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News Release

Kansas NRCS Announces Official Web Soil Survey Annual Data Now Available

SALINA, July 1, 2020–The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has recently refreshed the Web Soil Survey (WSS). 

The WSS is one of the largest natural resource databases in the world.  Information provided in WSS is developed by NRCS in partnership with other Federal, State and local governments, as well as university Partners through the National Cooperative Soil Survey program.  WSS information is the result of classification, mapping and interpretation of different soil types, and relies on the study of physical and chemical soil properties by applying the principles of pedology, geology, and geomorphology.

The WSS can be accessed here (https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm).  There is no need to create an account, there is no charge for the data.  WSS users can create thematic maps, generate reports, develop custom manuscripts, and download soils data for individual areas of interest or entire soil survey areas.  Users may also visit Soil Data Access (SDA) (https://sdmdataaccess.nrcs.usda.gov/) to write custom soil data access queries, or to connect to the soils database with web services. 

NRCS is delegated by congress to inventory soils across the United States as part of the soil survey program.  NRCS also generates interpretations for land use and soil features that are based on soil type and publishes this soil survey information for the public.  Soil scientists across the country work continuously to improve tabular and spatial data while maintaining a complete suite of soil interpretations and other products to meet customer needs.  The newly refreshed soil data includes the results from soil survey projects and soil interpretation updates for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 that met quality control and quality assurance criteria.

“Each year over 3.2 million requests are made to the Web Soil Survey and another 122.7 million requests are made to Soil Data Access all across the country,” said Jeff A. Hellerich, Kansas NRCS State Soil Scientist.  “In Kansas, the most popular soil reports are related to soil map unit descriptions and soil interpretations for engineering properties.” 

The WSS attracts a large, diverse audience including conservation planners, farmers, ranchers, landscape architects, community planners, real estate developers, engineers, university researchers and landowners.  WSS is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for free. 

Most USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only.  Producers wishing to conduct business with NRCS are required to call and schedule an appointment.  Feld work continues with appropriate social distancing and staff continue to work with producers by phone and online tools.  More information and location of Service Centers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus

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