A Nutrient Use Geographic Information System (NuGIS) for the U.S. (Final Version)

IPNI sees on-going assessment of nutrient balance and nutrient use efficiency in crop production as one of its responsibilities. That assessment is one of the two primary objectives of NuGIS. The other objective is to identify weaknesses in the process of doing that assessment with the hope that all involved in the process will collectively strive for improvements.

NuGIS creates county-level estimates of N, P and K applied to the soil in fertilizer and livestock manure, and removed by harvested agricultural crops. Geospatial techniques are used to estimate balances for 8-digit hydrologic units using the county-level data. The current version makes estimates for five years, coinciding with the USDA Census of Agriculture, from 1987 - 2007. A version that can be updated annually for non-Census years is under development. Results are viewable through an interactive color map or exportable as tabular data (see below).

A pdf file of a short article providing a summary of the methods used in NuGIS is attached below. In-depth methods are provided on the website to offer complete transparency into how the balance estimates are made and displayed. Interpretation of the results, other than a few summary bullets, is not done here. Future focused publications will emphasize interpretation.

Please submit comments or suggestions for improvement to nugis@ipni.net.