The land use and management data requirements for assessing, monitoring and reporting on the impact of agricultural production practices on the environment, especially in a country as large as Canada, are considerable. In view of the fact that environmental assessments are a relatively new phenomenon, data collection activities targeted toward these needs are not widespread. As a result, we find it necessary to acquire and integrate a variety of data sources with differing time lines, spatial scales and sampling frameworks. This paper uses our current activities with respect to Kyoto reporting as a focus to present and discuss the types of data required and the spatial analysis and integration procedures being developed to provide them. The essential data for this activity include the area of crop and land use types, land use changes since 1990, farm and land management practices and biomass production. The spatial framework selected for national analysis is the Soil Landscapes of Canada, and the primary existing data sources are the Census of Agriculture, sample-derived yield estimates and satellite-based land cover products. These are supplemented with detailed, multi-season, multi-year satellite image interpretations conducted at an ecologically and statistically stratified sample of sites across the country. The use of these data in preparing an account of greenhouse gas sources and sinks identified a number of gaps and problems, and a brief outline of future work designed to improve the data inputs is presented.
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