Common Land Unit (CLU)

A Common Land Unit (CLU) is the smallest unit of land that has a permanent, contiguous boundary, a common land cover and land management, a common owner and a common producer in agricultural land associated with USDA farm programs. CLU boundaries are delineated from relatively permanent features such as fence lines, roads, and/or waterways.

When the Common Land Unit tract and field boundaries are digitized from photography, a confidence level of 90% with a tolerance of three meters (approximately 10 feet) from ground features visible on the photography is used. The photomaps are an image base of digital ortho quadrangles mosaicked together creating a seamless image base which eliminates any offset that would normally be present between standard USGS quarter-quadrangles.

Each CLU defined in the GIS database will be automatically identified and tracked, for national purposes, with an ID number assigned by the automated system. This ID is not visible to the user, but can be accessed when needed. The ID is a unique computer-generated number (GUID) that is created and will never be reused.

Format: vector polygon - Arc shapefiles

Spatial Reference Information: Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Dominant Zone, North American Datum 1983

Sample map

Obtaining CLU Data

If you are an FSA/NRCS/RD employee or have an E-Authentication account, go directly to the USDA Geospatial Data Gateway to order the Common Land Unit (CLU) data. Be sure to click on the Login menu item for the E-Authentication.

Please be advised that with the enactment of The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, Title I - Commodity Programs, Subtitle F - Administration, Section 1619 on May 22, 2008, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is no longer allowed to make the geospatial data, including access to the Common Land Unit records, available to the public, even through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Section 1619 is an Exemption 3 statute that prohibits FSA from sharing this data with the public.

Inquiries concerning access to the Common Land Unit (CLU) records shall be referred to Management Services Division FOIA/PA (MSD FOIA/PA) at the group email .