Complete the development of an ArcView measurement procedure to identify
aquaculture ponds and determine image resolution needs.
aquaculture pond acreage estimations obtained through GIS image analysis to
traditional farmer surveys conducted by NASS.
Using a physical features overlay with images of catfish ponds, other land
uses, and other attributes required for catfish production, such as feed
mills and processing capacity, project potential catfish acreage for eastern
Using the results from objectives 1, 2, and 3 above, develop a model to map
future aquaculture industry expansion based on varying fish price levels and
estimated infrastructure requirements.
of 2001 Research Activities Per Objective
Geographical information systems, i.e., satellite imagery and associated
software, are being used to identify catfish industry growth trends.
Automated aquaculture pond acreage estimation procedures have been developed
in this project. In 2-3 hours, a county's aquaculture pond acreage can be
determined from a Landsat satellite image. The entire Mississippi State
aquaculture acreage can be estimated in a week. Experimentation with
different image resolutions indicated that the Landsat 7 panchromatic 15m
image gave the highest precision at the same cost as a 30m-color image. With
color 30m satellite images automated acreage estimation procedures
overestimated pond acreage by 8%; this overestimate was reduced by 12% when
using panchromatic 15m images. When automated GIS acreage estimates were
compared to NASS acreage estimates (from farm surveys), the GIS estimates
were 3% and 12% greater for 1999 and 2000, respectively. Differences may
have occurred from GIS image misreading or from inaccurate farm survey
information. The main advantages of GIS procedures over NASS procedures are
that the former can disclose acreage in a county without knowing the number
of farms and acreage can be placed in the county where it is found and not
in the county where the farm is headquartered. On-going project activities
include using feature themes to discern potential areas for future
aquaculture development and transportation cost minimization models for
future plant site locations.
Completed the development of an ArcView
measurement procedure to identify aquaculture ponds and determine image
resolution needs. The semi-automated estimation procedure overestimated
aquaculture acreage by 8% over manual GIS acreage estimates. Fifteen-meter
resolution color images were found to give more accurate acreage estimates
than 30m color images.
Compared statewide aquaculture
pond acreage estimations obtained through GIS image analysis to traditional
farmer surveys conducted by NASS. The semi-automated aquaculture estimation
procedure overestimated acreage by 3% compared to NASS survey derived
estimates. Historical aquaculture acreage estimates were generated for 1992,
1999, and 2000. These themes are being used in completing objectives 3 and
This objective is an on-going activity. Using physical feature and catfish
pond theme overlays, satellite images, other land uses, and other catfish
production characteristics (such as feed mills, processing capacity), future
catfish acreage estimations for eastern Mississippi could be projected
spatially and quantitatively. Data layers are being assembled for ponds,
soil types, roads, stream/rivers, railroads, and urban areas. Some
additional feature layers are being sought, such as elevation, to complete
the needed database. At present a subtraction method is being pursued to
determine available land for aquaculture.
This objective is presently on going. It will use results from objectives 1,
2, and 3 to develop a model for locating future industry expansion areas.
Along with physical site locations, estimation of infrastructure
requirements will be conducted. The idea would be to assist potential
investors in finding ways to minimize their transportation costs.
Findings/Results Per Objective to Date
Experimental procedures for
estimating pond acreage from spatial images were developed for 1992, 1999,
and 2000. Image resolution and price per image were
factors in year 1 of this project. Landsat 5 images cost approximately $600
per scene and provided 30m resolution color images. More recently, Landsat 7
images have become available for the same price, but now include 30m color
and 15m panchromatic (black and white) images for the same price.
Using 30m color images from Landsat satellites, the developed automated
acreage estimation results were compared to manual (hand drawn ponds in
ArcView) acreage estimates. The automated procedure overestimated
pond acreage by an average of 8%. When panchromatic 15m images were compared
to 30m color images, the Pan 15m image used in the automated acreage
estimation procedure lowered the pond acreage by12%. The courser 30m images
allowed less precision in the categorization procedure than the 15m images.
Therefore, the Landsat Thematic Mapper 15m resolution panchromatic images
were preferred over the Landsat TM 30m resolution color images for use in
the automated pond acreage estimation procedure.
pond acreage was estimated on a county basis for the years 1992, 1999, and
The estimated catfish pond acreage derived
using the GIS method developed in this project was 12% greater in1999 acres
and 3 % greater in 2000 than the pond acreage estimates made using the NASS
farm survey techniques.
Estimated catfish pond acreage for the Delta of Mississippi was estimated to
be 93,611 acres in 1992, 112,910 acres in 1999, and 105,881 acres in 2000.
