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Soils

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), in cooperation with its partners, has the leadership role for conducting soil surveys on private lands across the country. The Massachusetts NRCS soils program is responsible for providing technical soil services—assisting government agencies and private citizens in understanding and applying soil information for the state of Massachusetts.

NRCS is also a leader in improving the health of our nation's soil. A growing number of America’s farmers are using soil health management systems to improve the health and function of their soil—and we’re working hand-in-hand with these producers through our technical and financial assistance programs and services to help ensure their success.

What is Soil?

Soil is a living, dynamic resource that supports plant life. It is made up of different size mineral particles (sand, silt, and clay), organic matter, and numerous species of living organisms. Soil has biological, chemical, and physical properties that are always changing.

What is Soil Survey?

Soil survey is a scientific inventory of one of our most basic and important natural resources—the soil. Soil surveys provide the basic information needed to manage soil sustainably. 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 Health - Unlock the Secrets in the Soil

Unlock the Secrets in the SoilAs world population and food production demands rise, keeping our soil healthy and productive is of paramount importance. So much so that we believe improving the health of our Nation’s soil is one of the most important conservation endeavors of our time. We've put together a wealth of resources designed to help you understand the basics and benefits of soil health. Also learn about Soil Health Management Systems from farmers who are using those systems.