News Release

Web Soil Survey (WSS) – Soils Information at your Finger Tip

Nationwide soils information is available free on line from the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) website called the Web Soil Survey (WSS).

In January 2014, data on the 67 South Dakota soil surveys have been updated along with the nation’s 3,265 soil survey areas.  The spatial (soil polygons) and tabular (physical and chemical properties) data for all soil survey areas are available.  Each soil survey contains a full complement of national interpretations that let users analyze interpretations nationally, regionally and in several states at one time.

You can create a custom soil survey for a specific field or county, complete with cover page and legend and print it out.  The user can layer a variety of soils information, such as vegetative production, crop productivity indexes, and soil characteristics, using GIS (Geographic Information System).  When you go to the home page, the “Find information by topic” shows a list of different tables and reports that are available. 

The newly updated NRCS soil survey program has met the demands of a changing customer base and ever changing technology.  From its roots as an inventory of agricultural lands, it has developed into a massive soil spatial and attribute database.  The NRCS is committed to delivering science-based soils information that helps people be good stewards of the Nation’s soil, water, and related natural resources.

The NRCS goal is to give customers up-to-date tools for assessing their soils information. The WSS is not just for crop production, it can also be used to determine areas for rotational grazing; by realtors for land information when acres come up for sale; by engineers when looking at soil structure for building; or whatever the data may be needed for. 

The WSS can be accessed on a computer or through a smart phone application called SoilWeb. Tutorials are available online to help navigate through the process. The website address is

For assistance on how to use the Web Soil Survey or questions, please contact your local NRCS office, or Barb Hall at the NRCS State Office at 605-352-1256, or 


- # -