Soil Survey Programs overview

Soil surveys provide an on-the-ground, scientific inventory of soil resources that includes maps showing the locations and extent of soils, data about the physical and chemical properties of those soils, and information derived from that data about potentialities and problems of use on each kind of soil in sufficient detail to meet all reasonable needs for farmers, agricultural technicians, community planners, engineers and scientists in planning and transferring the findings of research and experience to specific land areas. Soil surveys provide the basic information needed to manage soil sustainability. They also provide information needed to protect water quality, wetlands and wildlife habitat. Soil surveys are the basis for predicting the behavior of a soil under alternative uses, its potential erosion hazard, potential for ground water contamination, suitability and productivity for cultivated crops, trees, and grasses. Soil surveys are important to planners, engineers, zoning commissions, tax commissioners, homeowners, developers, as well as agricultural producers. Soil surveys also provide a basis to help predict the effect of global climate change on worldwide agricultural production and other land-dependent processes. The NRCS Soil Survey Division through its world soil resources staff helps gather and interpret soil information for global use.

NRCS provides the soil surveys for the privately owned lands nationally and, through its Web Soil Survey Center, provides scientific expertise to develop and maintain a uniform system for mapping and assessing soil resources so that soil information from different locations can be shared, regardless of which agency collects it. NRCS provides most of the training in soil survey to federal agencies and assists with their soil inventories on a reimbursable basis. NRCS also develops the standards and mechanisms for providing digital soil information for the national spatial data infrastructure required by Executive Order 12906.

Myakka is Florida’s Official State Soil

The State of Florida has the largest total acreage of Aquods (wet, sandy soils with an organic-stained subsoil layer) on flatwood landforms in the nation. Myakka (pronounced My-yakah), an Indian word for Big Waters, is a native soil of Florida and does not occur in any other state. It occurs on more than 1½ million acres in Florida. It is the most extensive soil in the state. On May 22, 1989, Governor Bob Martinez signed Senate bill number 524 into law, making Myakka Florida’s Official State Soil.

Florida Soils Information

Farmland Distribution in Florida 2011

Click map to enlarge view.Important Farmland Distribution in Florida (2011)








Program Contact

Tom Weber, state soil scientist, 352-338-9535.