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Technical Tools

Technical Tools and Models

Animal Waste Management Software
This tool is used to size animal waste management system components such as waste storage facilities and waste treatment lagoons.  It is a Windows program and is a complete revision of an earlier DOS program of the same name.  The complete installation package along with precipitation data and a User's Guide are available for download.

Computer Tools for Conservation Decision Making
Computer models relevant to conservation decision making, sorted by main subject areas:  Business Management Tools, Economics Tools, and Natural Resources Tools.

Engineering Documents and Tools
A single place to look for engineering documents.  National Engineering Handbook parts and chapters, Engineering Field Handbook chapters, Technical Releases, Design Notes, Soil Mechanics Notes, Geology Notes, and other documents are available to view or download.

Irrigation and Water Management Tools
Handbooks and Manuals, Irrigation Science, Irrigation Components, and Models.

Manure Master Decision Support System
Designed as an interactive web tool, the use of a browser the equivalent of MS Explorer 3.xx or Netscape Navigator 3.xx is required.  This tool is used to compare the nutrient content in the animal manure produced with the amount of nutrients removed from fields where manure was applied.  The tool also permits the user to view the latest NRCS animal manure and plant data bases in table format.

Pest Management
Pesticide environmental risk analysis software and data, papers, presentations, training materials and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) links.

Selecting and Sizing Buffer Practices for the Conservation Buffer Initiative
Designed as an interactive web tool, the use of a browser the equivalent of MS Explorer 3.xx or Netscape Navigator 3.xx is required.  This tool is used to find the conservation practice that best fits the problem using buffers.  The user makes selections from a choice list and then is given another set of choices or the recommended practice.  The documentation is embedded in the tool.

SITES - Water Resources Site Analysis Program
Technical Release No. 20:  Computer Program for Project Formulation Hydrology (TR-20) is a physically based watershed scale runoff event model.  It computes direct runoff and develops hydrographs resulting from any synthetic or natural rainstorm.  Developed hydrographs are routed through stream and valley reaches as well as through reservoirs.  Hydrographs are combined from tributaries with those on the main stream stem.  Branching flow (diversions), and baseflow can also be accommodated.

  • TR-20 Beta Test.  The TR-20 computer model is being completely rewritten.  The input philosophy has changed and a windows based input editor is also available.  A Beta Test version (including programs, sample data, and documentation) can be downloaded and tested.  Any comments or problems with the Beta Test version should be reported to the TR-20 development team via e-mail to:  NRCS TR-20 Development Team.
  • NRCS contacts for SITES assistance

Soil Data Viewer
Soil Data Viewer is a tool built as an extension of ArcView that allows you to easily create soil-based thematic maps.  Soil Data Viewer shields users and applications form the complexity of the soil database and incorporates rules for appropriate use of soil data.  It provides an easy to use tool for geospatial analysis of soil information for resource assessment and management.

Soil Quality Test Kit - For On-Farm Assessment
The kit can be used by anyone for semi-quantitative assessments of soil quality and education on soil quality.  It can be used to demonstrate or evaluate the effects of various agricultural management systems on soil quality.  Originally developed by the Agricultural Research Service (Sarrantonio et al., 1996), the NRCS Soil Quality Institute has adapted the kit for general use by adding a user-friendly instruction manual, and developing an interpretative guide of results for primarily agricultural land uses.  Tests have also been added for aggregate stability, earthworms, soil stability, and selected soil morphological observations.

STATSGO Soils Browser
The State Soil Geographic (STATSGO) Database Browser is a menu-based tool that provides access to the Natural Resources Conservation Service's STATSGO soils database and associated mapping units.  This tool uses Arc/Info� software to map and organize features of the database for all 50 states and Puerto Rico.  The Browser written in the Arc macro language, takes advantage of Arc/Info's menu and display capabilities to map and graph geographic summaries of queries to the data.

TR-55, Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds
Technical Release 55 (TR-55) presents simplified procedures to calculate storm runoff volume, peak rate of discharge, hydrographs, and storage volumes required for floodwater reservoirs.  These procedures are applicable in small watersheds, especially urbanizing watersheds, in the United States.  Limits:  NRCS type distributions, 24-hour duration rainfall, 10 subwatersheds, minimum 0.1 hour and maximum 10-hour time of concentration.

Web-based expert system, using a series of rules to query soils, climate and plant databases, to match adapted plants with specific site conditions.