Soil surveys can be used for general farm, local, and wider area planning. Onsite investigation is needed in some cases, such as soil quality assessments and certain conservation and engineering applications. For more detailed information, contact your local USDA Service Center or your NRCS State Soil Scientist.
1. Access and use published and on-line soil data and other resources to learn how land use affects soil, and the limitations of local soils.
2. Understand the eight Land Capability Classes and how they are important in determining appropriate land use.
3. Understand soil drainage classes and be able to recognize the characteristics of hydric soils and know how soils fit into the definition of wetlands.
1. Download your local area’s soil survey map to learn the limitations that local soils have for septic systems, foundations, agriculture, and future development.
2. Describe the eight Land Capability Classes and use a soil profile and site description to determine land capability class.
3. Visit your local land planning office and ask how GIS and GPS systems are used in making land use planning and development decisions. Explain how GIS and GPS can be used in learning about the soil characteristics in a wetland soil.