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Draft Standards And Specifications for High Intensity Soil Survey for Agriculture in Illinois

DRAFT
STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS
for High Intensity Soil Survey for Agriculture in Illinois

Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey
May 1998
(revised June 1998)

STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS For
High Intensity Soil Survey for Agriculture in Illinois

Table of Contents

Page

Work Plan

Survey Area Size

Map Base

Map Scale

Soil Survey Descriptive Legend

Identification Legend

Conventional and Special Symbols Legend

Descriptions and Classification of the Soils

Map Units

Soil Mapping Procedure

Soil Survey Augmentation

Point Data

Cartographic Procedures

Product/Report

Data Sharing

Certification

Guide to Map Scales and Minimum Size Delineation

Conventional and Special Symbols Legend (Not Available on Webpage)

Point Data Worksheet

Contact List

Memorandum of Understanding

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Soil survey is the systematic examination, description, classification, and mapping of soils in an area. Soil surveys are classified according to the type and intensity of field examination. Different intensities of field study, different degrees of detail in mapping, different phases or levels of abstraction in defining and naming map units, and different map unit designs are the basis for differentiating five orders of soil surveys.

The soil surveys produced in Illinois through the Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey at map scales of 1:12,000, 1:15,840, and 1;20,000 are considered "2nd Order" or "intensive" soil surveys. The standards and specifications for making "2nd Order" soils surveys are well documented and presented in the Natural Resources Conservation Service's (NRCS) National Soil Survey Handbook (NSSH) and Soil Survey Manual (SSM).

"1st Order" or "very intensive" soil surveys ("high intensity" soil survey used in this document) are more detailed and have a smaller minimum size delineation than the "2nd Order" soil surveys and use map scales larger than 1:12,000. Guidelines for making "1st Order" soil surveys are not well documented in NSSH or SSM. The standards and specifications presented in this document establish the minimum level of acceptable quality and describe the technical details required for making a high intensity soil survey for agriculture.

 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS

The soil factor equation, S = f(cl, o, pm, r, t,1/3 ), identifies the five factors of soil formation and provides the basis for the soil-landscape model which is the guiding paradigm for soil survey. An appreciation and understanding of this model allows a trained and experienced soil scientist to accurately delineate soils as they occur on the landscape. These standards and specifications require that the resulting soil map be produced using the concepts of the soil-landscape model and the soil survey techniques described in the NSSH, SSM, and Soil Taxonomy. The soil survey must depict and describe how soils occur on the landscape!

Soil survey maps depict and illustrate the spatial variability of the soil forming factors and are strongly influenced by soil physical properties (i.e. texture, structure, depth, and soil color). These physical properties are usually highly correlated to parent material and relief (topography). Chemical properties important to plant growth, such as soil test N, P, and K, typically have a poor correlation with soil survey map units. This can be partially accounted for by human management of soils through tillage, crop rotation, and fertilizer and manure applications.

The literature on site specific management for agriculture documents the fact that the relationship between crop yields and soil properties is complex. Many papers conclude that the soil properties and qualities described in soil survey map units are generally inadequate to develop site specific crop management options. These conclusions may be somewhat erroneous. While not all of the soil characteristics being measured or observed in traditional soil survey are relevant for site specific crop management, there are numerous soil properties and qualities that affect the spatial and temporal variability in crop yields that are described in soil survey.

One of the challenges in producing a high intensity soil survey for agriculture is to provide data and information for those soil attributes that impact crop growth; that impact the movement and accumulation of water within the soil landscape; and that reflect the long term status of the soil

resource. In addition to soil attribute data linked to soil survey map units, point observations and point data are needed so that interpolation techniques and models may be utilized to estimate specific soil characteristics across the landscape. Spatial detail and data/information/knowledge about soil properties should be co-related. As spatial detail increases, so should knowledge about soil properties.

Most sample strategies are designed to avoid bias through a random or probability sampling scheme. However, soil mapping is a science based on information and techniques learned through experience (tacit knowledge). Decisions on where and what to sample when producing a soil survey and collecting soil survey data are based on this tacit knowledge. The soil variability of the area, map scale, and personal judgment of the soil scientist dictate in part where and how many points will be observed. What to observe at every point will be dictated by the intended use of the data, soil variability and personal judgment.

 

STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS

These standards and specifications establish the minimum level of acceptable quality and describe the technical details required for producing a high intensity soil survey for agriculture.

1. Work Plan

A work plan should be developed for each high intensity soil survey project area. The purpose of the survey, spatial and attribute data acquisition and development, completion date, and product delivery should be addressed.

