The U.S. Department of Agriculture is undertaking an in-depth research project to determine the agricultural productivity of the eastern seaboard. The project is being led by the Agricultural Research Service and involves a large umber of academic research partners. The researchers are compiling data on weather, soil types, land availability, water availability, change in climate and plant suitability from Maine to Virginia.
The research team wants to examine the constraints imposed by time and space to pinpoint environmental, economic, social, and other geographic factors in local agricultural practices. Then they will use the data to build computer models to assess local food-production potential and the economic viability of realizing this potential.
The study aims to address the fact that more than 65 percent of vegetables and 85 percent of fruit that is consumed in the eastern seaboard are grown elsewhere. The move to locally grown produce would cut the amount of resources needed to grow and transport the food, and would offer new local jobs.
You can read more about this study here.