Download ACPF

The ACPF is intended for intermediate to advanced GIS users who are familiar with Esri’s ArcGIS platform. Users should be comfortable with geodatabase naming and storage, editing procedures, geoprocessing tools, multiple data formats, and basic spatial troubleshooting. In addition, anticipate roughly two days of practice and training to become an effective user. Find ACPF training and support resources.

To use ACPF, you’ll need ArcGIS and TauDEM software, the ACPF toolbox, ACPF core data, and elevation of DEM data.

The ACPF National Hub is pleased to announce our annual updates for 2022! Updates include updated ACPF core data using 2021 field season data and nearly 400 new watersheds – bringing us to a total of 12,090 watersheds – and a new version of the ACPF Toolboxes.

The new version – Version 4 – of the ACPF Toolboxes includes:

  • The ArcGIS Pro (versions 2.7-2.9) Toolbox includes bug fixes and incorporates custom metadata for ACPF tool outputs. The metadata will include tool parameters used at run-time to allow users to track how results were generated.
  • The ArcGIS Desktop (10.5-10.8.2) Toolbox includes numerous bug fixes and enhancements. Please be mindful that Esri is winding down support for the ArcGIS Desktop Software

Also, please take a moment and review this PowerPoint to update the ACPF Toolbox with 2021 land use data.

WHO CAN USE THE ACPF

Conservation Planners
Conservation planners who work with communities to develop watershed plans and proposals, as well as work with producers one-on-one can use this tool within the 9-Step Conservation Planning Process. ACPF results can be provided for conservation planners to use to work with producers within a watershed on a field-by-field basis to tackle larger watershed goals. Watershed output training [hyperlink] is available for planners to use the ACPF in professional application.

GIS Specialists
Intermediate to advanced GIS users who are familiar with Esri’s ArcGIS platform can run the ACPF tool. GIS Users users should be comfortable with geodatabase naming and storage, editing procedures, geoprocessing tools, multiple data formats, and basic spatial troubleshooting. In addition, anticipate roughly two days of practice and training to become an effective user. To run ACPF, you’ll need ArcGIS and TauDEM software, the ACPF toolbox, ACPF core data, and elevation data. Technical training is available for GIS users.

With support from NRCS Headquarters, the National Hub for the Agricultural Conservation Planning Framework is now offering ACPF particularly to State NRCS offices across the US.

SOFTWARE

ACPF Version 4 is now available, and compatible with Esri’s ArcGIS versions 10.5-10.8.2 and ArcGIS Pro 2.7-2.9. To run ACPF, an advanced version of ArcGIS with the Spatial Analyst Extension is required.

Find out more about ArcGIS on their website.

TauDEM is a suite of tools for the extraction and analysis of hydrologic information from topography. The ACPF is compatible with TauDEM 5.3.7. To run ACPF, TauDEM 5.3 Complete Windows Installer is also needed.

Download TauDEM at no cost through Utah State University.

An Example of an ACPF result

ACPF TOOLBOX

The GIS toolbox analyzes high-resolution land use, soil and terrain data and generates results that identity a menu of possible locations for a variety of conservation practices within fields, below fields and riparian zones. Included in the toolbox are practice placement tools that can be tailored to the setting of your individual watershed. Save the download zip file to a local file location on your computer and read the “installation instructions” text file that is included.

The various toolsets allow users to:

Process (or hydro-condition) a watershed’s high-resolution topographic data for terrain analyses

Determine which fields within a watershed are most prone to contribute runoff to streams

Identify where field-scale and edge-of-field practices could be installed in your watershed 

Map opportunities for riparian management

The ACPF toolsets identify placement opportunities for controlled drainage (drainage water management), surface intake filters or restored wetlands for topographic depressions, grassed waterways, contour buffer strips, water and sediment control basins, nutrient removal wetlands, edge of field bioreactors, and saturated riparian buffers. The ACPF toolbox also includes a User’s Manual with detailed explanations of the basis for each tool and how to adjust the parameters for your landscapes.

We continue to make updates to improve the utility of ACPF and are excited to announce ACPF Version 4 is now available. The primary change to ACPF Pro version 4 was the addition of tool output metadata. For each out dataset, metadata content is added from the ToolMetadata folder. Additionally, the parameters used at runtime are also added to the metadata output. ACPF Version 4 for ArcGIS Desktop is mostly bug fixes and some minor tool enhancements. We will continue to support the Desktop version of ACPF until Esri drops support.

 

ACPF CORE DATA

The USDA provides soil and land use data through the ACPF Core Database.

The database include:

  • Agricultural field boundaries
  • Land use and field-specific crop rotations, based on the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Cropland Data Layer
  • Soils data extracted from the NRCS gSSURGO soils database

Currently,  ACPF has core data for Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and portions of Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota.

Interested in ACPF but ACPF core data isn’t available for your area? Using the ACPF Utilities Suite you can create your own ACPF care data complete with watershed boundaries, field boundaries, elevation, soils and land use data and run the ACPF tools anywhere in the conterminous United States.

To create your own geodatabase, watch Lecture 29 in the ACPF training videos or check out our newly developed Story Map.  Both resources take you step by step through using the ACPF Utilities Suite within ACPF Version 3 to create your own ACPF geodatabase.

ELEVATION DATA

A key data requirement for many of the ArcGIS tools is a high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM), typically derived from light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensor surveys. The horizontal map unit of the DEM must be in meters, although any horizontal or vertical resolution is accepted. A horizontal resolution of 2 or 3 meters has been found to be effective, as higher resolution does not improve output quality and substantially increases processing time. The ACPF toolbox also requires that all input layers be in the same projection. The ACPF core data is maintained in a Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) projection, with UTM zones being determined by the centroid location of the watershed boundary of each HUC12. The DEM should extend beyond the watershed boundary enough (e.g. 1,000 meters) to ensure coverage of all fields that may lie only partly within the watershed.

DEM data for many states is available through state agencies or universities. For example, Iowa DEM data is available through the Iowa State University GIS Facility and Minnesota DEM data is available through the Minnesota DNR.

Not sure where to find your state’s DEM data? Ask the ACPF Forum.  The ACPF Forum is a Google Group of ACPF users from around the region where you can share results, ask questions, and report issues. This is also a great way to find out about ACPF updates. You can also find out about ACPF updates through the ACPF mailing list where we email out the latest ACPF news and events. Subscribe to our mailing list.