The first soil surveys the U.S. were conducted in 1899, and were conducted by men who were geologists, chemists and building engineers. None had training in agronomy. As time went by, it became clear that surveying of soils had more uses than originally intended.

Elkhart County was originally surveyed in 1916. That survey lists five basic categories of soils, and had no map of the county!

Jeff Burbrink is an educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. He can be reached at 574-533-0554 or

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