FREE JUNE 16 WEBINAR LAUNCHES NEW DATA, EXPANDED GEOGRAPHY FOR OpTIS
Satellite-derived data on 2019 conservation practices and wider geographical coverage of residue cover and cover crop adoption mark the latest expansion of the Operational Tillage Information System (OpTIS).
The release of the new data will be highlighted in a one-hour webinar on Wednesday, June 16 at 12:00 pm Eastern/11:00 am Central time featuring speakers from The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and Regrow Ag, Inc., whose scientists developed OpTIS. Speakers from academia and agribusiness will also describe how they use OpTIS data. Registration for the webinar is free at https://bit.ly/3ireZ68
OpTIS runs publicly available satellite images through a unique algorithm to track trends in the adoption of conservation tillage and winter cover crops. The original OpTIS database covered most of the Corn Belt and includes data from 2005 through 2019. The study area has been expanded to include 15 years of data from watersheds in most of Kansas and parts of southern Nebraska, western Tennessee, northern Wisconsin and the Saginaw Bay area of Michigan.
OpTIS 2.0 also now allows users to view data for specific two-year crop rotations—for instance, corn after corn, corn after soybeans, soybeans after corn, and more—leading to a better understanding of the greatest opportunities to increase adoption of conservation practices.
OpTIS data may be queried free at the HUC 8 watershed or USDA crop reporting district level HERE
.. The free online resource also includes visualization tools to help users explore tillage and cover crop trends, as well as run OpTIS data through the De-Nitrification/De-Composition (DNDC) model, which simulates the impacts of land management decisions on carbon and nitrogen in the soil.
"Data from OpTIS can be used in so many ways," notes Dave Gustafson, CTIC's OpTIS project director. "We're seeing it used to validate carbon sequestration contracts, track patterns in the adoption of cover crops over time, identify promising markets for specific agricultural inputs, analyze farm policy, and more. The possibilities are almost endless, especially with the combination of 15 years' worth of raw data and the easy visualization tool."