Skip to main content

educator center

Food for Thought Interactive Maps

Crop Planting Frequency and Climate Map Information

We have created a basic tutorial video to show you a few ways to use this map and the layers.

You will find three crop frequency layers:
  • Wheat Planting Frequency 2008-2017
  • Soybean Planting Frequency 2008-2017
  • Corn Planting Frequency 2008-2017
  • Sugarbeet Planting Frequency 2008-2017
  • Alfalfa Planting Frequency 2008-2017

The National Agricultural Statistics Service gathers the cropland data using satellite imagery to identify the crops planted. The data on the map layers covers 10 years of satellite imagery and shows students how many times a crop was planted in fields over that time period. The satellite imagery/software does not provide 100% accuracy. The software takes the data from the imagery and predicts what is being grown. Your students may see a 1 year planting of a crop in the middle of a lake or in a very urban area. This just means the vegetation in that particular area was very similar to a crop.

You will also find three climate layers:
  • Mean Annual Average Temperature 1981-2010
  • Mean Annual Precipitation 1981-2010
  • Combined Temperature and Precipitation Averages 1981-2010
  • Average July Daytime High Temperature
  • Average January Nighttime Low Temperature

The mean annual temperature predictions are provided from information from the PRISM climate group for Minnesota, 1981-2010. Mean annual temperature is calculated by taking the sum of the daily high and the daily low over the entire year (each year from 1981-2010) and dividing by 2.

Annual average precipitation predictions are also determined with information from the PRISM climate group for Minnesota, 1981-2010. Annual average precipitation is calculated by taking the sum of the precipitation (rain + water equivalent inches in snow) for each year from 1981-2010 and dividing by 30.