Finding data on some 300 commercially grown crops in the Evergreen State often means contacting multiple state, federal and industry sources. However Washington State Department of Agriculture’s new website tool consolidates different data sets to make crop location information more accessible to farmers, agencies, agricultural groups, and the public.
WSDA’s crop data is classified by several categories:
- General crop group (berry, cereal grain, orchard, vegetable, etc.)
- Crop types (blueberry, wheat, apple, potato, etc.)
- Irrigation method (center pivot, drip, rill, none, etc.).
Crop data, the main component of the geo-database, is compiled by WSDA crop mapping specialists who conduct specifically-targeted fieldwork combined with knowledge of agricultural practices and crop identification skills. Using a GPS-equipped vehicle and a laptop computer, WSDA staff gathers data to inventory acreage in crop production. WSDA also tracks land that has been taken out of agricultural production.