Food production, distribution, safety, and international security are becoming increasingly vulnerable to changes in climate that can include increases or decreases in the amount as well as the rate of change in precipitation and temperature. The drought in California and north Texas in 2013 leading to loss of crops and increase in water restrictions is an example of an extreme climatic event that could become more frequent in the future under a changing climate. The 2018 National Climate Assessment provides background information to help producers, consumers, and distributors of food, from local to global scales, to prepare for a changing climate. Additional resources that may be helpful include:
The Geospatial Data Gateway (GDG), available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), is the One Stop Source for environmental and natural resources data, at any time, from anywhere, to anyone. The Gateway allows a user to choose an area of interest, browse and select data from the catalog, customize the format, and have it downloaded or shipped on CD or DVD.
Quick Stats is the most comprehensive tool for accessing agricultural data published by NASS. Quick Stats provides agricultural statistics profiles for a particular subject area or commodity. Data are currently available in the following areas: crops and plants, economics, livestock and animals.
The Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS) Farm Financial and Crop Production Practices (available through the USDA - ERS) is the USDA’s primary source of information on the financial condition, production practices, and resource use of America’s farm businesses and the economic well-being of America’s farm households. ARMS is a nationally representative survey administered using several phases—sample screener, field-level, and farm-level phases—targeting about 5,000 fields and 30,000 farms each year.
Crop Explorer provides access to imagery and modeled estimates of crop production, soil moisture, and weather for the US and globally. Crop Explorer provides near real-time information on crops and conditions by region, satellite images, live data and maps, with links to production estimates, area, yield, and crop assessments.
CropScape is a web-based interactive map visualization, dissemination, and querying system for U.S. cropland, hosted through NASS. Capabilities include on-line geospatial crop information access, geospatial query and on-line analytics via interactive maps. CropScape provides crop-specific land cover data layers created annually for the continental United States using moderate resolution satellite imagery and extensive agricultural ground truth.
VegScape is an on-line, satellite-based, interactive mapping service that provides current information on crop conditions, hosted through NASS. It publicly disseminates geospatial vegetation conditions at daily, weekly, and biweekly time periods.
NAIP provides annual natural color aerial imagery during the agricultural growing seasons for the lower 48 states. NAIP provides imagery products either as digital ortho quarter quad tiles (DOQQs) or compressed county mosaics (CCM). NAIP is available through the NRCS Geospatial Data Gateway
The Census of Agriculture is the leading source of facts and figures about American agriculture. Conducted every five years, the Census provides a detailed picture of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. It is the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the United States. The 2017 Census of Agriculture collected information concerning all areas of farming and ranching operations, including production expenses, market value of products, and operator characteristics. The census is hosted by NASS.
Atlas of Rural and Small-town America, provided by the ERS, provides a spatial interpretation of county-level, economic and social conditions along four dimensions: people, jobs, agriculture, and county classifications.
Hosted by the NRCS, the Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) provides an interactive process to identify and retrieve data from individual SCAN sites. The Soil Climate Analysis Network consists of automated remote sites that focus on agricultural areas of the U.S. monitoring and collecting soil temperature and soil moisture content at several depths, soil water level, air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind, precipitation, barometric pressure, and more.