Forces of Change

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Naming a State Soil

Each state in the U.S. has chosen a significant soil, either because of its unique properties or its extensive use as cropland, forest, or grassland.

Soils have names. Soils that share chemical and physical properties are grouped into soil series. The soils in a series support similar ecosystems and behave similarly for land use. Across the landscape, in even a small area, many different soil series make a mosaic. A soil series is usually named for a town or landmark where the soil was first recognized.

There are more than 20,000 soil series in the United States alone.

Inceptisol profile
Inceptisol profile
Hari Eswaran/USDA NRCS