Evolution from Soil Quality to Dynamic Soil Survey

NCSS Virtual Conference

Pictured left to right: Auburn University with Samford Hall in the background; soil profile of the Bama series, the official State soil of Alabama; and the rising sun over a cotton field in Alabama.

Hosted by Auburn University

in partnership with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Forest Service

June 8–10, 2021

Welcome to Alabama!

Bama Soil

The Official State Soil of Alabama

Fine-loamy, siliceous, subactive, thermic Typic Paleudults

Block Diagram—Generalized soil-geomorphic patterns and landscape relationships in the Urbo-Mooreville-Una, Annemaine-Izagora-Lenoir, Luverne-Halso, Arundel-Cantuche, and Bama-Malbis-Luverne general soil map units along the Alabama River in the central part of Wilcox County.

Southern Longleaf Pine

The southern longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Miller) is the official state tree of Alabama.

Five-year-old montane longleaf developing vigorously on private lands in Cherokee County, Alabama. (Photo by Ad Platt, The Longleaf Alliance)

National Forests

The National Forests in Alabama include approximately 668,000 acres of National Forest System land in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Cumberland Plateau, Piedmont and Coastal Plain areas of the state. There are four National Forests, divided into six ranger districts.

Photo of Sougahoagdee Waterfall at Bankhead National Forest courtesy of Tanya Wallace, the 2020 National Forests in Alabama photography contest winner.

Gopher Tortoise

The gopher tortoise is the only land tortoise native to the Southeast. It dwells in pine forests with deep, well drained soils and an open understory that provides food and nesting sites.

Water Resources

Freshwater is one of Alabama's greatest assets. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that approximately 10 percent of the freshwater resources in the entire continental United States originate in or flow through Alabama.


Approximately 3.1 million acres of wetlands encompass the State of Alabama. Wetlands are valuable for improving water quality, providing wildlife habitat, reducing shoreline erosion, improving ecosystem productivity, and providing recreational opportunities.


Alabama's shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico stretches for 60 miles.

The Great Blue Heron is common throughout the state in all seasons.


Alabama ranks fourth in U.S. aquaculture (including catfish) sales. Alabama is the second-largest producer of catfish in the United States, with more than 17,000 water acres in production.


There are 38,800 farm operations in Alabama! The average farm size is 206 acres. Cotton is the leader in row crop production in Alabama, followed by corn, soybeans, peanuts, and wheat.

Poultry Production

Alabama's poultry industry is a multibillion-dollar enterprise and the major agricultural business in the state.

U.S. Space and Rocket Center

Photos courtesy of Hunstville.org

The Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is home to the largest space museum in the world and the state's top-paid tourist attraction for seven consecutive years. It usually generates about $120 million in annual revenue for the state.

George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver recognized the critical role of healthy soils in sustaining agriculture and, consequently, the local communities. While a professor at Tuskegee Institute, Carver developed techniques to improve soils depleted by repeated plantings of cotton.

"Whenever the soil is rich, the people flourish, physically and economically. Whenever the soil is wasted, the people are wasted. A poor soil produces only a poor people."

— George Washington Carver

Photos courtesy of Tuskegee University Archives

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