Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Tubes of soil.

Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory (KSSL)

Mission: Measure soil properties that are critical to soil survey and conservation efforts of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

The Charles E. Kellogg Soil Survey Laboratory (KSSL) is the key source for soil analytical data for the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS). The KSSL receives samples from soil survey project offices located throughout the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii as well as from cooperating partners at universities and other government and non-government organizations.


  • Conducts analyses needed to classify soils and to support soil use. The full characterization of a soil survey sampling site typically requires 30 or more analyses.
  • Develops and maintains the standards for the specific analytical methods required for soil classification according to Soil Taxonomy.
  • Is directly involved in method development and analysis for cutting-edge soil science activities within the Soil and Plant Science Division, such as coastal zone soil survey and infrared spectrometry for soil analysis.
  • Conducts analyses requested by NRCS state and resource soil scientists, who provide technical soil services to NRCS soil conservationists in field offices throughout the country. The data supports conservation activities involving soil health, wetlands, and ecological sites.
  • Works directly with a team of NRCS research soil scientists located within the lab facility.
  • Maintains a publicly accessible database of historic soil analytical data and associated site information from thousands of sites in all States and worldwide.
  • Curates what may be the world’s largest collection of analyzed and cataloged soil samples, some of which date to before 1940.


Laboratory Equipment Supporting Conservation Planning

Box link to historical Soil Survey Investigation Reports (SSIRs).
For accessibility assistance, please email

Contact Soils

Please contact us if you see something that needs to be updated, if you have any questions, or if you need accessibility assistance.

Find Your Local Service Center

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit