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Cooperative Program

coop program

The National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) is a nationwide partnership of Federal, regional, State, and local agencies and private entities and institutions. This partnership works to cooperatively investigate, inventory, document, classify, interpret, disseminate, and publish information about soils. NCSS standards are common or shared procedures that enhance technology transfer, data sharing, and communications among soil survey participants.

The soils program is a partnership where everyone has a voice. It’s not just an NRCS program, it’s a comprehensive Wisconsin soils program; the cooperative program provides opportunity to hear about the changing needs in the state and how we all can help and work together to bring soils to the forefront to inform soil data users.


Wisconsin Cooperative Soil Science Partners

Needed Wisconsin Interpretations from Partners

  • Wisconsin Commodity Crop Index for Corn Irrigated
  • Wisconsin Commodity Crop Index for Corn Irrigated
  • Wisconsin Commodity Crop Index for other Commodity Crops
  • Forage Suitability Groups
  • Forested Biomass Harvesting
  • Biomass Waste Application Interpretations
  • Industrial Waste Water and By-Product Solids
  • Industrial Sludge
  • Municipal Bio-solids
  • Seepage, Holding Tank and Grease Traps
  • Conventional On-Site Septic Systems
  • Geothermal Installation
  • Potential Ginseng Production
  • Potential Hop Production – Commercial Soil and Site Suitability – (Non-irrigated)
  • Conservation Tree and Shrub
  • Soil Moisture Site Assessment Guide

2018 Cooperative Soil Science Partners -  Work Planning Assistance Needs

Outreach

  • Internal to NRCS
  • Consulting community
  • Small growers
  • Urban food systems community / urban agriculture and forestry

Training

  • Soil testers for septic tank systems
  • Current and future NRCS employees
  • Field days
  • Multi-day trainings / workshops
  • Better understanding of interpretations and the process

Data

  • Move away from estimated soil properties
  • Support for agricultural production including precision ag
  • Fill in the holes
  • Additional data
  • Wetlands
  • Ecological site descriptions
  • Pedometrics
  • Incorporating uncertainty
  • Water quality monitoring

Communication

  • Technical teams
  • Opportunities to apply research to landscape issues (ties to NRCS programs/initiatives
  • Capturing local knowledge / historical knowledge
  • Who else needs to be involved: forestry, urban food systems, septic and waste, engineers

Policy

  • Soil survey data and information and policy

Products

  • Raster and vector products
  • Raster Soil Data Access Web Service

Digital Soil Mapping (Disaggregation)

  • Incorporating uncertainty

2017 Cooperative Soil Science Planning Meeting ‒ The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Wisconsin brought together partners and agencies from across the state for the 2017 Wisconsin Cooperative Soil Science Work Planning Meeting, held at UW-Stevens Point, February 7th, 2017. The purpose of the meeting was to bring cooperators and other soil science supporters up-to-date on soil survey activities in the state and to prioritize, plan and coordinate soil survey and technical soil services for future soil data use.

“The soils program is a partnership where everyone has a voice. It’s not just an NRCS program, it’s a comprehensive Wisconsin soils program; the workshop provides opportunity to hear about the changing needs in the state and how we all can help and work together to bring soils to the forefront to inform soil data users,” said NRCS State Soil Scientist, Jason Nemecek. The meeting gave partners an opportunity to collaborate face-to-face but collaboration takes place year-round in this program.

Soils reportDemand and user volume for technical soils information is growing. The Wisconsin Cooperative Soil Science Program looks at the agricultural community as a critical user base but also recognizes many other user groups who utilize soils information. Needs are constantly changing. As needs change, partners work together to develop new data methods to meet those needs. “Soil science is the basis for our agency being formed back in 1933. The Soil Erosion Service, now NRCS, selected Coon Creek as the first watershed in which to demonstrate the values of soil science and conservation. We’ve made so much progress from that point, and want to continue our efforts through the partnership,” explained Nemecek.

Around 50 partners participated in the workshop including several Universities; the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection; Extension; Department of Natural Resources (DNR); Society of Professional Soil Scientists; Wisconsin Association of Professional Agriculture Consultants; Geological and Natural History Survey; and several other public and private institutions. Participants identified and discussed state priorities and opportunities for partners to collaborate in meeting statewide soil survey goals. The program provides soil data and vital information used for a wide variety of purposes affecting millions of Wisconsin residents. These purposes include, but are not limited to, real estate valuation, local property taxation, farm crop productivity, wetland conservation, soil erosion protection, improving water quality, and many more uses in Wisconsin.

The successful workshop brought cooperators and partners together in one room to communicate common soil survey needs and goals, and to find opportunities to collaborate on projects in the future. Read more about the benefits provided through the Cooperative Soil Science Program in the Annual Soil Science Highlight Report.


November 2016 Cooperative Soil Science Planning Meeting

Cooperative soil SurveyA cooperative soil survey workshop was held for many partners interested in NRCS Wisconsin's Soil Program. Highlights in the workbook include soil data join correlations, maps, T and K factors, soil interpretations, technical soil services, wetland determinations, web soil survey, major land resource areas, and Wisconsin assistance available.

Unable to attend the Workshop? View the presentations below.