2. Survey Area Size

No survey area size limit is set. However, farm or field size should dictate survey area size.

3. Map Base

The map base must be an aerial photograph. Orthophotography is the preferred map base. (See 11. Soil Survey Augmentation)

4. Map Scale

Map scale is 1:12,000 or larger. The map scale should meet the needs of the soil survey user. The minimum size soil map delineations is dictated by the map scale (refer to Appendix A) and should conform to the delineation of the users smallest management unit.

5. Soil Survey Descriptive Legend

A descriptive legend is required for all high intensity soil surveys. It is composed of three parts: (1) Identification legend, (2) Conventional and Special symbols legend, and (3) descriptions and classification of the soils.

6. Identification Legend

The identification legend lists the map unit symbols and corresponding map unit names used on the soil map. The soil survey legends used for "2nd order" soil surveys areas, as amended by the Major Land Resource Area (MLRA) soil legends, should be used as a basis for establishing the identification legend for a high intensity soil survey project. Map unit symbols and names should conform to the conventions established and used by the Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey. Any changes or additions to the MLRA legend should be coordinated with the NRCS MLRA soil survey project leader (refer to Appendix D).

7. Conventional and Special Symbols Legend

A conventional and special symbols legend identifies the cultural, hydrographic and special symbols used on the soil map. The need for special symbols is determined by their significance to the use of the soil map. Conventional and special-symbols should conform to the guidelines and protocol established and used by the Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey. All Symbols should correspond to those listed in Appendix B. Additions to the legend should be coordinated with the NRCS MLRS Soil Survey Project Leader (refer to Appendix D)

8. Descriptions and Classification of the Soils

Descriptions of the taxa as they occur in the area delineated on the soil map form the primary reference for proper mapping, classification, correlation and interpretation of the soils of an area. These descriptions and a table of classification were established for "2nd Order" soil surveys and are maintained by the NRCS MLRA soil survey project leader. Soil scientists conducting high intensity soil surveys must be familiar with these descriptions and must conform to guidelines provided in the National Soil Survey Handbook, Soil Survey Manual, and Soil Taxonomy. Any changes to the established taxonomic unit descriptions, map unit descriptions, and table of classification should be coordinated with the NRCS MLRA soil survey project leader. (Refer to Appendix D)

9. Map Units

Map units are designed to meet the objectives of the high intensity soil survey as stated in the work plan. All map units in a high intensity soil survey should be consociations. Delineated areas are dominantly a single taxon and similar soils. At least one-half of the pedons in each delineation are of the named soil. Most of the remainder of the delineation consists of similar inclusions. The total amount of dissimilar inclusions should not exceed 15 to 25 percent.

The minimum size map unit delineation should be identified in the work plan. It should represent the size of the smallest area that is managed for the intended land use. The map scale must accommodate legible delineations of the smallest size map unit. (Refer to Appendix A).

10. Soil Mapping Procedures

The soils in each delineation are identified by transecting or traversing the landscape and making sufficient soil observations to enable accurate soil boundary placement and to ensure precise and appropriate soil map unit composition. Soil boundaries are observed throughout their length and their placement corresponds to changes in soil properties and landscape position.

The "window of opportunity" for conducting high intensity soil survey for agriculture is very limited. The soil scientist must be able to observe soil color changes on the soil surface and the micro-topography of the area in order to produce an accurate product.

11. Soil Survey Augmentation

Where available, detailed contour maps, color infrared aerial photography, digital elevation models (DEM's), digital orthophotography (DOQs), ground penetrating radar (GPR), electromagnetic induction (EM), global positioning system (GPS), and other tools may be used to help establish accurate line placement and collect point data. Geophysical measurements should be correlated with observed and measured soil and landscape features.

12. Point Data

Point data will be collected at each point of observation during the course of the soil survey or at those selected points determined by the work plan. The point data will be georeferenced and will be recorded on a point data worksheet (Refer to Appendix C).

The purpose of the survey, soil variability, map scale, and personal judgment of the soil scientist will dictate where and how many points will be observed. The point data to be collected should be identified in the work plan.

13. Cartographic Procedures

Cartographic guidelines for soil map compilation, soil map finishing, and soil map digitizing outlined in National Soil Survey Handbook should be followed.

14. Product/Report

High intensity soil survey report should include:

(1) Reference to Standards and Specifications for High Intensity Soil Survey for Agriculture.

(2) Geographic location and size of project area.

(3) Soil map with identification legend and conventional and special symbols legend.