This is an increase of 21% between 1992 and 1999 and a 6% decrease between
1999 and 2000.
Estimated catfish pond acreage for Eastern Mississippi was estimated to be
2,208 acres in 1992, 11,953 acres in 1999, and 9,632 acres in 2000. This is
an increase of 541% between 1992 and 1999 and a 19% decrease between 1999
For year 2000,
commercial catfish pond acreage estimated for Mississippi by GIS analysis
was 113,516 acres and by NASS survey techniques was 110,000 acres, an
overestimate of 3,516 acres (3.2%).
acreage estimation through image analysis was more difficult for eastern
Mississippi than for Delta regions because of the greater number of farm
ponds, more irregular pond shapes, and smaller farm size.
This objective is on going.
This objective is on going.
Broader Impacts of Significant Findings, Including Economics
Economic development can be assisted
by this work. Already, many crop farmers are seeking to diversify their
operations with aquaculture. It is important to understand the forces behind
the expansion of the catfish industry nationally, in Mississippi and in the
eastern region of this state. Farmers and investors need to know the future
potential of the eastern region and the ‘atmosphere’ for future aquaculture
expansion. This project will develop GIS spatially related models to improve
estimation of future aquaculture potential in eastern Mississippi. Accurate
estimates make it easier for potential farmers, lenders, processors and
governmental agencies to correctly analyze their investment, location sites,
and scale decisions.
Accurate estimation of catfish production acreage is very important to the
economic development of eastern Mississippi and could be vital for bringing
in needed aquacultural support industries, such as fingerling producers,
processors, equipment manufacturers, dealerships, feed mills, etc.
Businesses, knowing the present and potential extent of the local and
regional aquaculture industry, can better determine where to locate their
farms or processing plants.
Likewise, in the delta region of
Mississippi accurate acreage information plays a similar role in industry
development. While the delta region has a longer history of catfish
production and developed infrastructure, the technique of using GIS to
assess aquaculture acreage could verify existing methods of estimation.
Accurate visual presentation of catfish acreage could also provide needed
information for investors to use in making business decisions. The future
direction of catfish culture in Mississippi, both geographically and
temporally, along with operation scale, can be assisted by the goals in this
From an educational and client prospective, this project has already
accomplished the following:
This project has
trained two students and two PI's in the nature and uses of geographical
information systems through ArcView software training and practical
applications in this project.
catfish processing investors have used information generated from this
project to assist them in their selection of potential site placements.
Jackson, Mississippi has expressed interest in our acreage determination
techniques as a complement to their existing farm survey approach to
determine catfish acreage in Mississippi.
Resulting aquaculture pond acreage themes developed from this project are
proving useful in other production issues related to aquaculture. Grant
proposals stemming from this research include White Pelican-trematode-catfish
disease transmission studies, Double Crested Cormorant - catfish predation
areas, and soil class - crop taxation acreage estimations.
None at this time
professional meetings to date:
Hanson, T.R., B. Crosby, D. Sites, and C.
Hogue. Catfish Industry Acreage Determination Using GIS. Advanced Spatial
Technologies in Agriculture Conference, Mississippi State University,
December 3-4, 2001.
unsuccessful endeavors of project:
has not completed because digitized topographic maps have not been
purchased. If the digitized topographic maps are eventually purchased, they
could be used in a number of different endeavors. They could be used as an
elevation theme in an aquaculture area expansion model. Additionally, the
maps could be used to rank agricultural land areas according to how
economical it would be to convert them into ponds for use in aquaculture.
Four potential categories of land ranked from least to most expensive to
convert to aquaculture ponds include the following: (1) flat land requiring
little or no elevation work; (2) slightly rolling land requiring moderate
amounts of elevation work; (3) moderately rolling land requiring fairly
extensive elevation work;(4) very hilly land requiring very extensive
elevation work. The presence of trees on any of the lands would greatly
increase the cost of building ponds.
Another theme we need to incorporate into this objective is the 2000 Land
Use map for Mississippi put out by NASS, because row cropland would be the
easiest and least expensive type land to put into aquaculture ponds compared
has been unrealized at this time as we learn the ArcView Network Analyst
software and become aware of the different types of data required. Most
data layer themes are available, with the exception of detailed
transportation information, such as speed limits, urban areas, church zones,
etc. Although the failure to obtain adequate traffic flow detail has
hindered our efforts, it can be overcome as we contact software/data vendors
and discover the possibilities. Additionally, we need to obtain generic
information from processing plants regarding their charge for fish
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