The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has released satellite image maps depicting crop patterns in eight states for the years 2001 and 2002. These images, referred to as the Cropland Data Layer, can be used in geographic information system (GIS) applications.
Crop maps are available for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, Nebraska, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Missouri (boot heel only). When the satellite image maps are used in a GIS and combined with other data layers such as soil, transportation networks, or weather contours, they can be helpful in watershed analysis, soils utilization over large areas, and crop rotation analysis.
A CD-ROM is available for each state for $35. No individually reported data from any farm is included or derivable from the CD-ROM. This aligns with NASS policy to strictly protect the confidentiality of farmer reported data.
To order, visit the NASS Web site at
and click on Statistical Research, then Cropland Data Layer. For additional information, call the Ag Statistics Hotline at 1-800-727-9540. NASS confidentiality and security pledges may be accessed from the NASS homepage at
by clicking on Agency Information.