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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


Updating Soil Maps in the Lake Champlain Basin: NRCS is updating the soil mapping within selected areas of the Basin. The goal is to use new information and technologies to bring the soil survey for the Basin up to a consistent common standard. Currently, the soil survey in the area is made up of many different vintages and is in need of updating to improve accuracy, and therefore land use decisions. You can learn more by reading this fact sheet.