USDA Historic Aerial Photography

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency has been collecting aerial photography of the United States for over half a century. These aerial photos were originally collected to support federal farm programs throughout the United States. This historic film is now stored at the USDA’s Aerial Photography Field Office (APFO) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

USDA aerial photos are high-resolution images taken during the growing season and clearly show features such as roads, buildings, vegetation, trees and waterways. Most of these projects covered entire counties over large parts of the U.S. at least once a decade.

The USDA’s Aerial Photography Field Office is home to one of the country’s largest aerial film libraries. The office currently houses more than 70,000 rolls of film. The imageries date from 1955 to the present, and are available at several different scales and in stereo. The APFO has a photographic wet lab, which allows on site photo printing.

USDA historic photography can play a vital role in environmental assessments, change detection, past land use and property boundary disputes. These photographs are frequently ordered by attorneys, universities, local governments and individuals.

USDA imagery is available to the general public at minimal cost. The APFO can provide black and white, color infrared or natural color prints depending on the original film type. Enlargements up to 38"x38" are available. Tiff scans can also be provided for viewing on any computer. Digital scans and printed photos start as low as $13.00 each. For a small additional fee the photos can be certified for use as evidence in court.

You can order this aerial imagery by contacting the APFO by phone, fax, mail or email. Please be prepared to provide an accurate description of the area you wish to be included in your photo; this can be a legal description, latitude and longitude, or a local map. All products are made to order and completion time may vary depending on existing workload. Please include your name, address and phone number with your inquiry.


Customer Service Section
Telephone: 801-844-2922
Fax: 801-956-3653

USDA Farm Service Agency
Aerial Photography Field Office
2222 West 2300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84119-2020

More information about APFO products and services is available on their website: