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Major Land Resource Area (MLRA)

Land Resource Regions (LRR) and Major Land Resource Areas (MLRA) are delineated in the 2022 MLRA Geographic Database and described in USDA Agriculture Handbook 296. The handbook is used as a basis for decisions regarding national and regional land resource issues targeting efforts in education, finance, and technical services. It is also used to identify needs for research and additional inventories, as well as a vehicle for extrapolating research results across political boundaries. The handbook also serves various agencies within USDA by organizing and operating conservation program and other land resource and management programs.


Spatial Database

2022 MLRA Geographic Database, version 5.2 (zipped shapefile format, 5.1 MB)

Land Resource Regions and Major Land Resource Areas of the United States, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Basin (USDA Agriculture Handbook 296, 2022)

Low-resolution text and maps (faster download)

High-resolution text and maps (sharper imagery)

Gallery of supplemental photos.—Additional imagery to illustrate the landscapes. The gallery is sorted by Land Resource Region (LRR) and Major Land Resource Area (MLRA).

Previous Versions

Agricultural Handbook 296 Historical Versions, 1965, 1981, 2006
(includes 2006 MLRA Geographic Database shapefile)


MLRA Vintage Swipe — An interactive map that allows you to view the spatial evolution of MLRAs by comparing distributions as published in the 1965, 1981, 2006, and 2022 editions of USDA Agriculture Handbook 296. Swipe left to show LRRs and MLRAs in 1965 (CONUS only). Swipe right to show LRRs and MLRAs in 1981 (CONUS only). The white lines represent MLRAs from 2006 and the blue lines are the current 2022 MLRAs. Clicking on the map will pop-up the tabular information for both years, including LRR and MLRA names and symbols at the click location.

Definition of Terms