What is Soil Judging?

In collegiate Soil Judging undergraduate students learn how to describe soil morphology, general geomorphology, classify soils, and make land use interpretations in a field environment. Students evaluate soils from pits (holes in the ground) and are graded relative to a key created by soil professionals in the contest area. Depending on the contest, students will work as individuals and in teams.

The field skills students gain from experiential learning activities like soil judging are essential for career success in Crop and Soil Science fields. Each year, NC State students must participate in the fall semester regional contest to qualify for national competition held in the spring.

2018 NC State Soil Judging Team in Kentucky

If you are a current undergraduate student at NC State University (any major) and are interested in joining our team, please contact Dr. Matthew Ricker.

SSC 410 Soil Judging for Land Evaluation (1 Credit Hour)

Lecture and field-based course on describing, classifying, and interpreting soils in their natural setting. Topics will focus on a particular land region that will change each year. Lectures explain land evaluation techniques and include soil morphology, genesis, and classification. Urban and agricultural applications will be considered. The course meets once per week for 8 weeks. Three field trips will be required and count as labs. The weekly meeting time is TBA. Students who complete the class have the option of participating in a regional, intercollegiate, Soil Judging Contest during each fall semester. Participation in the national contest during the spring semester depends on qualifying at the regional level the previous fall. Course may be taken multiple times for credit.