Swine production across the North Carolina landscape

The P4 fellow who works on this project will analyze satellite-derived spatial data to quantify swine production industry growth trends in North Carolina from 1984 to the present. Long-term and spatially-explicit data on swine farm locations currently do not exist, but are being generated at NC State through analysis of satellite imagery; these data will be available by the beginning of the program in summer 2019. As these data will be newly-created, there are many analyses left to be performed to answer important questions, such as: what factors explain spatiotemporal trends in swine production growth across NC? Where did swine production growth occur in relation to surface- and ground-water resources? Are existing swine farms at risk of experiencing water shortages due to expected future changes in water consumption, precipitation, and evaporation? The P4 fellow will perform a series of geospatial assessments to answer these questions. Findings from this project will provide needed insight on the history and future sustainability of swine production in NC. This project addresses the Grand Challenges Facing Animal Production of (1) optimizing and ensuring responsible and sustainable use of water, and (2) ensuring that animal scientists develop and disseminate strategies for mitigation and adaptation to increasing climate variability.