At A Glance

Noteworthy Characteristics

  • Provides accurate data on acreage and crop type for all agricultural areas in the contiguous continental United States. This data may be used to address diet research questions related to food supply and production.
  • Provides data used to generate agricultural production statistics and forecasts.
  • Contains non-agricultural land cover data, such as urban infrastructure, forests, grasslands, and wetlands, which may be used in conjunction with the National Land Cover Dataset to inform comparative studies of geographic areas and obesity-related risk factors.



To collect data about crop-specific and non-agricultural land cover in the United States.

Target Population

Farms within the contiguous continental United States.


Began in 1997. Conducted annually. Most recent year conducted was 2018.


National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems at George Mason University.


Sample Design

Not a survey. Census by satellite.

Satellite imagery is collected from sensors maintained by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Imagery is analyzed using a decision tree-based classifier, using USDA’s Farm Service Agency’s data and the National Land Cover Data dataset from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Sample Size

All states within the contiguous continental United States.

Special Note(s)

Detailed accuracy assessment tables are published within the official metadata files. The primary focus of CropScape is on large-area summer crops (e.g., corn, soybeans). Data on major crop types have been shown to have a classification accuracy of 85% to 95%. Non-agricultural land cover data are less accurate; researchers are encouraged to use the National Land Cover Dataset for studies focused on non-agricultural land cover.

Key Variables


Crop acreage
Crop Type

Physical Activity-Related

Open space type
Development density type


Latitude / Longitude, County, Agricultural Statistics District, State

Data Access and Cost

Data Availability

Obtain data from CropScape.


Free of charge.


Geocode Variable(s)

Latitude/Longitude, County, Agricultural Statistics District, State.

Existing Linkages

None found.

Selected Publications

Mueller R, Harris M. Reported Uses of CropScape and the National Cropland Data Layer Program. USDA. Sixth International Conference on Agricultural Statistics 2013.