InfoAg 2013: Willis To Highlight CropScape, VegScape

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One of InfoAg 2013’s featured speakers, Patrick Willis, contractor, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), will present on two USDA web portals that ag retailers and growers can use for free.

“The purpose of my talk is to publicize two USDA NASS web portals that offer geospatial data free to the public, CropScape and VegScape,” says Willis. “CropScape hosts the Cropland Data Layer (CDL), a fast, geo-referenced and crop-specific land cover data layer created annually. VegScape is a new interactive vegetation condition portal, which provides timely updates of vegetative and crop condition throughout the growing season.”

Willis emphasizes that both portals are free for download and include historical data, and their applications in agriculture are numerous.

“There are numerous users within the federal, state and local government, universities and private industry that rely on the CDL to identify the spatial distribution of specific crops on an annual basis,” explains Willis. “Past uses include: watershed and water quality monitoring, grain transportation and storage planning, crop rotation pattern analysis across growing seasons, interaction of soils and crops over large areas and agribusiness planning for seed, fertilizer and pesticide distribution.”

Willis is a federal contractor who has worked with the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) since 1999. He has also worked in private industry, researching and developing agriculturally-focused remote sensing applications, and Willis has a master’s degree in agronomy from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Illinois.

Be sure to be in Springfield, IL, on July 17 at 1:00 pm for Willis’ can’t-miss presentation “Remote Sensing for Crop Assessment”.

For more information or to register for InfoAg 2013, go to

Grassi is the Assistant Editor for the CropLife Media Group, including CropLife and CropLife IRON magazines and the PrecisionAg Special Reports. He joined the staff in February 2012.

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