(4) Soil attribute data and soil interpretations and point data (per work plan)

(5) Map unit descriptions

(6) Certification Statement

(7) Signature of soil scientist and a date soil map/report was produced.

It is recommended that both hard copy and electronic copy products be produced.

15. Data Sharing

With concurrence of the Certified Professional Soil Classifier and his/her client, the high intensity soil survey data will be provided to NRCS MLRA Soil Survey Project Leader for possible inclusion in National Soil Information System.

16. Certification

High Intensity Soil Survey shall be completed by a Certified Professional Soil Classifier certified by Illinois Soil Classifiers Association (ISCA) or by the American Registry of Certified Professional in Agronomy, Crops, and Soils (ARCPACS).

The following certification statement shall be on all high intensity soil survey map products. "This map product is within the technical standards of the Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey. It is a special purpose product produced by a Certified Professional Soil Classifier. There is a report that accompanies this map."

Should a client impose constraints on the soil scientist that precludes him or her from producing a product that meets the standards of the Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey a statement will be added to the map label indicating "This map product is not within the technical standards of the Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey because...."

A high intensity soil survey will be considered a supplement to the "2nd Order" soil survey and not a replacement.

 

 

REFERENCES

United States Department of Agriculture Handbook No. 18, 1993. Soil Survey Manual, and amendments, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

United States Department of Agriculture, 1975. Soil Taxonomy: A Basic System of Soil Classification for Making and Interpreting Soil Surveys, Soil Conservation Service, US Department of Agriculture Handbook 436, 754pp illus.

United States Department of Agriculture, November 1996. National Soil Survey Handbook USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation, 1998. Keys to Soil Taxonomy, Eighth Edition, US Government printing Office, Washington, DC

United States Department of Agriculture, National Resources Conservation Service, Field Book for Describing and Sampling Soils

http://soils.usda.gov/technical/fieldbook/

United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Official Series Descriptions.

https://soilseries.sc.egov.usda.gov/osdname.asp

 

RECORD SHEET FOR AMENDMENTS TO
STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR
HIGH INTENSITY SOIL SURVEY FOR AGRICULTURE IN ILLINOIS

(Nothing Available at this time)

STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR
HIGH INTENSITY SOIL SURVEY FOR AGRICULTURE IN ILLINOIS

APPENDIX A

Guide to Map Scales and Minimum Size Delineations

Map Scale Inches/Mile Minimum Size Delineation* (acres)

1:5,000

12.7

0.25

1:7,920

8.00

0.62

1:10,000

6.34

1.00

1:12,000

5.28

1.43

1:15,840

4.00

2.5

1:20,000

3.17

4.0

1:24,000

2.64

5.7

1:31,680

2.00

10.0

1:63,360

1.00

40.00

* The "minimum size delineation" is taken as 1/16 square inch area.

Cartographically, this is about the smallest area in which a symbol can be readily printed.

STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR
HIGH INTENSITY SOIL SURVEY FOR AGRICULTURE IN ILLINOIS

APPENDIX B (Not Available on Webpage)

Conventional and Special Symbols Legend

STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR
HIGH INTENSITY SOIL SURVEY FOR AGRICULTURE
AND OTHER USES

APPENDIX C

Point Data Worksheet

Project___________________________

Date_____________________________

County___________________________

Topoquad________________________

Observation Pt. #__________________

Georeference______________________

______________________

Map Unit Symbol__________________

Map Unit Name___________________

Land Use_________________________

Landform Position_________________

Landform Slope___________________

% Slope__________________________

Aspect___________________________

Thickness of A____________________

Texture of A______________________

Color of A________________________

pH of A__________________________

Thickness of E____________________

Texture of E______________________

Thickness of B____________________

Texture of B______________________

Depth to 2 chroma mottles__________

Or matrix

Observed Water Table______________

Drainage Class____________________

Depth to Carbonates_______________

Depth to Lithic/Paralithic___________

Depth to_______ _______________

Series______________________________

Classification___________________

 

STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR
HIGH INTENSITY SOIL SURVEY FOR AGRICULTURE IN ILLINOIS

APPENDIX D

CONTACT LIST

American Registry of Certified Professionals in Agronomy, Crops and Soils
American Society of Agronomy
677 South Segoe Road
Madison, WI 53711-1081
Phone: 608/273-8080

Illinois Soil Classifiers Association, President
1902 Fox Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: 217/398-5280

United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service

State Soil Scientist
2118 W. Park Court
Champaign, IL 61821
Phone: 217/353-6643

MLRA Soil Survey Project Leader
148 E. Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 105
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618/453-5577

