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Data Series 573

National Water-Quality Assessment Program
Prepared in cooperation with the Conservation Technology Information Center

Tillage Practices in the Conterminous United States, 1989–2004—Datasets Aggregated by Watershed

By Nancy T. Baker

ABSTRACT

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This report documents the methods used to aggregate county-level tillage practices to the 8-digit hydrologic unit (HU) watershed. The original county-level data were collected by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC). The CTIC collects tillage data by conducting surveys about tillage systems for all counties in the United States. Tillage systems include three types of conservation tillage (no-till, ridge-till, and mulch-till), reduced tillage, and intensive tillage. Total planted acreage for each tillage practice for each crop grown is reported to the CTIC. The dataset includes total planted acreage by tillage type for selected crops (corn, cotton, grain sorghum, soybeans, fallow, forage, newly established permanent pasture, spring and fall seeded small grains, and “other” crops) for 1989–2004.

Two tabular datasets, based on the 1992 enhanced and 2001 National Land Cover Data (NLCD), are provided as part of this report and include the land-cover area-weighted interpolation and aggregation of acreage for each tillage practice in each 8-digit HU watershed in the conterminous United States for each crop. Watershed aggregations were done by overlying the 8-digit HU polygons with a raster of county boundaries and a raster of either the enhanced 1992 or the 2001 NLCD for cultivated land to derive a county/land-cover area weighting factor. The weighting factor then was applied to the county-level tillage data for the counties within each 8-digit HU and summed to yield the total acreage of each tillage type within each 8-digit HU watershed.

First posted March, 2011

  • Appendix I
    This dBase tabular dataset is based on the 1992 enhanced National Land Cover Data. This dataset is intended to be used with the 8-digit watershed boundary data (WBDHUC8, provided below) which shares the common attribute HUC8_N. This tabular data can be linked (joined or related) to the WBDHUC8 dataset by the HUC8_N attribute.
  • Appendix 2
    This dBase tabular dataset is based on the 2001 National Land Cover Data. This dataset is intended to be used with the 8-digit watershed boundary data (WBDHUC8, provided below) which shares the common attribute HUC8_N. This tabular data can be linked (joined or related) to the WBDHUC8 dataset by the HUC8_N attribute.
  • Appendix 3
    TThis is the companion dataset to be used with the tabular dBase tillage practice datasets above. The WBDHUC8 is derived from the 12-digit Watershed Boundary Data and includes the attribute HUC8_N. HUC8_N is the common attribute used to link the tabular dBase data files above to this geospatial dataset.

For additional information contact:
Director, Indiana Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
5957 Lakeside Blvd
Indianapolis, Indiana 46278
http://in.water.usgs.gov/

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Suggested citation:

Baker, N.T., 2011, Tillage practices in the conterminous United States, 1989–2004—Datasets Aggregated by Watershed: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 573, 13 p.



Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Abstract
Introduction
CTIC Data-Collection Methods
Data-Processing Methods
Tillage-Practice Datasets Aggregated to 8-Digit Hydrologic Unit Watersheds
Summary
References Cited

Appendixes 1, 2, and 3

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