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The Farmland Monitoring Project (FMP) uses data from a variety of sources (see table). The information presented falls into two main cases, public data and user submitted data. All submitted data is either grabbed from existing databases or from individual land owners, farmers and, farmer service providers who opt-in to document characteristics of a farm or property. Below is a more detailed description of the sources of information aggregated to provide context to issues of farmland ownership, access and quality.
*Public Data* +Parcel data+ is aggregated from county assessor tax parcel information. These vary widely among counties, but almost always give a parcel ID number (Assessor Parcel Number or APN) and the shape of the parcel in question. Also, the county assessor’s office provides the name of the owner of the parcel as reported the site address, and a mailing address for the assessee (usually the land owner). Sometimes all of this information, and more, is provided via a single request, or through bulk download via a county’s GIS portal. Other counties release pieces of these data separately and they must be joined later based on the unique parcel ID. Finally, some counties only release the data upon request, and do not offer bulk downloads. In these cases, the FMP relies on third parties who aggregate parcel data for other projects. See the reference table for a list of sources like these. +Soil data+ is gathered from the California Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program. These give broad soil characteristics indicating prime and important soils as well as grazing areas and urban land. The date of survey varies by county. +Zoning information+ is also downloaded from the county assessor’s office. Sometimes the codes have been cross referenced with other government information sites. We strongly recommend cross-referencing the zoning of parcels of interest with other sources as parcels may have multiple layers of legal classifications. However, the FMP hopes to provide a useful first step. Monterey County Zoning Ordinance: "": Santa Cruz County Zoning Ordinance: "": San Benito Zoning Ordinance: "": +Ownership classes+ is a type of information found in the mapbook page. Based on the name of the owner the parcel is given a ‘type’ of ownership like public versus private, or company versus individual. These classifications are logical but by no means official. They are determined by a string matching function that is destined to have certain errors. For example, if an owner’s name has the phrase ‘limited liability corporation’ this owner is called ‘private’ and then ‘company’. The FMP would love feedback in this regard if the classifications are incorrect they can be adjusted! Nonetheless, they provide a large scale analysis of land ownership patterns. +Cropland Data+ comes from the USDA Cropscape database. This data source uses satellite imagery to predict the scope and type of agriculture. *Survey Data* Land management of farmlands is a very dynamic dataset. That is why the FMP relies of a ‘crowdsourcing model’ to collect data about existing farms and land that is currently available for sale or for lease. Specifically, the FMP uses Enketo and to author mobile or online surveys and then gather all of the responses. We use a custom tool to push the completed set of responses then upload them manually to the mapping application, which is powered by Carto (formally Cartodb). It Is worth reiterating that when someone submits information via the survey they are asked about the precise location of the farm or parcel in question. This location information is critical to align with the public data available. Therefore, if a landowner is uncomfortable with sharing the location of their farm to a broad audience then they shouldn’t submit their information through this tool. At the same time, one goal of the FMP is to make more public conversations of land ownership of agricultural lands, which have a public and private dimension. Thus, landowners are encouraged to think about sharing information about farmlands they know important information. table{margin: 4px}. |_. Data |_. Description |_. Source |_. Year | | Santa Cruz County Parcels | Parcel geometries, ownership information, APN number, Assesse Address | Santa Cruz County Assessor | 2015 | | Monterey County Parcels | Parcel geometries, ownership information, APN number, Assesse Address | Monterey County Assessor | 2015 | | San Benito County Parcels | Parcel geometries, ownership information, APN number, Assesse Address | San Benito County Assessor | 2015 | | Soil Types | Broad soil classification | California Farmland Monitoring and Mapping Project CAFMMP | 2012 | | Zoning Categories | Municipal codes that designate land use | County Assessors and other government agencies | 2015 | | Land Availability | A whole parcel or part of a parcel that may be available for a new tenant or owner | FMP survey | ongoing | | Conservation Easements | Land that has a specific conservation easement on the whole or part of the parcel. Some of these areas restrict | California Protected Area Database | 2015 | | Pesticide Application | Township Range and annual pounds per acre of pesticide applied within the central coast region | CDPR + custom analysis | 2014 | | Select Water District Boundaries | Boundaries of water district oversight | Santa Cruz County GIS Portal | 2014 | | Survey Data | Land quality descriptions, farm names, photos, land rent, water infrastructure etc. | FMP survey | ongoing | | Third Party Parcel Data | Parcel ownership information warehouses | NPDP, Boundary Solutions | 2015 | | Croplands | Polygon imagery of croplands in the Central Coast. | USDA NASS | 2015 | h1. Links | *Santa Cruz County Parcels* | | "": | | *Monterey County Parcels* | | "": | | *San Benito County Parcels* | | "": | | *Soil Types* | | "": | | *Zoning Categories* | | See county Assesor GIS Portals | | *Land Availability* | | "FMP survey:": | | *Conservation Easements* | | "": | | *Pesticide Application* | | "": | | *Select Water District Boundaries* | | "Santa Cruz County:": Santa Cruz County: | | *Survey Data* | | "FMP survey:": | | *Third Party Parcel Data* | | "": | | *Croplands* | | "": |