Agricultural Policy Review


The conversion

of grass-like land to row crops (in our case, corn or soybeans) and general land use change in the Corn Belt region has important water quality implications. Additional agricultural production can increase nutrient runoff into the Upper Mississippi River Basin, thereby increasing the size of the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. We use two data sources from the National Agricultural Statistical Services (NASS) to obtain detailed land use information in the Corn Belt from 2006 to 2014. We also identify and analyze any similarities and discrepancies between both data sources.