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WI farm Aerial view

Wisconsin Soil Survey

Soil sampling device

What is a Soil Survey?

A soil survey is the systematic description, classification, and mapping of soils in an area.

Vintage photo of a man holding a guide and conducting soil tests in a soil pit

History of Wisconsin Soil Survey

The year 2006 marked the completion of the initial field mapping for the National Cooperative Soil Survey in Wisconsin. This publication recognizes the agencies and individuals who have invested time, funding, and manpower in the initial field mapping of the state over the last 100 years or so.


Major Land Resource Area (MLRA)

MLRAs are geographically associated land resource units (LRUs) that share a common land use, elevation and topography, climate, water, soils, and vegetation. Identification of these large areas is important in statewide agricultural planning and has value in interstate, regional, and national planning.

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Wisconsin's MLRAs

Wisconsin is divided into four Land Resource Regions (LRR). The North Central Region of the NRCS Soil and Plant Sciences Division, who is responsible for conducting soil survey operations, has five offices covering MLRAs in Wisconsin.

Image of Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) boundaries in Wisconsin.   MLRAs are geographically associated land resource units (LRUs) that share a common land use, elevation and topography, climate, water, soils, and vegetation. Identification of these large areas is important in statewide agricultural planning and has value in interstate, regional, and national planning.

Onalaska, WI Office: MLRAs 89 & 105

  • Southwest Wisconsin

Aurora, IL Office: MLRA 110

  • Southeast Wisconsin

Juneau, WI Office: MLRA 95

  • East central Wisconsin

Rhinelander, WI Office: MLRAs 90A, 90B, 93B, 93D, & 94B

  • Northern Wisconsin

Duluth, MN Office: MLRAs 91, 92 & 90A

  • Northwest Wisconsin

Kevin Traastad

MLRA Soil Science Leader - Onalaska MLRA Soil Science Office

Michael England

MLRA Soil Survey Leader - Rhinelander MLRA Soil Science Office

Chris Miller

MLRA Office Leader - Juneau, WI & Aurora, IL MLRA Soil Science Offices

Mike Rokus

MLRA Soil Survey Office Leader - Duluth MLRA Soil Science Office