Data Access

Access data produced by the LTAR Network

LTAR Data Inventory

The purpose of the LTAR Data Inventory is to make the data from all 18 LTAR sites discoverable and describe and create metadata about the data to facilitate data sharing, as well as accessibility, interoperability (i.e. machine readable), and reusability (i.e. cross-site analysis) for the LTAR network and the greater public. The LTAR Data Inventory will enhance data discoverability and data sharing across the network by creating a controlled vocabulary of categories and variable names that describe LTAR data.  The data inventory table is available via Airtable.

LTAR Standard GIS Layers

This effort created a geodatabase of standard GIS layers that represent locations and areas associated with the USDA Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) Network as of 2021. The geodatabase includes spatial data describing LTAR site locations, addresses, experimental plots, fields and watersheds, eddy flux towers, and phenocams. There are six data layers in the geodatabase available to the public. This geodatabase was created in 2019-2020 by the LTAR network as a collaboration between the LTAR Remote Sensing and GIS working group and the LTAR Data Management working group.  

LTAR Regions GIS Layers

The LTAR Network is conducting research on the sustainable intensification of agroecosystems. To enable coordinated network level research, a spatial framework is required to facilitate analysis. However, no suitable spatial framework currently exists to meet the needs for the LTAR Network. To develop a framework for analysis the LTAR Network initiated the Regionalization Project. Goals also included providing a standardized spatial footprint for LTAR cross-site investigations, estimating the confidence with which results from research plots and fields could reasonably be extrapolated to “represented regions”, informing decisions about where additional research sites should be prioritized and facilitating public outreach of the LTAR Network. The product from this effort are 3 GIS datasets to describe: agricultural production, environmental impact, and rural prosperity. 

AgCROS and Products

The USDA Agricultural Research Service has established and continues to expand features, capacity, and capabilities of the Agricultural Collaborative Research Outcomes System (AgCROS; Delgado et al. 2018). AgCROS is a cloud-based integrated platform designed to eventually be a “one-stop shop” for USDA agricultural research data and metadata, along with providing access to relevant datasets from other organizational repositories. It is a growing “network of networks” that presently contains a wide variety of datasets from multiple agricultural research networks, such as: the Nutrient Uptake and Outcome Network (NUOnet), the Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement Network (GRACEnet), the Resilient Economic Agricultural Practices (REAP), the Dairy Agriculture for People and the Planet (DAPP; Dairy Grand Challenge), the Soil Health Assessment Network (SHAnet), the Agricultural Antibiotic Resistance (AgAR), and more recently the Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) Network. By integrating data from these diverse data networks into a well-described and organized open access database, AgCROS facilitates the ease and access of research data and increases the effectiveness and collaboration among researchers.

AgCROS is a partner of the Ag Data Commons, providing public access to USDA-funded research data.

Publication describing the AgCROS effort


LTAR Data in the Ag Data Commons

Ag Data Commons provides access to a wide variety of open data relevant to agricultural research. Ag Data Commons is a centralized registry for USDA-funded data already on the web, as well as a repository for new data being published for the first time. While compliance with the U.S. Federal public access and open data directives is important, Ag Data Commons aim to surpass them. The goal of Ag Data Commons is to foster innovative data re-use, integration, and visualization to support bigger, better science and policy.

LTAR Network Spatial Data

GIS layers have been published to Ag Data Commons to spatially describe the LTAR Network sites and regions:

LTAR Sites

Metadata and data from the following LTAR sites are presented. They are related to topics such as agricultural sustainability, climate change, ecosystem services, and natural resource conservation at the watershed or landscape scale.

The LTAR Program on the Ag Data Commons

Related Research Networks

Phenocam Network

The PhenoCam Network is a cooperative continental-scale phenological observatory that uses imagery from networked digital cameras to track vegetation phenology in a diverse range of ecosystems across North America and around the World.  This is the list of Phenocams in the LTAR Network. 

AmeriFlux Network

AmeriFlux is a network of PI-managed sites measuring ecosystem CO2, water, and energy fluxes in North, Central and South America. It was established to connect research on field sites representing major climate and ecological biomes, including tundra, grasslands, savanna, crops, and conifer, deciduous, and tropical forests. This is the list of Ameriflux towers in the LTAR Network. 

Landscape Data Commons

The Landscape Data Commons is an inter-agency monitoring data repository and portal, led by the USDA-ARS at the Jornada Experimental Range, that connects standardized monitoring data to analysis tools to support land management and research. The Landscape Data Commons aggregates and harmonizes core methods data collected across agencies and monitoring programs (e.g., Bureau of Land Management Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring Program, the Natural Resources Conservation Service National Resources Inventory Grazing land On-Site program, the National Wind Erosion Research Network, smaller research and monitoring efforts). With these aggregated data, the Landscape Data Commons supports natural-resource management, modeling, and research.

LTAR Remote Sensing/GIS Working Group Datasets and Tools Inventory





The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Long-Term Agroecosystem Research network consists of 18 Federal and university agricultural research sites with an average of over 50 years of history. The goal of this research network is to ensure sustained crop and livestock production and ecosystem services from agroecosystems, and to forecast and verify the effects of environmental trends, public policies, and emerging technologies.