NB_430_21_1 - NB 430-21-1 SOI – MLRA Soil Survey Office – Dynamic Soil Property Projects
NB 430-21-1 SOI – MLRA Soil Survey Office – Dynamic Soil Property Projects
National Bulletin: 430-21-1    Date: October 22, 2020
Subject: SOI – MLRA Soil Survey Office – Dynamic Soil Property Projects

Purpose.   To provide guidance on data collection for Dynamic Soil Properties (DSPs). Included with this bulletin is information on the frequency of data collection, type of observations, soil properties to collect, and locations to populate the data.   
Expiration Date.   September 30, 2021
Background.   Each MLRA Soil Survey Office is expected to conduct appropriate DSP data collection according to National Instruction NI_430_308: Soil Quality. Any deviations from required sampling, tests, or methods must be approved by the National Leader for Soil Science Research.
Explanation.   DSP data should be collected in accordance with current guidance with level of detail and replication dependent upon soil survey office activities.

All soil survey offices are required to complete Dispersed DSP data collection at the Extensive Tier Intensity at a minimum. Soil survey offices conducting initial soil survey are required to complete Dispersed data collection at the Extensive Tier Intensity. Dispersed DSP data collection refers to the integration of DSP data collection within other routine soil survey project operations and is described in Chapter 9 of the 2017 Soil Survey Manual (SSM). In addition, for soil characterization sampling outside of a DSP project, the Intermediate and Intensive Tier measures will be collected except where the work is conducted under contract and site selection is not at the discretion of the soil scientist.

In addition to Dispersed/Extensive DSP data collection, soil survey offices conducting update soil surveys (referred to as Update Offices) are required to complete one Dispersed or Project DSP data collection efforts at the Intermediate or Intensive Tier (as defined NI 430-308.1) per year. All Intermediate or Intensive Tier data collection efforts require a work plan and management questionnaires for each site or plot. For Intermediate or Intensive Tier projects, samples are to be collected and measurements are to be made from at least three locations for each land use or management system under evaluation for each soil.

For Project DSP data collection (as defined in the 2017 SSM Chapter 9, not the same as NASIS project), collaboration with state conservation staff is required and an NRCS conservation staff sponsor (District Conservationist, Resource Soil Scientist, State Soil Scientist, etc.) will need to be identified in the work plan for each Intermediate or Intensive Tier data collection effort. The work plan should address a locally relevant conservation question. In addition, the DSP project will be discussed and supported by the MLRA tech team.

The resources for planning DSP efforts can be found at:
Contact.   Questions should be directed to:


  • Jenn Mason, DSP Focus Team Leader, by telephone at 865‑494‑2343 or by email at jennifer.mason@usda.gov

  • Chad Remley, Soil Survey North Central Region Director, by email at chad.remley@usda.gov

  • Skye Wills, National Leader for Soil Science Research, National Soil Survey Center, by email at skye.wills@usda.gov.



Deputy Chief for Soil Science and Resource Assessment
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