Software & Web Tools
Buffer$ – This Microsoft Excel-based tool can be used to analyze cost benefits of buffers compared to traditional crops. Download Excel spreadsheet (or request a Buffer$ CD) at USDA National Agroforestry Center.
CorridorDesign.org has dozens of ArcGIS extensions, publications, and instructions for designing corridors. All free. Developed for Arizona, no doubt they could be adapted for anywhere. See also Beier et al. (2008 ) in Conservation Biology.
Estimating the Costs of Managed Haying or Grazing of CRP (Taylor, Mykel, Kevin C. Dhuyvetter, & Terry L. Kastens, Kansas State University). Excel-based decision tool for haying and grazing CRP lands in Kansas. Link to spreadsheet in pdf document.
Farm Program Acres tool from USDA is an web-based application where you can map online (and download the raw data) county level data for Farm Program acreage including: program acres (production flexibility contract acres under the 1996 Farm Act, by commodity; base acres designated under the 2002 Farm Act, by commodity; and base acres updated to 1998-2001 plantings under the 2002 Farm Act, by commodity) and planted acreage from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Online plant identification key from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (use MS Explorer). It has state specific keys for grasses and legumes, plus keys for gymnosperms and wetland monocots in the US.
Soil & Pasture Rental Rates from USDA. Download current rental rates and EI values.
Web-based soil survey data from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Once you have the soil map for your farm, you can go to NRCS’s new soil rental rate site (see above) and enroll in Farm Bill conservation programs.