Satellite imagery can provide synoptic information to national monitoring systems such as planted area, soil moisture, crop stage, vigor, or condition.
Scope & Background
Crop production information that is timely, accurate, and objective can inform markets, leading to better commodity allocation and price stabilization in real-time, and can help guide long-term policies such as those affecting trade and the environment. Many countries have some form of a national agricultural monitoring system, which range in robustness from assessing simple generalized field reports to including in-depth statistical probability surveys. They can be administered within-season, through the collection of information on crop condition and related production expectations, or run after harvest to generate finalized statistics. Satellite imagery are known to be able to provide complimentary synoptic information to these already established monitoring systems regarding questions such as planted area, soil moisture, and crop stage, vigor, or condition. As such, our objective is to promote a better integration and utilization of Earth observation assets, in conjunction with field data and market information, to significantly enhance current capabilities for monitoring at national and subnational scales. We intend to
1) identify national needs and priorities for crop monitoring,
2) adapt existing satellite-based monitoring systems into already operational systems,
3) assess next generation tools for the satellite monitoring of agriculture, and
4) strengthen linkages between the national institutes involved.
Major Achievements, Partnerships/Linkages, & Future Plans
Exemplary national-level systems engaged in GEOGLAM include: Argentina’s SEPA-Agricultural Production Tracking system which disseminates satellite products useful for making agricultural decisions; European Union’s research projects in Africa (AGRICAB-area estimates, crop modelling) and the European Commission SIGMA Project (similar activities and global networking); China’s Agriculture Remote Sensing Monitoring System (CHARMS), made operational in 1999 serving as a new source of Chinese crop forecasting and grasslands monitoring; and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA-NASS) where over the last few years remote sensing-based area and yield information has become integrated into the crop production reporting alongside traditional survey information.
The building and enhancement of national systems is more complex than disseminating products or adopting turnkey solutions. So, our strategy will be multifaceted and include
1) coordinating closely with Component 6 (Capacity Development), to facilitate national-level adoption and enhancements of EO-based methodologies,
2) supporting national systems in their pursuit of funding for prototyping and evaluating EO-based crop condition monitoring systems,
3) gaining sustained national institutional support for satellite monitoring,
4) ensuring data access, quality, and continuity, including regular updating of proposed tools (link to Component 4),
5) obtaining funding for regional coordination and methods/data sharing, and
6) building bridges between the policy and remote sensing communities and better understanding how EO-based information can impact and inform decisions at the national scale.
Leadership (Point of Contact)