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Virginia ConservationVision: Agricultural Model 2015

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by

Kirsten Hazler

on 14 October 2015

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Transcript of Virginia ConservationVision: Agricultural Model 2015

Soil Quality Polygons
The relative agricultural value is primarily based on inherent soil suitability, but also accounts for current land cover as well as travel time to population centers and farmers' markets (a proxy for foodshed potential).
Agricultural Value Score
Soil Quality Score
(raster)

Soil Survey Geographic Database
(SSURGO)
Farmland Classification
Nonirrigated Capability Class
National Commodity Crop Productivity Index
Agricultural Value = 100 * NCCPI
Foodshed Score
(raster)

Land Cover Score
(raster)

Soil Map Units
Soil Quality Score Raster
Compute average of 3 scores
Join soil quality scores to mapped polygons
NLCD Land Cover
Agriculture Polygons
National Land Cover Database
(NLCD)
Land Cover Scores
Land Cover Score Raster
Agriculture Raster
Road Centerlines
Roads Raster
Reclassify land cover raster
Map algebra to combine rasters
Known agriculture overrides NLCD classification
Roads override everything

Population Numbers
Population Density
NLCD Land Cover
National Land Cover Database
(NLCD)
Rasterize population numbers by census block
Calculate block area after removing uninhabitable land cover types
Derive population density per raster cell

Urban Areas
Roads
Delineate urban areas based on road density
Determine total population within each urban zone
Designate zone types
"Urban Areas" have population > 2500
"Metro Areas" are a subset of Urban Areas, with population > 50,000

Metro Areas
Farmers Market Directory
Market Locations
Travel Time Cost Surface
Generate travel time cost surface (minutes per meter traveled) based on road speeds
For roadless areas, NLCD is used to set background travel times.

Generate total travel time to get to nearest:
Market
Urban Area
Metro Area
Rescale travel times to scores ranging from 0 (travel time 2+ hours) to 100 (no travel time)
Compute average of three scores

Foodshed Score Raster
Extract tabular and spatial data
Assign model scores to soil attributes with reviewer input

Project soil polygons
Convert to raster
Assign model scores to land cover data with reviewer input

Rasterize road centerlines

Rasterize agricultural polygons

Land Cover Score
(raster)
Soil Quality Score
(raster)
Foodshed Score
(raster)
Acknowledgements
Model Reviewers
Jason Bulluck, Joe Weber, Anne Chazal (Virginia Natural Heritage Program)
Karl Huber (VDCR - Soil & Water)
Andy Sorrell (VDACS)
Fred Garst (NRCS)
Brad Copenhaver (Virginia Agribusiness Council)
Trey Davis (Virginia Farm Bureau)
Spatial Analysis Lab students (University of Richmond)

Consultation
David Harper, David Faulkner (NRCS)

GIS assistance
Noah Vaughn
ABSTRACT

The Virginia Agricultural Model was developed to quantify the relative suitability of lands for agricultural activity across the state. It is presented as a raster data set and associated maps, in which the relative agricultural value of lands ranges from 0 (unsuitable) to 100 (optimal). This provides some of the information needed for prioritizing lands that may be placed under conservation easements in the interest of sustaining agricultural values and uses.

In this model, agricultural value is assessed primarily based on inherent soil suitability, but also accounts for current land cover as well as travel time between agricultural producers and consumers. Among others, staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) were consulted to ensure a robust model. The Virginia Agricultural Model is one of several in a suite of conservation planning and prioritization models developed by the Virginia Natural Heritage Program and partners, known collectively as Virginia ConservationVision.

Virginia ConservationVision
Kirsten Hazler, PhD
Landscape Ecologist, Virginia Natural Heritage Program

Tracy Tien
Student Intern, University of Richmond

Agricultural Model
2015 Edition
Full transcript