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Policy and Procedure
- Technical Soil Services Handbook - operational and procedural
policy and guidance for technical soil services within NRCS.
- National Soil Survey Handbook -
policy, definitions, and procedures for conducting soil survey.
- Soil Survey Manual - major principles and
practices for soil surveys.
- Soil Change Guide - Procedures for Soil
Survey and Resource Inventory - designed for soil survey,
vegetation, and ecological site or unit inventory work in order to
help soil scientists and other inventory specialists collect
interpretable data about soil change.
Land-Capability Classification (Ag Handbook 210; 1961) (PDF; 782
KB) - Since soil surveys are based on all of the characteristics of
soils that influence their use and management, interpretations are
needed for each of the many uses. Among these interpretations the
Land Capability Classification is one of the most important. It
groups soils into capability units, subclasses, and classes. This
grouping serves as an introduction of the soil map to farmers, other
land users, land use planners, people in agribusiness, elected
officials and others. The grouping explains the limitations and
hazards for a specific agricultural use.
- Technical Notes - specific technical subjects
for soil scientists.
- National Instructions - specific project
guidance to offices involved.
- Land Resource Regions and
Major Land Resource Areas of the United States, the Caribbean, and the
Pacific Basin (Ag Handbook 296) - This publication describes 28 land
resource regions and the physiography, geology, climate, water resources,
soils, biological resources, and kinds of land use in 278 major land
resource areas in the United States, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Basin.
Soil Survey Office Laboratory References
Laboratory Methods and Information
Geomorphic Description System
These documents provide a descriptive method and a technical guide for
applying and understanding geomorphic and geologic concepts and terms for soil
inventory in the USA National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) Program.
Installing Monitoring Wells in Soils
This document provides general guidance on how to install and use piezometers
and water-table wells to investigate soil water regimes under conditions
commonly encountered in Soil Survey and hydropedology studies.
The file below is a bibliography of publications from Wet Soils Monitoring
Projects across the United States.
National Soil Information System (NASIS)
Land Use (Title 310)
National Land Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA) Handbook
(PDF; 11.0 MB) – This handbook explains the preparation and use of the
It was developed to meet the requirements of the Farmland Protection Policy
The Land Evaluation (LE) part of
LESA is combined with
the site assessment (SA) part of LESA to
determine the total value for a specific site for agriculture. The higher
the total value of LESA,
the higher the capabilities of that site for agricultural. The
can help units of government meet the following two overall objectives: (1)
facilitate identification and protection of important agricultural land, and
(2) assist in implementing farmland protection policies.
soil survey information and interpretations, and planning concepts and
principles. It can
be used to facilitate decision making by State and local planners,
landholders, developers, and governing officials.
Red Tart Cherry Site Inventory for Grand Traverse County, Michigan (PDF;
9.63 MB) – This document explains how the local Land Evaluation (LE)
committee established the soil, topography, and climate requirements to
designate Unique Farmland and the LE numerical values for local Land
Evaluation and Site Assessment (LESA). It includes discussion of facilities
to process the cherries for market. The
7CFR657.5(b) defines the prerequisites for designating soil map units as
Last Modified: 06/13/2013