Most recently, soil and water conservation programs moved from Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) to the Department of Agriculture (ODA) under a newly created Division of Soil and Water Conservation on January 1, 2016. However, 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 -- 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.
The Statewide Digital Soils Information Project, completed in 2007, was a major step toward increasing the efficiency at which Ohio's soils information can be updated.
Within the Ohio Department of Education's Ohio Department of Education Learning Standards soil science is introduced as a concept in Grade 3.
The following educational resources provide soil science information for Grades K-12 as well as college-level material
- Grades K-6, 7-12, and College Level material
- Provides lesson plans, soils information, and multiple external links and resources
- Geology educational resources
- K-12 soil science teacher resources
- Information by topic and lesson plans
- Developed by ODA soil scientists as a soil science manual for Ohio FFA Land Judging
- Official Soil Survey of the United States
- Interactive soils map that easily displays properties such as parent material, soil order, etc.
Ohio Soil Regions
Testing your soil every 2 to 3 years is a good way to monitor the fertility and general health of your soil. It is an inexpensive way to assess proper nutrient application rates tailored for different crop needs.
- Soil pH
- Organic Matter %
- Nutrient levels (P, K, Mg, Ca)
- Micronutrient levels (S, Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn)
- Cation Exchange Capacity
Current Agricultural Use Value Tax System
- Yield information
- Cropping Patterns
- Crop Prices
- Non-land Production Costs
- Capitalization Rate