Farmers and ranchers attending the 2011 San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show on Nov. 10-12 at the Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall, 3201 East Houston Street, will have the opportunity to learn how to use the Web Soil Survey (WSS) at the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) booth. NRCS specialists will also be on hand to visit with landowners about the free conservation technical and financial assistance programs to help them meet their short and long-term land management goals.

Attendees can receive a personal hands-on demonstration of Web Soil Survey. Most all of the counties in Texas have a soil survey. A soil survey is an inventory of the different soil types and their location in the county. The soil survey provides aerial maps with soil boundaries, soil descriptions, and tables of soil properties and shows how the soil can be used. The soil survey data is available free of charge online on the Web Soil Survey at http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/ and the Soil Data Mart at http://soildatamart.nrcs.usda.gov/.

WSS can assist landowners in making decisions relative to farming and ranching operations, for example, differences in ecological sites and the plants capable of growing on that site, erosive soils, which soil sites will provide the greatest benefit from aerial spraying or other brush management practices.

“Interp maps provided through WSS can help the producer determine yield potentials when planting crops and implementing pasture and hayland plantings,” said Dennis Williamson, NRCS state soil scientist. “The WSS can help producers maintain profits, while reducing erosion, and improving soil and water quality.”

WSS can also provide landowners and agricultural producers with aerial photos, topography maps, and measuring tools to help them manage their resources. Users also have the ability save and print information and maps, free of charge, day or night.

Uses of the WSS include building sites, conservation plans, erosion control, farm and ranch appraisals, nutrient management, pipelines, range management, identification of risks and hazards, road building, water conservation, wetlands and wildlife management.

For more information on Web Soil Survey, how NRCS can help you meet your land management goals, and technical and financial assistance programs, visit the NRCS Web site at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov or contact NRCS at your local USDA Service Center, which is listed in phone directories under U.S. Government.

For more information on the San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show and a complete schedule of events and CEUs, visit the San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show Web site at www.farmandranchexpo.com. Admission is free but parking is $5.

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