The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) now offers the Ag Census Web Maps application, a dynamic online tool that gives users rapid access to Census of Agriculture maps and data about crops and plants, livestock and animals, economics, farms, and operators in more than 3,000 counties across the United States.
“The Ag Census Web Maps give farmers, ranchers, researchers, planners, non-profits, and industry easy access to important data that impact nearly every aspect of agriculture,” said NASS Administrator Joseph T. Reilly.
The Ag Census Web Maps application is interactive. Users can navigate to an area of interest, print the map, display and extract a county’s data, download maps and accompanying data for use with common software programs, and integrate the web map services with other mapping applications to visualize and analyze 2012 Census of Agriculture data in a geospatial context. NASS developed the application in collaboration with USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).
The Census of Agriculture provides a detailed picture every five years 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. Census data are used to make decisions about many things that directly impact farmers and ranchers, including:
- community planning
- store/company locations
- availability of operational loans and other funding
- location and staffing of service centers
- farm programs and policies
“The Ag Census Web Maps application is one tool in USDA’s shed to better serve rural America, the nation, and future generations,” Reilly said. “As we pursue innovation at home and abroad, we are considering how advances in technology and knowledge management systems can help users access the information they need to better accomplish their goals. We believe the Ag Census Web Maps application will help users of our data do just that.”
The application includes county-level maps and statistics in five broad categories:
- Crops and plants
- Livestock and animals
Information about harvested acreage, agricultural sales, enrollment in crop insurance programs, natural resources use, statistics on cattle, demographics about farmers and ranchers, and much more can be visualized and analyzed using the Ag Census Web Maps application.
Anyone can access and use the Ag Census Web Maps data. An application programming interface (API) is also available for developers.