Montana SSURGO Soils Data Download


When the zipfile for a soil survey area is extracted, a folder of the same name will be created. It will contain folders named spatial and tabular; a readme.txt file with instructions for populating the tabular database; text and xml versions of the survey area specific metadata; and the Microsoft Access database template named soildb_MT_2003.mdb. The spatial folder will contain ESRI shapefiles named soilmu_a (soil map units); soilsa_a (outline of the survey area); soilsf_l (line features) and soilsf_p (point features). All will end with an extension of _mtsurveyarea. Also included are shapefiles named soilmu_l and soilmu_p which for survey areas in Montana are currently empty. The soilsf_t text file provides a description of the line and point feature attribute abbreviations.

The tabular folder contains 67 files in ASCII delimited format containing soil attribute data that will automatically be imported into the Microsoft Access database when the database template is first opened. Importing the data into a SSURGO template database establishes the proper relationships between the various soil survey data entities. It also provides access to a number of prewritten reports that display related data in a meaningful way and gives you the option to create your own queries and reports. Creating queries and reports requires additional knowledge by the user. All SSURGO template databases are in Microsoft Access 2002/2003 format. This will not prevent you from opening them in Access 2007 or Access 2010. If you get a security warning when you open a SSURGO template database, e.g. a warning that the database is read-only, you may need to change your Microsoft Access security settings. To import the soil tabular data into the SSURGO template database, enter the location of the "tabular" directory into the blank in the Import Form. Use the fully qualified pathname to the "tabular" directory that you unzipped from your export file. After entering the fully qualified pathname, click the "OK" button and the import process will start. Most imports take less than 5 minutes, and many take less than 1 minute. These instructions on populating the tabular database are also included in the readme.txt file.

Select an area or choose one from the map


Area Symbol Name Zip File

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    Natural Resources Conservation Service

    USDA NRCS Montana State Office
    Natural Resources Conservation Service
    10 East Babcock Street
    Federal Building, Room 443
    Bozeman, MT 59715-4704
    Phone: 406-587-6811
    Fax: 406-587-6761

    Catherine Maynard
    Montana Natural Resources Conservation Service
    Phone: 406-444-4546