onx crop layers

Crop Data Layers

Agricultural crops provide valuable, diverse, and widespread food sources for a wide variety of huntable species, including whitetail deer, waterfowl, pheasant, turkey, elk, and antelope. Now with a suite of onX Crop Data Layers, you can find 19 different color-coded crop types that were present on the ground the previous growing season.

onx crop layer map features
Crop data layer in onxmaps

Crop Data Layer

onX selected the top 19 crop types that have wildlife value and mapped them out across the US to give you over 320 million acres of crop lands for your scouting purposes. These layers show the crops planted in 2020 and can be used to determine what crops are likely to be planted in the upcoming year based on last year’s crop. Combined with a little knowledge of crop lifecycles, rotation, and regional variations, this unique insight will help you connect the species you’re after with the food sources you know they prefer.

onX Crop Data Layers

onX built 19 color-coded Crop Data Layers that can be turned on or off individually. The available Layers include:

Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Winter Wheat, Alfalfa, Hay, Fallow/Idle Cropland, Rice, Sorghum, Grain, Cotton, Canola, Dry Bean, Pea/Lentils, Peanuts, Sunflower, Sugarbeets, Potatoes, Millet

See corn, soybeans, wheatm alfalfa, hay, and more
crop data
how to use the crop data layer

How to Use onX Crop Data Layers To Your Advantage

Using Crop Data Layers will help you scout hunting land more quickly and provide unique food source information for many different species. Whether you are exploring your home county or planning for an out-of-state hunt, knowing what kinds of agricultural crops to expect in those areas can help form a solid game plan for success. 

We’ve outlined some common crops for deer, upland, waterfowl, and big game below. 

Remember, no matter what species you’re after, understand that the vast majority of these crops will be on private property. Unless you have permission to hunt the land, the best tactic is to scout for publicly accessible lands that offer bedding or roosting cover within a half-mile radius of these food sources. Most animals will be moving towards the fields during twilight hours in both morning and evening. Try to catch them before or after they move from the fields.

Whitetail Deer Hunting

crops for whitetail deer hunting

Find Early Season Food Sources

Whitetail hunters hone in on planted crops because they can be main food sources for deer. This layer of data will help you plan your hunts and cut down on scouting time when you arrive by being able to forecast specific food sources in specific areas helping you narrow down your hunt plan right from the comfort of home.

Upland Bird Hunting

crop layers for upland bird hunting

Preferred Crops for Cover and Food

The diet of many upland birds consists of agricultural crops, and knowing which types are planted where can lead to a more successful hunt. By using this data, you will be able to better determine productive regions to hunt, as well as pinpointing specific fields based off rotational regimes for the area. Finding crops next to public land is an effective technique to consistently target pheasants, quail, sharp-tailed grouse and prairie chickens across the country.

Waterfowl Hunting

crop data layers for waterfowl hunting

Food Along the Flyway

Waterfowl rely on a wide variety of crops during their 1,500-mile migration to and from their nesting grounds. These crops allow them to replenish their fat reserves. Like most other species, corn is a staple for waterfowl. Look for dry fields of corn where it’s accessible to ducks and geese on the ground.

 Big Game Hunting

crop data layers for big game hunting

Changing Seasons, Changing Food Sources

Elk, mule deer, and antelope all key in on crop fields depending on the time of year and the crop types available.

The Crop Data layer is an absolute godsend for diehard deer hunters. Identifying the primary food sources in any given area is job #1 when scouting an area for whitetails.
Mark Kenyon
It will be a layer we here at THP put to use all summer preparing for our fall deer tour!
Aaron Warbritton
The next time you are scouting for your hunt, consider turning on this new layer to help you identify transition zones between food sources and bedding areas.
Brian McElrea
HUSHIN
how crop data layers can help hunters
hay crop data layer

How Understanding Crop Rotations Helps Hunters

Imagine being able to cut down your scouting time because you have already identified specific agricultural crops on private land you have access to or are adjacent to the public lands you plan to hunt. By looking at the crops planted the previous year, you can determine what will likely be planted this year. 

This knowledge comes from the simple practice of crop rotation. Farmers have been rotating crops for a long time because they understand that planting different crops improves the soil by retaining more nutrients, reducing pest and weed pressures, and increasing farm system resilience.

A typical crop rotation in the South, for instance, would be a three-year rotation of cotton, corn, and then peanuts. Across the Plains and throughout the Midwest, you’re likely to see rotations that include corn, soybeans, alfalfa, oats, spring wheat, winter wheat, rye, and cover crops. Corn and soybeans are often planted on opposite years because corn is a heavy nitrogen-using plant and soybeans are nitrogen-depositing plants.

How to Access onX Crop Data Layers

Online with onX Desktop
  1. Login to your account on onxmaps.com. 
  2. Select Map Layers on the left-hand side of the screen. 
  3. Go to Layer Library. 
  4. You will find “Crop Data Layers 2020” near the top of the list. Select the “+” to show all 19 Crop Data Layers available. 
  5. Click the “+” for each Crop Distribution Layer you want to add to your map (ie. Corn, Soybeans, Alfalfa, etc.). They will be added to your list of My Layers. You can also choose “Add all layers” to add all the layers at once.
  6. Toggle to My Layers and find all Crop Data Layers you have added. They should be turned on by default. You can turn these on or off as needed.
In onX Hunt App
  1. Open onX Hunt on your mobile device or tablet. 
  2. Select Map Layers on the bottom of the home screen. 
  3. Go to Layer Library. 
  4. You will find “Crop Data Layers 2020” near the top of the list. Select the “+” to show all 19 Crop Data Layers available. 
  5. Click the “+” for each Crop Distribution Layer you want to add to your map (ie. Corn, Soybeans, Alfalfa, etc.). They will be added to your list of My Layers. You can also choose “Add all layers” to add all the layers at once. 
  6. Toggle to My Layers and find all Crop Data Layers you have added. They should be turned on by default. You can turn these on or off as needed.