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National Cooperative Soil Survey

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The National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) is a nationwide partnership of Federal, regional, State, and local agencies and private entities and institutions. This partnership works to cooperatively investigate, inventory, document, classify, interpret, disseminate, and publish information about soils. NCSS standards are common or shared procedures that enhance technology transfer, data sharing, and communications among soil survey
participants. See the Guidance Documents.

Please visit the National and Regional NCSS Committees page for committee membership and reports.

The NCSS strategic plan for the partnership can be found here Strategic Plan (PDF; 675 KB). Comments regarding the strategic plan can be sent to David Lindbo, Director of the NRCS Soil and Plant Science Division.


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The NCSS provides technical and operational coordination at national, regional, and state levels. Workshops, meetings, and conferences are held to discuss and resolve concerns and to make proposals and recommendations.

NewslettersThumbnail of an NCSS newsletter.

The purpose of the NCSS Newsletter is to provide a forum for NCSS cooperators and others interested in the soil survey and related activities to express their views. Cooperators, partners, and others with an interest are encouraged to contribute on a regular basis to this publication. The newsletter is published quarterly.

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Contact NCSS

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is responsible for the leadership of soil survey activities of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for the leadership and coordination of NCSS activities.  For more information on NCSS, please contact:

Guidance Documents

Guidance documents for NCSS can be found in the NRCS General Manual in Title 430 part 402 which “defines the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS), its structure and objectives, and the legislative authorities for the soil survey” and the National Soil Survey Handbook: