic soil science to New Jersey soil conservation district employees in May 2010.
  • Provided training in basic soil science and how to use the soil survey to over 130 high school students in preparation for the 2010 Envirothon in March and April 2010.
  • Provided presentations on the Web Soil Survey to students at Cook College in February and October 2010.
Soil Health and Soil Quality

In 2010, 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 consisting of two soil health conferences that were held in March and November 2010.

horse in pasturePasture National Resources Inventory (NRI)

During the summer of 2010 NRCS Grazing Land Specialists, Soil Conservationists, and Soil Scientists conducted a study of the Pasture NRI project, which is part of the 2010 National Resources Inventory Grazing Land On-Site Study. A total of 6 preselected sites (called “segments”) were sampled in 2010, 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 2011.

National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS)

Soil Scientists survey the soilIn 2010 Soil Scientists from the MLRA 12-6 Soil Survey Office in Tolland, Connecticut conducted fieldwork in Hudson County, New Jersey for the purpose of completing the Initial Soil Survey of Hudson County. Fieldwork was conducted at Liberty State Park in June 2010 and consisted of describing and collecting laboratory samples for several anthropogenic (man-made) soils that were identified within the park. Remote sensing equipment in the form of ground penetrating radar (GPR) and electromagnetic induction (EMI) were used to investigate parts of Liberty State Park where excavation was not permitted. Fieldwork activities were also conducted in many of the county parks and open space areas located throughout Hudson County during the months of July and October 2010.

Hudson County is the only county in New Jersey that does not have a modern soil survey. Once finished, the initial soil survey of Hudson County will help complete the digital dataset for New Jersey on the Web Soil Survey and Soil Data Mart websites, making soil survey data available for all 21 counties in New Jersey.

 

Contact: Ronnie Taylor, USDA-NRCS, State Soil Scientist, NJ, 732-537-6061