Soil survey provides information on the province’s soil resources to the farming community, the general public and the Branch. The principal activity is the characterization of soils, soil properties and soil suitability for agriculture and the spatial representation of the information by mapping. The information is instrumental in outlining potential agricultural areas, the development, planning and management of Agricultural Development Areas, and the expansion of the productive land base of individual farms. The program also provides technical advice to the farming community and agricultural staff on the adaptability of soils for various crops, their behaviors under use or treatment for plant production of for other purposes, such as waste disposal, their productivity under different management systems, and their susceptibility to soil degradation processes.
The Soils and Mapping Services Section currently houses three levels of soils data – each level represents a different intensity of data collection. As such, the soil survey program has been tailored to coincide with the needs and priorities of the agricultural land and farm development. The three levels are Exploratory, Reconnaissance and Detailed. Each type of survey identifies in a general way the accuracy of a survey and the overall purpose of the survey.