Planning to invest in planting soybeans, starting a nursery, or building your dream house or an office complex? It's important to check soil maps and information before you make an investment. Appropriate consideration of soils will help you avoid soils related construction mistakes and mismatched land use.
The soil resources program updates soils information based on data collected in 88 county-based soil survey projects, which were conducted between 1954 and 2003. Using geographic information system, soil scientists work with county SWCDs to update existing soils information. Individuals, whether investors, planners, land developers, contractors, or farmers, interested in land need to know about the hazards and limitations of soils before they develop a plan or make a financial commitment. Good soil information provides for a basis in creating the optimum land use plan, and predicting the risk to the environment or cost of maintenance after the land use or development plan is put into action.
|Miamian, Ohio's State Soil
Environmental, Economic and Public Importance
There are more than 475 unique soil series that are currently mapped in Ohio. Knowing and understanding soils information is essential for effective environmental conservation practices, as soil is a key component in environmental quality. Conservation practices can be placed in areas that will effectively enhance soil, water and air quality. Additionally, soils information is vital for Ohio’s development community to identify development sites posing the fewest limitations or with the lowest risk for costs to overcome limitations, and even project failure.
Digital soil information is now available for Ohio’s 88 counties. This makes soil information readily available to all Ohio citizens in an easy to use format. Users can obtain tailored soil survey reports that focus on a specific area instead of an entire county. The digital format has also allowed soil scientists the ability to update soil survey information faster by focusing on areas or soils with inadequate data. Additionally, the digital format has allowed for the development of the Division’s Earth Resources Information Network (ERIN), which will provide user-friendly, land use planning and decision making tools to Ohio’s businesses and residents.
More About this Progam and it's History
Through the soil resources program, the division is a partner in the Ohio Soil Survey, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service and The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).
The three agencies are represented on the Ohio Soil Inventory Board, which was created in 1953 as “the body responsible for developing and guiding an adequate soil survey program for the State.”
The Ohio Soil Survey began in 1900, when U.S. Department of Agriculture soil scientists studied the soils in Montgomery County. By 1949, when the Division of Lands and Soil (DLS) was created as one of the seven original divisions in ODNR, soil scientists of USDA and the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station (now known as OARDC) had completed soil surveys in 32 counties. One more county soil survey project was completed before the DLS was activated and staffed in 1952.
ODNR charged its newly staffed division with working with its partners to complete soil surveys by 1968 in the 55 remaining counties and to replace the 12 soil surveys published before 1920, which were by 1952 considered inadequate. Unfortunately, DLS and USDA soil scientists were able to complete soil surveys in only 23 more counties by 1968, but by then the standards for an adequate soil survey had increased dramatically.
Partners in the Ohio Soil Survey held a “Threshold Acre” Celebration in 1992 to bring attention to completing the soil survey for the 88th county in the state. Field investigations had been completed to replace or update information in soil survey publications from all but one of the counties surveyed before 1952 plus three that were surveyed after 1952.
By 1992, field investigations were already underway to update soils information for seven Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) that considered their soil survey publications to be inadequate for local needs. Soil survey update projects were completed in these seven counties plus two others before the Ohio Soil Inventory Board adopted a more efficient way for soil survey update projects to be conducted in the state. Completing the Statewide Digital Soils Information Project, compleated in 2007, was a major step toward increasing the efficiency at which Ohio’s soils information can be updated.
Ohio Soil Resources soil scientists continue to collaborate with NRCS scientists in updating soils information by Major Land Resorces Area (MLRA) boundries in Ohio. Learn more at the NRCS's Ohio page.
Major Land Resources Areas.
Click to enlarge.