NB_290_21_1 - 290-21-1 INV – 2017 National Resources Inventory Report, 5-Year Release
290-21-1 INV – 2017 National Resources Inventory Report, 5-Year Release
National Bulletin: 290-21-1 Date: October 8, 2020
Subject: INV – 2017 National Resources Inventory Report, 5-Year Release


 
Purpose.  To announce the availability of the 2017 National Resources Inventory 5-Year Release.   
 
Expiration Date.  September 30, 2021
 
Background.  The National Resources Inventory (NRI) Program collects and produces scientifically credible information on the status, condition, and trends of land, soil, water, and related resources on the Nation’s non-federal lands. The NRI samples points in 49 States (excludes Alaska), Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands to assess resource quantity and quality, creating a longitudinal data set containing variables from 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, and annually from 2000 through 2017. This unique data set provides a foundation over time for regular resource appraisals on the effectiveness of soil and water conservation practices, irrigation techniques, and farming technologies, techniques, and practices.
 

Explanation.  The 2017 NRI Summary report posted at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/technical/nra/nri/results/
shows an increase in cropland acreage, stable erosion rates, a reduction in the expansion of developed land, and notable land use changes. These findings are just a few from the report, which provides a summary on the status, condition, and trends of land, soil, water, and related resources on the nation’s private lands from 1982 to 2017. The NRI report includes data from 800,000 sample locations across the country. Some of the highlights include:

  • Cropland acreage increased by nearly 4 million acres between 2012 and 2017, which continues the trend since 2007. Eighty percent of that increase came from land coming out of the Conservation Reserve Program.
  • Forest land continued to steadily increase over the last 35 years with an increase of 1.1 million acres between 2012 and 2017. The increase was mostly from conversion from pastureland, counterbalancing losses to developed land.
  • Rangeland continued to steadily decline over the last 35 years with a reduction of 1.2 million acres between 2012 and 2017. Most of that reduction was due to losses of cropland and developed land.
  • Palustrine and estuarian wetlands saw no change overall between 2012 and 2017.
  • Cropland erosion rates remained stable despite the increase in overall cropland, indicating that new cropland does not tend to have a higher erosion propensity.

The 2017 report marks 35 years of scientifically valid, comprehensive, and relevant data on how U.S. non-federal rural lands are being used. It also gives a statistical perspective on natural resource and environmental conditions for these lands, with the specific goal of supporting agricultural and environmental policy development and program implementation. It serves as the foundation for critical analytical efforts for USDA and other agencies and groups.

 
Contact.  If you have any questions or would like to submit an NRI data request, please contact National Statistician Patrick Flanagan at patrick.flanagan@usda.gov.  
 
 

 /s/

LUIS TUPAS
Deputy Chief for Soil Science and Resource Assessment

 
 
 
[NB_290_21_1 - ]