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Soil and Plant Showcase

Recent projects from the Soil and Plant Science Division.

Urban Soil Survey Project is Planned for the City of Pittsburgh

Soil scientists map and describe a soil in a community garden plot.

The Soil and Plant Science Division announced plans for an Urban Soil Survey of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, during NRCS Chief Terry Cosby’s visit to the city in mid-October. The Allegheny County Conservation District hosted Chief Cosby, Soil and Plant Science Division staff, NRCS Pennsylvania staff, and conservation partners to a roundtable discussion and field tour to highlight urban agriculture in Pittsburgh. Chief Cosby said, “Urban agriculture changes communities — neighbors meeting for the first time and coming together to help one another. It changes the city, and it changes lives!” Read more ...

National Cooperative Soil Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Research Vessel Tiglax: Unveiling the Aleutian Islands’ Environmental Secrets in 2023

NRCS Soil Scientist, Timothy Riebe, evaluates landforms on Amlia Island prior to sampling.

In June 2023, the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) embarked on an ambitious week-long scientific expedition to the Aleutian Islands. One team taking advantage of sites to be visited on Tanaga, Kanaga, Sequam, and Amlia Islands by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and another by road on Adak Island, this collaborative effort aimed to unravel the mysteries of this remote and ecologically significant region. The NCSS conducted a reconnaissance soil survey, while the USFWS collected related plant community information for use with the National Wetland Inventory and ecological site correlation. This joint endeavor promises to provide invaluable insights into the islands’ environmental health and conservation efforts. Read more ...

2023 Global Forum on Soil Health, Xi’an, China

Opening ceremony of the 2023 Global Forum on Soil Health in Xi'an, China.

In September 2023, the People’s Republic of China hosted The Global Forum on Soil Health, held in Yangling, Shaanxi, China, and featured the participation of 160 delegates from 32 countries, international organizations, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations. Dr. Ryan Hodges, Research Soil Scientist from the NRCS National Soil Survey Center, along with Robert Hanson, the FAS Minister Counselor for Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Embassy of Beijing, represented the USDA. Hodges spoke on the black soils panel, addressing the diversity of our own domestic black soils, soil security, and current USDA efforts on managing soil carbon for climate change mitigation. Read more ...

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