MLRA Soil Survey Project Leader
4255 Westbrook Drive, Suite 218
Aurora, IL 60504
Phone: 630/851-3254

MLRA Soil Survey Project Leader
2623 Sunrise Drive, Suite 3
Springfield, IL 62703
Phone: 217/241-6635 ext. 5

 

STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS FOR
HIGH INTENSITY SOIL SURVEY FOR AGRICULTURE IN ILLINOIS

APPENDIX E

Memorandum of Understanding

between the
Illinois Soil Classifiers Association
and the
United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service

RELATIVE TO: Standards and Specifications for High Intensity Soil Survey for Agriculture in Illinois

AUTHORITY: Public Law 46-74 49 Stat 163 (16 U.S.C. 590 a-f) and Public Law 89-560 80 Stat 706 (42 U.S.C. 3271-3274)

THIS MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING: Is made on this _______ day of _______________, 1998 by and between the Illinois Soil Classifiers Association (hereinafter referred to as ISCA) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (hereinafter referred to as "NRCS").

PURPOSE: It is the mutual desire of the ISCA and NRCS to develop and maintain one set of standards for carrying out high intensity soil surveys for agriculture in the state of Illinois. It is the belief of ISCA and NRCS, that it is for the public good, and for the good of the communities within this State, to have a single set of soil mapping standards based on the technical standards of the Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey (ICSS) and that these standards be actively enforced to ensure protection of the public interest through maintaining high professional standards and code of ethics.

THEREFORE: Illinois Soil Classifiers Association and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service deem it mutually advantageous to cooperate in this undertaking and hereby agree as follows:

1. NRCS Agrees:

A. To provide to ISCA, copies of the following documents, that will be updated annually, or at unspecified intervals, that will ensure the documentation provided is not more than 6 months out of date:

1. Keys to Soil Taxonomy by Soil Survey Staff

2. National Soil Survey Manual

3. National Soil Survey Handbook

4. Bulletins, directives, and amendments pertaining to technical standards of the Cooperative Soil Survey.

B. To authorize one NRCS soil scientist, to serve as an advisor to ISCA. The function of this position will include, but will not be limited to, the following:

1. Assure that ISCS has the most up-to-date NRCS mapping standards;

2. Notify ISCA when significant changes in mapping standards have been implemented;

3. Serve as a communication link with the Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey in conveying suggestions or recommendations from ISCA; and

C. To provide soil legend coordination (through NRCS MLRA Soil Survey Project Leaders) to Certified Professional Soil Classifiers in order for them to carry out official business operations in Illinois, subject to appropriate documentation as outlined in the Standards and Specifications.

D. To refer request for soil map certification by the Standards and Specifications to ISCA.

E. To notify ISCA, in writing, of actions that may reflect non-compliance of the agreed to items under this Memorandum of Understanding, so as to allow ISCA to carry out inquiries, as appropriate.

2. ISCA Agrees:

A. To establish and maintain a list of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) specifically geared for maintaining the Certified Soil Classifiers ability to produce products that meet the technical requirements of the Standards and Specifications for High Intensity Soil Survey.

B. To insure material provided to the ISCA by the NRCS is made available to Certified Professional Soil Classifiers in Illinois.

C. To recognize a liaison to the ISCA, to be filled by an NRCS soil scientist, serving in an advisory capacity on matters pertaining to the Illinois Cooperative Soil Survey.

D. To uphold high professional standards for Certified Professional Soil Classifiers and to respond appropriately to allegations of non-professional conduct.

E. To carry out any appropriate quality control/quality assurance activities on products developed by the private sector, to insure compliance with the Standards and Specifications.

F. To hold and save NRCS free from any and all claims or causes of action whatsoever resulting from the obligations undertaken by either party under this agreement or resulting from the work or work products provided for in this agreement.

3. It mutually agreed:

A. That this Memorandum of Understanding may be terminated by the ISCA or NRCS upon written notice to the other not less than sixty (60) days prior to the termination.

B. The activities conducted under this Memorandum of Understanding will be in compliance with the nondiscrimination provisions contained in the Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights act of 1964, as amended; the Civil Rights Restoration act of 1987 (Public Law 100-259); and other nondiscrimination statutes: namely, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Age Discrimination act of 1975. They will also be in accordance with regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture (7 CFR-15), Subparts A & B), which provide that no person in the United States shall on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, marital status, or handicap be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Agriculture or any agency thereof.
 

SIGNED:

______________________________________________ _______________
State Conservationist Date
United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service

 

______________________________________________ _______________
President Date
Illinois Soil Classifiers Association