Overview of Agricultural Field
I thought I would take a break from marshes and talk about agricultural fields. Agricultural fields cover about one third of the land area of Delaware. The most crops are corn and soybeans with a few fields as truck crops or orchards. Some mapping schemes place pasture land in agricultural fields, however, I do not. Northeastern Old Field is a more appropriate classification for pasture since they share the same characteristics. The US National Vegetation Classification does not class agricultural fields.
Vegetation Community or Land Cover?
Fields in agricultural use walk the line between a land cover and a vegetation community. In the summer when there is vegetation present the fields can serve as habitat for animals. Differing crops provide perches for birds, hiding places for mammals, shade for reptiles and a source of food for all. It even provides habitat for some species of moss. The harvest of crops in the fall leaves bare ground, a situation reminiscent of modified land. Agricultural field classification depends on the time of year.
Agricultural Field in 2007 Aerial Imagery
The Delaware 2007 aerial imagery set reflects winter (leaf off) conditions. In the winter, agricultural fields present as striated lines that alternate white to red.
Below is a picture showing two different colors for an agricultural field. Most agricultural fields in Delaware are either white or red or a combination of both in color infared imagery.
Below is an agricultural field delineated with food plots that is in the Sassafras River watershed. The food plots are located at the north end (top).
Below is a picture of an agricultural field with truck crops that is in the Nanticoke River watershed. The crop is spanish cucumbers.
Below is picture of a Christmas Tree Farm. Note the rows of trees in the field and varying densities of the trees. In addition different trees have different colors and textures for signatures.