For the InstructorThese student materials complement the Future of Food Instructor Materials. If you would like your students to have access to the student materials, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing InTeGrate teaching materials.
NASS Geospatial Map Crop Scape Annual and Perennial Crop Analysis and Interpretation of Advantages and Disadvantages
Use the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) National Agricultural Statistics Survey Geospatial map Crop Scape to view the distribution of agricultural crops in the US. On the left side of the online map, click on the Cropland Data Layers tab and select the most recent year; then click on the Legend tab at top of the left side of the map to see what crop species each color represents. You can scroll down the long legend list to find the many crop species shown on the map.
Next, use the many tools at the top of the map to select more detailed information. When you hover over the symbols in the top menu, the text explains what each symbol does will appear. You can zoom in or select a state of interest using the USA flag-colored map symbol and then view the summary statistics for the selected region or state by clicking on the bar graph symbol.
Using the US flag-colored map symbol, select one state from the following two sets (A and B): A. Illinois or Indiana and B. Vermont or Wyoming. Look at the map and then click on the bar graph symbol and review the list of crops or crop types and the estimated acres of production. Be sure to scroll down the list of crop types to review them all, as they aren't all visible in the list window. Note that some crops are summarized into a category of similar crop types.
- What are the two crops or crop types that are produced on the most acres in each of the two states that you selected? Are the crops annuals or perennials?
- Distinguish and discuss how the soil characteristics of each state classify as a high-resource or resource-limited environment. Use the SoilGrids maps and soil class descriptions that you viewed earlier in Soils and Nutrients Module to describe the primary US soil order (of the 12 USDA soil orders) in the states you selected. See SoilGrids. See also Plant & Soil Sciences eLibrary, for a general description of the USDA soil order that dominates the state you selected. In addition, view the topographical map of the US, found at ArcGIS, to describe the topographyand degree of slope of most agricultural regions in each of the two states. See: Does the topography explain the dominant crop types in each state?
- How does the climate differ between the two states you selected? View the following websites to view the average temperature and precipitation in the US and the two states that you selected. Select average normals and Western Regional Climate Center. In addition, compare the plant growth hardiness zones for the two states you selected. See USDA Agricultural Research Services. How does the climate explain which crops dominate in each of the two states you selected? Is it likely that farmers are using technologies or management practices to alter the environment to create high-resource conditions for the dominant crops produced in your states, such as irrigation, greenhouses, etc.?
- Based on what you have learned about annuals and perennials, differentiate two potential advantages and disadvantages for a farm growing annuals and perennials. Write a paragraph that analyzes and interprets the pros and cons of both annual and perennial crops. Consider how they are adapted to different environments, how each crop type impacts the soil and potential pests dynamics, as well s the socioeconomic benefits and disadvantages of annual and perennial crop cultivation.
Answer the above four questions in about 1500 words.Download the worksheet (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 190kB Jan3 18) to complete the activity
Grading Information and Rubric (not applicable for online course; grading rubric for in-class assessment activity)
The maximum point for this assignment is 38. Use the Grading Rubric below to better understand what you will be graded on.
|1. In two selected states, the two dominant crops are identified and their life cycle is correctly identified.||6 points|
|2. The answer offers a logical interpretation of how the soil types and topography of each state characterize as a high or low-resource environment and explain what crops are dominant. Answers should link to the concepts discussed in the module and the Soils and Nutrients Models (3 points for each state). Incomplete or incorrect answers will be scored lower.||6 points|
|3. The answer summarizes the average temperature and precipitation for each state, and the crop hardiness zone rating and the climate contribute to classifying as a high or low resource environment. (4 points for each state) Answers should link to the concepts discussed in the module and water module.||8 points|
|4a. Analysis and interpretation of 2 advantages of growing annuals and 2 advantages of growing perennials for a farm and farmer are accurately and clearly described.(2 points for each advantage). Incorrect or incomplete answers will be reduced by 1 or 2 points.||8 points|
|4b. Analysis and differentiation of 2 disadvantages of growing annuals and 2 disadvantages of growing perennials for a farmer are accurately and clearly described (2 points for each disadvantage). Incorrect or incomplete answers will be reduced by 1 or 2 points.||8 points|
|5.Writing is grammatically correct, clear and well organized.||2 points|