Flat lands and gently rolling hills describe the Nottoway County landscape. Soil types range from coarse to fine, with a majority of Nottoway soils being sandy, loam, or clay. Seventy-eight percent of Nottoway’s acreage is classified as containing productive or highly productive soil, according to the Soil Conservation Service. These soil types will support a great variety of potential agricultural uses.
The county is underlain by igneous and metamorphic rocks. Granite underlies portions of the county and is currently being quarried at Burkeville. There is a large commercial granite quarry in Burkeville, producing 600,000 – 800,000 tons per year. This area yields a fine grained, gray granite. Brick-quality clay deposits have also been found in several areas of the county.
The northern half of Nottoway County lies within the James River Basin and the southern portion of the county lies in the Chowan River Basin. U.S. Highway 460 travels along the ridgeline separating the two watersheds.
Water supplies are available for a variety of economic activities, from farmland irrigation to manufacturing. Small waterways, such as streams and creeks are abundant and distributed across the county. The water table is usually present at depths of 40 feet or less. Well water is of good quality and quantity—especially 200 feet or deeper, where the yield can top 100 gallons per minute.
The Nottoway River provides the water supply for Crewe, Blackstone, as well as for Fort Pickett. The Town of Crewe draws its water supply from Crystal Lake and the Fort Pickett Reservoir supplies the Town of Blackstone and Fort Pickett.
There are few areas of the county designated by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as subject to flood hazards. Those areas are located along sections of the county’s major waterways. To determine the location of those areas, FEMA flood zone maps are available for inspection in the County Administrator’s office during regular business hours.
Natural resources include 137,206 acres of commercial forest land or 70 percent of the total land area. This forest land is 71 percent privately owned; of the 29 percent in public ownership, 14,199 acres are owned by the federal government as part of Fort Pickett, located in the eastern end of the county.
Dominant softwood species in the area include shortleaf pine, loblolly pine, Virginia pine, and red cedar. The hardwoods include red oak, white oak, yellow poplar, hickory, black gum, maple, and beech.
The combination of favorable climate, soils, and water offer Nottoway County agribusinessmen and women the opportunity to successfully raise crops, livestock, and poultry.
Nottoway County has 408 farms;
- has 71,442 acres in those farms;
- has 16,000 head of cattle;
- produces tobacco, wheat, corn, soybeans, and hay.
Nottoway County produces tobacco, both flue-cured and dark-fired, corn, soybeans, small grains, fruits, and a variety of forage crops. Beef cattle and poultry farms are numerous, and the county is home to some of the most modern and productive dairies in the state.