AgBufferBuilder User Guide cover page.

user guide

AgBufferBuilder: A Filter Strip Design Tool for GIS (Version 2.0)

Previous Versions


AgBufferBuilder is a GIS-based computer program for precision design of vegetative filter strips around agricultural fields. The tool analyses the terrain for spatial patterns of overland runoff and designs a variable-width configuration that matches those patterns to provide a constant, user-selected, level of performance along the field margin. The tool also can assess the performance level of existing or hypothetical configurations.

Why Use AgBufferBuilder?


Supporting Information

Student viewing an online instructor on his/her computer monitor.Link opens a new window.


WebinarLink opens a new window. providing an overview of the AgBufferBuilder tool presented to the Ohio Watershed Network on September 2, 2015.

Development History

AgBufferBuilder utilizes relationships between buffer-area-ratio and performance that were developed using the process-based Vegetative Filter Strip Modeling System. Those relationships were, then, adapted to run with ArcGIS (ESRI, Redlands, CA). Key stages in the development of AgBufferBuilder are described in the following publications.


Todd Kellerman,

Funded by

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment logo. United States Department of Agriculture logo. Forest Service Department of Agriculture logo.

Funding to support development of AgBufferBuilder was provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Agroforestry Center, Lincoln, Nebraska and Southern Research Station, Asheville, North Carolina to the University of Kentucky (grant no. 10-JV- 11330152-119) and from Kentucky state water quality grants (SB-271) administered by the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Lexington, Kentucky.


AgBufferBuilder and associated documentation is supplied as-is with no warranty, explicit or implied. The quality of results is highly dependent on the user’s skill and ability to select input data and parameters that accurately represent the field site, to run GIS software, and to properly interpret the results.


About Agroforestry

Agroforestry intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems. Agroforestry takes advantage of the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. Agroforestry practices include:

About the NAC

The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) had its origins in the 1990 Farm Bill. It began as a Forest Service Research and State & Private Forestry effort in 1992 and expanded into a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1995. It is administered by the Forest Service's, Washington, DC, Office of Research and Development. NAC offices are located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

NAC accelerates the application of agroforestry through a national network of partners. Together, we conduct research, develop technologies and tools, coordinate demonstrations and training, and provide useful information to natural resource professionals.

About Working Trees

The right trees planted in the right places for the right reasons can add value to land-use systems. That's the Working Trees message that helps natural resource professionals, community leaders, and landowners identify with the concept of agroforestry. NAC uses the Working Trees theme to promote the development of sustainable agriculture and communities.


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