A sample of CEH Land Cover® plus: Crops data

By combining information on cropping patterns from UKCEH Land Cover® plus: Crops with national survey data on pesticide and fertiliser use, the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has created two new data products: UKCEH Land Cover® plus Fertilisers and UKCEH Land Cover® plus Pesticides.

These maps estimate average fertiliser and pesticide applications over the past five years for the whole of England, and England & Wales respectively. They offer a unique dataset of application rates at a fine resolution and national scale. These data have been developed to aid UKCEH research into the environmental impacts of agriculture and to help develop sustainable farming solutions. 

UKCEH Land Cover® plus Fertilisers

UKCEH Land Cover® plus Fertilisers maps estimate average, total, annual, application of manufactured Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

Technical features

  • Scale: 1km resolution
  • Units: kg of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium / 1km2
  • Supply Format: GeoTIFF
  • Coverage: England
  • Period: A snapshot of average total annual applications between 2010 and 2015

Example of 3 maps of England estimating application of 3 fertilisers

Method

Anonymised data from the Defra and Scottish Government sponsored British Survey of Fertiliser Practice (2010-2015) was used to derive average, total, annual application of manufactured fertilisers for each crop type per survey location.

A spatial interpolation model was used to predict applications for every 1km grid cell in England.

The total application for each 1km square was then derived using crop areas from UKCEH Land Cover® plus: Crops (averaged 2015-2017).

Uncertainty maps are presented alongside the fertiliser application maps to quantify the level of confidence in estimated application rates.    

Potential Uses

  • Prediction of environmental impacts, such as modelling agrochemical runoff, eutrophication and soil health.
  • Planning and environmental protection, such as catchment sensitive farming and estimates of gaseous emissions.
  • Supporting the agricultural industry, providing data on patterns of crop inputs.

UKCEH Land Cover® plus Pesticides

UKCEH Land Cover® plus Pesticides combines UKCEH Land Cover® plus: Crop maps with Pesticide Utilisation Survey data to map average, annual pesticide applications across England and Wales at a 1km resolution for 129 active ingredients.

Technical features

  • Scale: 1km resolution
  • Units: kg of active ingredient / 1km2
  • Supply Format: GeoTIFF
  • Coverage: England and Wales
  • Period: A snapshot of average applications between 2012 and 2016
  • Ingredients: Data are available for 129 active ingredients

Example of 3 maps of England & Wales estimating application of 3 pesticides

Method

County-level data from the Pesticide Usage Survey (2012-2016) was summarised as annual total applications per crop per county per year.

Average annual application rates for each active ingredient (or combination) were modelled as a function of the crop to which they are applied and their location.

Using this model, estimated application rates were produced for each 1km square in England and Wales using information on the crops grown from UKCEH Land Cover® plus: Crop maps (2015-2017). Hence, pesticide application were mapped even for counties where data was missing for some years on some crops.

Uncertainty maps are presented alongside each active ingredient map to quantify the level of confidence in the estimated application rates. Temporal variation in pesticide application is reflected in the uncertainly maps.

Potential Uses

  • Detecting the impact of pesticide use on wildlife population trends.
  • Prediction of the environmental fate of active ingredients and exposure risk to key groups (e.g. pollinating insects).
  • Modelling agrochemical runoff.
  • Water quality management in support of the Water Framework Directive.
  • Targeting management interventions such as pesticide stewardship.
  • Wider monitoring of pesticide use across landscapes in support of improved regulation.

Case Studies

Obtaining a licence

UKCEH’s Land Cover® plus Fertilisers and Pesticides datasets are available for free to those who licence Land Cover® plus Crops data.

Please outline your licence requirements by filling in our web form at the link below. For more information, please contact the Data Licensing Team:

Email: datalicensing@ceh.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1491 692716

Further information

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