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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PROPOSAL TO DEVELOP NEW PLANT HARDINESS MAP DATA FOR THE UNITED STATES

Location: North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station, Ames, Iowa

2008 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of this Specific Cooperative Agreement (hereinafter referred to as this Agreement) is to produce draft digital maps and grids (layers of map data) and associated data sets for the United States that use the best meteorological and technological information available, and which can be used to develop an approved, updated USDA-ARS Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM) for the United States.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Using the PRISM climate modeling system, developed by the Cooperator, draft plant hardiness maps based on 1971-2000 temperature data for the conterminous U.S., Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska will be developed, accompanied by uncertainty analyses, variance maps, and separate maps for the periods 1971-1985 and 1986-2000. These layers of map data and data sets will be reviewed by the Technical Review Team, and their recommendations will be incorporated by the Coopertator into the final deliverables of this Agreement.

At the completion of these tasks, it is the intent of USDA-ARS to use these deliverables to produce a final USDA-ARS PHZM that will fully acknowledge the contribution of the Cooperator in its development.

Once the USDA-ARS PHZM map is produced, it is the intent of USDA-ARS to make it available to the public through a web portal. It is also the intent of ARS to allow the public to download the map and reproduce it without compensation in a wide variety of publications, such as journals, popular press magazines and product catalogues. The USDA-ARS PHZM may also be printed and sold by the National Technical Information Service, General Printing Office of the U.S. Government, or other Federal publishing offices. Therefore, ARS reserves a nonexclusive, irrevocable, royalty free license for the Federal government to publish the map or to authorize others to do so.

Future applications of the USDA-ARS PHZM and the layers of map data contributing to it will be explored between USDA-ARS and the Cooperator, along with discussions about the creation of other digital climatological maps of interest to the USDA-ARS, such as solar radiation, evapotranspiration, and heat unit maps. If USDA-ARS and the Cooperator agree to develop mutually these future applications, this Agreement shall be modified to reflect additional objectives, tasks, deliverables and funding.


3.Progress Report

The ADODR monitors the activities of this project through frequent email and telephone contacts with the Principal Investigator and through close coordination of the activities of the project's Technical Review Team with the Office of National Programs via email and teleconferences.

The Principal Investigators at Oregon State University are working to produce digital plant hardiness and related maps for the United States. Tasks and deliverables are divided into three phases. In Phase 1, draft 1971-2000 plant hardiness maps for the conterminous US, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Alaska were proposed to be developed, accompanied by uncertainty analyses, variance maps, and separate maps for the periods 1971-1985 and 1986-2000. In Phase 2, the products from Phase 1 would be reviewed by the Technical Review Team (TRT), revised into final form, and documented. Once this process is completed, the development of a web portal and applications for serving the digital plant hardiness data to the public will be explored in Phase 3, along with discussions about the creation of other digital climatological maps of interest to the USDA-ARS, such as solar radiation, evapotranspiration, and heat unit maps.

The project is nearing completion of Phase 2. The following maps were drafted, reviewed by the TRT via an internet map server, and revised into final form: • 1976-2005 30-year Plant Hardiness Map (PHM) • 1976-1990 15-year PHM • 1991-2005 15-year PHM • Difference between 1991-2005 PHM and 1976-1990 PHM • Standard deviation of the 1976-2005 PHM (mean annual minimum temperature)

Final maps have been accepted by the TRT for the conterminous United States, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. As of July, 2008, a revised Alaska PHZM is under final review by the TRT. A draft report was prepared that described the methods used to develop these maps. Additional draft reports were prepared that detailed responses to reviewer comments, and revisions made to the final PHZMs as a result of those comments. Work is now shifting to the preparation of the cartographic map products. Tasks include refining the color scheme for optimal viewing on the web and on hard copy; designing map layouts and selecting GIS base layers for the national, regional, and state maps; working with USDA-ARS to document map preparation methods and identify a host for an interactive map server; and preparing a zip-code lookout application.


Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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