FSA Field Boundaries (CLU) – May 2008

AgriData, Inc.’s Surety® and Surety® Pro Online Mapping Software incorporates the Farm Service Agency’s field boundary data onto our maps. This data contains the official reported field border geometries that can be overlaid on the map as well as acreage values for each border. These boundaries can be quickly selected or used to create a modified border off of the original in order to produce print-ready maps and forms complete with an eye-catching highlighted border and acreage display.

CLU Background

The FSA field boundaries had historically been documented and referenced only on "paper maps". With the advancement of technology and digital mapping, the paper maps have been replaced by digital records. The commonly known "FSA Map" contains this digital border data overlaying aerial imagery of that particular area.

The border itself in either one of our products that we offer typically represents a producer's field and can be assigned a farm/field id. The producer can use this border data when readying for the upcoming crop season in loans, multi-peril insurance, hail insurance, USDA communication, and communication between farm laborers and vendors. These borders and their pertaining information are also used across multiple agencies however; the FSA is considered the ultimate responsible party and maintains all CLU records. Current CLU data can be acquired from the local FSA office by either being the property owner or the operator can obtain the files if requested. These shape files are georeferenced border data that are able to be viewed in certain GIS programs such as Surety® Pro.

While CLU boundaries, the smallest unit of contiguous land, are measured in acres and can represent different types of land classifications, the CLU fields in either Surety® or Surety® Pro can represent cropland, rangeland, bodies of water, timber, CRP, buildings.

CLU Restrictions

Section 1619 of the 2008 Farm Bill has since deemed the CLU data, including the boundaries and acreages, private data and prohibited the use of any newer CLU information without the land owner's consent. In many situations across the country, these 2008 borders remain accurate. In the cases that they no longer correctly represent a field boundary, Surety and Surety Pro offer tools that enable modification of existing boundaries or the creation of new ones. These tools provide a means to change the boundaries by moving border segments, merging 2 or more boundaries together, or splitting the boundary into separate parts. There are a few parts of the country that did not have CLU data released when the Farm Bill of 2008 was passed. In these cases, the borders must be created manually with the drawing tools or imported into Surety Pro from another source.

CLU Dataset

The FSA CLU information is used as a data layer and can be enabled or disabled from view on the map (it is enabled by default). This allows for a custom drawn boundary to be displayed with or without the CLU data enabled. This data layer (FSA Borders) in either Surety or Surety Pro can be found in the layers list as “FSA Fields (5/21/2008)”.