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Major Land Resource Areas (v52)

The MLRA Geographic Database was prepared for Agriculture Handbook 296 re-publication and is used to support decisions about regional and national agricultural issues. The database and AH 296 help to identify the need for research and resource inventories. The handbook serves as the vehicle for extrapolating the results of research across political boundaries and is the basis for organizing and operating natural resource conservation programs. Today, USDA soil survey offices are organized to serve groups of the major land resource areas defined in this handbook. The handbook was first published in 1965 as an expansion of the 1950 map entitled “Problem Areas in Soil Conservation” and was designed primarily for use by the Soil Conservation Service. The handbook was updated in 1978, and the second edition was printed in 1981. The third edition was published in 2006. The 2021 publication is the fourth edition.


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