Geneva, Switzerland: Astrium, Europe’s leading space company, estimates 2012 US corn yield at 116.0 bushels per acre which is at the lower end of current industry expectations. This forecast announced during Global Grain Geneva 2012, the world’s premier agricultural industry congress, is based on Astrium Services’ GRAIN (Global Risk Agricultural Intelligence), a unique technology combining satellite imagery processing, agronomic and meteorological models developed over several years. The GRAIN service predicted this very low trend since June 2012, while early signs of US drought were only just emerging.
Astrium Services is developing the next generation tools for decision making in the agricultural industry to provide accurate and reliable crop analysis capabilities consistent worldwide at both local and regional levels. The robustness of the parameters is principally due to its unique deterministic plant modeling approach supported by the strength and reliability of the Astrium Services’ satellite constellation. GRAIN provides homogeneous, stable and consistent crop supply information compared to current statistical methods and field surveys. As the GRAIN data is derived from absolute and independent models, it cannot be considered as comparable to past or existing systems used by the agricultural community.
Through the combination of satellite imagery ground truthing and weather forecast data into high frequency agronomic models, GRAIN brings unbiased, timely and accurate information to anticipate shifts in the grain supply chain for a variety of crops. Potential applications for GRAIN include crop insurance, assessing local and global financing supply risks, identifying production investment opportunities, optimising sourcing and logistics, and coping with market volatility and complexity.