Agricultural Land Use
WSDA has developed an agricultural land use geodatabase to assess the effects of agricultural production on Washington's natural resources. The geodatabase can store, query, and manipulate geographic information and spatial data used to identify agriculture land use in the state.
Crop data is compiled by WSDA mapping specialists. These specialists employ specifically-targeted fieldwork combined with a knowledge of agricultural practices and crop identification skills. Using a vehicle and a gps equipped laptop computer or mobile device, WSDA mapping specialists gather data to inventory acreage in crop production. WSDA also tracks land that has been taken out of agricultural production. WSDA may also utilize land use data from other sources, for example, the NASS Cropland Data Layer (CDL), to identify agricultural land use.
WSDA crop data is classified by several categories: 1) general crop group (berry, cereal grain, orchard, vegetable, etc.); 2) crop types (blueberry, wheat, apple, potato, etc.), and 3) irrigation method (center pivot, drip, rill, none, etc.). Traditional agricultural land use data provides only broad use definitions limited to distinctions made between row crops and pasture.