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Soil Surveys

Vermont Soil Surveys - past and present

prior to widespread use of digital imagery,  photo mosaics had to be literally cut and pasted together to create soil mapsNRCS soil survey began with the recognition during the Dust Bowl that we needed to take better care of our soil resource. A national soil mapping effort resulted as a reaction to this terrible man-made ecological disaster in the 1930's. Soil Survey mapping is the starting point for much of the current day technical assistance that NRCS provides. All 14 counties in Vermont have completed soil mapping. Soil survey data is available in digital format for the whole state.

Numerous interpretations are included along with the soil maps. The interpretive data includes a wide range of data - such as, ratings for highly erodible land and prime farmland. Today, the soil survey program continues to evolve, using the latest technology to improve the quality and consistency of soil maps. The original county-centric mapping of the past will be transformed by a physiographic region approach that will harmonize the data across the county.  


 Soil Parent Material is manually digitized for the Soil Inference Engine, other data layers are generated by GIS techniques

Links to Soil Survey-related Web sites:

Ken Burns documentary draws attention to the Dust Bowl era 
Soil Survey in Vermont now based out of 2 MLRA offices