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Coastal marsh soil profile (courtesy of the Society of Soil Scientists of Southern New England)

Rhode Island Soils

Through the National Cooperative Soil Survey, NRCS details the make-up of soils across Rhode Island so that farmers, ranchers, and others can make informed land use decisions.

Tidal marsh soil sampling in Sheffield Cove, Jamestown, RI - January 22, 2021.
Tidal marsh soil sampling in Sheffield Cove, Jamestown, RI - January 22, 2021.

Focus Areas


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Who We Are

The Rhode Island Soils Division provides Technical Soil Services (TSS) – Information and assistance on the appropriate use and application of soil information – to customers in Rhode Island and Southern New England. TSS includes wetlands and HEL (highly erodible land) determinations for regulatory compliance, onsite conservation planning assistance, training and soil education activities, promotion of Soil Health Systems, and helping the public obtain and use soils data available through the Web Soil Survey, eFOTG and other web applications.

We are part of the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) program, a nationwide partnership of federal, regional, state, and local agencies and institutions. This partnership works together to cooperatively investigate, inventory, document, classify, and interpret soils and to disseminate, publish, and promote the use of information about the soils of the United States and its trust territories. 

NRICD Soil Conservationist, Marina Capraro, displays microbe-eaten undies dug up from the lawn at Snake Farm in Johnston, RI, on August 10, 2023, for the RI Soil Your Undies Challenge

Take the 'Soil Your Undies' Soil Health Challenge!

Have you ever wondered how healthy your soil is?

Just bury a pair of cotton underwear around May-June and dig it back up after at least 60 days. It’s the quick and dirty way to test the microbial activity in your soil. The more the underwear is deteriorated, the healthier your soil!

Narragansett Silt loam soil profile

Rhode Island State Soil - Narragansett

Narragansett soils occur on approximately 12,000 acres in Rhode Island and also occur in the adjacent states of Connecticut and Massachusetts. They are productive agricultural soils supporting principal crops of silage corn, hay and vegetables.

Jim Turenne

Assistant State Soil Scientist

Additional Information

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