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Soil Survey Program

Soil Survey Program in New Hampshire

Cover of Grafton County Soil Survey Reading and assessing the land is the first step in solving natural resource problems and sustaining our limited resources.  In particular, soils provide the foundation for conservation work, and understanding the nature and properties of soils is critical to managing and conserving other natural resources.  

Through its Soil Survey Program, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) studies and inventories the soil resources of the Nation.  In fact, it is a major responsibility of NRCS to conduct soil surveys on the private lands of the United States.

Soil Surveys contain information in the form of detailed soil maps, data tables, and text narratives that can be used in land-planning programs.  Soil Surveys also contain predictions of soil behavior for selected land uses and highlights limitations and hazards inherent in the soil, improvements needed to overcome the limitations, and the impact of selected land uses on the environment.


NH Soil Information - Web Soil Survey and the New Hampshire soil data is updated each year on October 1st.


For more information, please contact: 

Peter Whitcomb - Soil Scientist, Concord, NH

National Soil Survey Program

MO Regions






Who uses Soil Surveys?

  • Farmers
  • Foresters
  • Planners from towns, regions, states
  • Community officials
  • Engineers
  • Builders and developers
  • Conservationists
  • ​Teachers and students

Why Use Soil Surveys?
Sustaining soil resources for:

  • Food production
  • Forest products
  • Land-use planning
  • Water quality
  • ​Wildlife habitat

Click here for a diagram of the functions of soil

Soil Surveys can help YOU!

The New Hampshire Soil Survey Program is a diverse and customer-sensitive program that strives to set a national example while serving the soil information needs of New Hampshire communities.

Click here to find out the availability of soil survey information in New Hampshire.


The Northeast Cooperative Soil Survey Conference

New Hampshire and Vermont NRCS, U.S. Forest Service, and the Society of Soil Scientists of Northern New England, along with Plymouth State University hosted the 2014 Conference in Plymouth, New Hampshire. For more information about the conference: NECSSC

Thank you to all our partners who made the conference such a success!  The 2018 conference will be held in West Virginia.

Participants in a soil workshopExamples of Assisting New Hampshire People

> Teaching District-sponsored workshops on soils so that planners, town officials, and others can become more informed about the science behind some soil-related regulations

> Posting the most current soil data for NH soil surveys on Web Soil Survey.

> Setting an example in New Hampshire by promoting and supporting the use of science-based standards in soil mapping done for planning and development (download these standards)

> Sponsoring workshops for private consultants in New Hampshire so that they can learn from nationally-trained NRCS Soil Scientists

> Providing technical assistance to state policy makers on the use of soil criteria in writing land use regulations

> Hosting an international intensive data gathering station at  The Mascoma Headwaters Project, which will also provide more data on New Hampshire's most difficult to assess soils.  This will help consultants make more accurate wetland delineations and understand the hydrology of our landscapes.


A graphic of the GPR map of a New Hampshire bog

Gathering Data on Soil Carbon Storage

The New Hampshire Soil staff have hosted several nationally-known scientists that came to gather data on our wetland soils in New Hampshire.  The figure to the left shows the kind of analysis that is useful to predict the soil's role in carbon storage, and therefore in global climate change.