Seed World

USDA Launches New Product to Show Crop Rotation Patterns

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new product, Crop Sequence Boundaries (CSB), according to a release. The tool was developed by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and Economic Research Service (ERS) to offer access to the public to “national-scale visual crop rotation data.”

CSB is a map of agricultural fields that shows crop acreages estimates and planting decisions based on past history across the contiguous United States. The product is open-source and lets users analyze data through satellite imagery and public data. It can also be used as a resource to make farming decisions.

“CSB gives farmers a chance to look at area farmland and see how remote sensing is capturing planting decisions,” said NASS administrator Hubert Hamer. “Farmers will be able to use eight years of historical crop rotations to enhance their farm records or look at the management history of land that they might have recently started operating. They can also look at how their planting decisions compare in their regions.”

Farmers using new land can also use CSB to select which crops they will plant by using previous rotations. Researchers can use the data to analyze at a field level. The tools will fill in the gaps between current and past data to paint a more complete picture.

CSB uses satellite imagery and high-performance cloud computing in addition to the Google Earth Engine. NASS and its partners have developed tools to support agricultural analyses with the goal of making data more accessible and valuable.

A senior geographer at NASS, Kevin Hunt, shared that this will help predict crop planting for upcoming seasons by using past data. ERS Economist Maria Bowman also shared that this will help with farm management practices and it will also help the USDA understand the level of impact of conservation programs.

“For researchers, CSB is useful because many farm decisions are made at the field level.” said ERS administrator Dr. Spiro Stefanou. “CSB represents an advancement in agricultural research by using high performance cloud computing to promote competitiveness by making information on planting decisions more accessible to everyone.”

CSB data sets can be downloaded here for 2015 through 2022 for state and county levels with an interactive map.

More information is available at