Map Shows Nebraska Agricultural Land Use

State's crops, irrigated and dryland, are identified.

A new full-color digital map showing Nebraska's agricultural land use is available from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies.

The new map depicts agricultural land use in Nebraska during the 2005 growing season. All major crops and both irrigated and non-irrigated fields are easily identified, says Jim Merchant, CALMIT associate director and UNL School of Natural Resources remote sensing specialist.

"Nebraska is home to a wide variety of land uses, from irrigated row crops and winter wheat in the western part of the state to dryland corn and soybeans in the east. Agricultural practices shape our state's landscape and influence state and regional policy discussions involving everything from water use to endangered species and environmental concerns," Merchant says.

The map depicts 25 separate land use classes, and crops are identified as either irrigated or dryland and the map has an overall accuracy of greater than 80%, Merchant says.

The map has a spatial resolution of approximately 30 x 30 meters, or 1:100,000, which allows for great detail and accuracy. It was produced using satellite imagery in combination with field data collected from Nebraska's Natural Resource Districts and the Farm Service Agency.

Three "dates of imagery," or satellite passes, that represent spring, summer, and fall growing conditions were used to map crops.

Irrigation data was provided by the state's NRDs and the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources. Center pivot irrigation plots captured by satellite imagery and then digitized are also included on the map.

The mapping project is sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Roads and expands on earlier satellite mapping work CALMIT scientists have conducted in support of the Platte River Cooperative Hydrology Study, or COHYST, a cooperative agreement between Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado and the U.S. Department of the Interior to address endangered species issues affecting the Platte River basin.

All maps produced by the project, and a final report, can be downloaded online at www.calmit.unl.edu/2005landuse/. For additional information on the 2005 land use mapping project, contact Merchant at [email protected] or phone 402-472-7531.

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