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Online tool offers farmers information about land parcels

Media contact:

Jason Vance
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9731

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015

Story source:

Raymond E. Massey, 573-884-7788

COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new online tool can help landowners and land managers better understand their land.

The Ag Site Assessment Tool, developed by University of Missouri Extension, integrates information from multiple sources into a report describing physical, cultural and environmental characteristics of a piece of land.

The free Web-based tool is available at

MU Extension agricultural economist Ray Massey says the program is very simple and provides farmers with useful information.

“A farmer just has to locate and outline his field, click one button and get a report about their soils, their waters, how many people were living close by and many other things about that property,” Massey says.

The North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center provided funding to develop the website.

Massey says the goal is to expand users’ awareness of land characteristics. The report also has links to websites that provide additional information.

The tool can help farmers determine if waters on their farms are subject to the federal Clean Water Rule. While it can give the first indication of a potential problem, Massey says, it is not a decision-making tool.

“It will not tell you to do this or don’t do that,” Massey says. “What it will tell you is this is a potential risk and you may need to contact the Army Corps of Engineers to make a jurisdictional determination.”

Ag Site is housed on Community Commons (, a free website that helps users make use of publicly available data about their communities through mapping and reporting tools.

After generating an Ag Site report, users may print the report, export it as a PDF file or save the report to the Community Commons website to access later.

Massey says he and colleagues are continually improving the site, so users returning to the site may find more information about their land as new data layers are added.