Chernozem soils, prevailing in the region (68% of the land area), are one of the region’s main riches. The most common are leached chernozems, podzolized and typical are common to a lesser extent. Large areas in the north and northeast are occupied by gray forest soils.
The natural vegetation has remained approximately 1/3 of the area. Meadow-forest landscapes of the north and north-east are replaced in the south by meadow-steppe and steppe landscapes. Mixed and deciduous forests occupy 20% of the territory. The importance of forests is not so much industrial, as water protection, soil-protective and recreational. The steppes are mostly plowed up. Only small areas of virgin steppes have survived (Poperechenskaya, Kunkerovskaya, Ostrovtsovskaya protected steppes).