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GIS Remote Sensing Project

In 1999, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce (MDAC) and the National Agricultural Statistics Services (NASS) signed an inter-agency agreement to implement a Geographical Information System/Remote Sensing project to produce maps that would identify the major crops grown in Mississippi .

Today, Mississippi is one of forty eight states using satellite pictures to monitor the agricultural crops. Both MDAC and NASS produce maps showing crop production in each county. This mapping of the Cropland Data Layer (CDL) is a service for Mississippi farmers and others associated with farming and land use. It enables viewers to observe the production areas for the primary crops grown in Mississippi . In addition, acreage estimates for each crop are obtained for use by the National Agricultural Statistics Services to help in the preparation of the official annual crop estimates. This mapping information is used by governmental agencies, state universities, and the general public.

NEW! Announcing CropScape!

•  CropScape is a viewer and calculator for the CDL that NASS has made available on line starting in 2011.

•  Combining available annual CDLs with selected functionality normally only available in programs like ArcGIS© and ERDAS Imagine©, the web service does not take up space on your hard disk. Perfect for mobile computing.

•  The web site CropScape - Cropland Data Layer is intuitive and has a tutorial and links to further details.

•  CDLs were prepared using a maximum likelihood classifier prior to 2006 for only a few states, starting in 1999 for Mississippi . This early data is mainly for crops.

•  From 2006 to the present, a decision tree classifier has been used along with reference data from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) giving land cover results for crops, forests, pasture, and other widely useful categories on an annual basis.

•  Excellent accuracies have been obtained for CDL crop and NLCD category pixel acre measurements. See studies by Shore and Gregory, AAG, 2010 on Mississippi forests, 2006-2009  and Luman and Tweddate on the 2007 Illinois CDL.

•  Both spatial and numeric statistics for selected areas of interest can be downloaded to a hard drive for further use.

•  CropScape retains the accuracy of the CDL for major acreage land covers. Categories with low state-wide acres are usually under represented.

•  Sitting a biomass plant in Vicksburg ? CropScape can give you crop and forest acres per year for a 50 mile radius in Mississippi and the adjoining states in minutes.

•  Doing a study of current field conditions vs. land use since 1999? Find the answer in minutes.

•  Identify and quantify what was grown in an area of interest in a given year and what was grown there a reference year? In minutes.

•  Downloads of GeoTIFFs to the hard drive or to Goggle Earth© in minutes.

•  Spend a few minutes with CropScape to expand your land cover information.

•  See menu for links to CropScape, CDL Downloads, Cropland Data Layer Reports, and to email any questions.

•  Contact Dr. Fred Shore at or 601.965.4575 with any questions or suggestions for improvement.

Disclaimer: Users of our Cropland Data Layer (CDL) products and associated data files are solely responsible for interpretations made from these products. The CDL is provided "as is". Both MDAC and the USDA-NASS do not warrant results you may obtain by using the Cropland Data Layer. For additional information, please visit USDA/NASS.