Much of what you need to know about your land, or a property you are evaluating, is now available on the World Wide Web.
Nearly all the NRCS soil maps, data about forage growth, types and suitability, or building sites, or tillage suitability, or wildlife habitat management, and even more, can be found at www.websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/
Once there, click on the green button labeled "Start WSS" to begin the process. The green button is a new addition to this young site and was added to create a better entry point and make the process more user friendly, say NRCS officials.
There are many things you can do from this point, but normally your next step would be to click the Area of Interest (AOI) tab and locate your property by state and county, or by longitude and latitude, or by one of several other options.
Then identify your property or the location on your property with the cursor listed, and begin exploring purposes or management options.
Examples of what you can learn about your property include:
• Building site suitability
• Various pasture vegetation types which should occur under varying management schemes.
• Tillage suitability
• Irrigation suitability
• Soil corrosiveness to fencing or building materials
• Pond suitability.
• Road suitability.
• Septic system suitability.
All these things and more can be exported into a shopping cart and printed out right on your home computer.
The system seems fairly intuitive for anyone with agricultural or construction experience and should be fairly easy for most people with just a little computer experience to navigate.
NRCS officials say this Web site is still in evolution and so they want feedback through the site's requested feedback tab.