Canada: The latest blogpost by Rick Mueller, Spatial Analysis Research Section Head, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on USDA’s website, shares a low-down of researches and initiatives that indicate that the hunger for geospatial data is growing across the country.
Mueller mentions that Statistics Canada, working with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, is researching new remote sensing-based yield models, using vegetative indices, agro-climactic data, and survey data for 21 crops. As a result of this innovation, Stats Canada is planning to use only remote sensing to set their official estimates for these crops rather than conducting traditional surveys.
In Mexico, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography conducted a ground survey campaign to identify field crops and performed crop classifications to identify sorghum, maize, and lemons in various parts of Mexico, and worked with NASS and Statistics Canada to characterise vegetation condition indices. At the same time, Mexican Agrifood and Fisheries Information Service used Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) for drought monitoring. It is also researching vegetation indices and how they relate to yield.
Recently, NASS discussed its remote sensing models for corn and soybean yields using NDVI and daytime surface temperatures from MODIS. It also discussed the current and future status of the Landsat program and demonstrated how to access the free data. Mueller also presented an overview of the Cropland Data Layer (CDL) and how NASS continues to evolve and update this program. He shared how CropScape is being updated and how NASS has made 2013 geospatial data for US crops available for public use.
These new Cropland Data Layer products, which are derived from satellite image observations at 30-meter (0.22 acres per pixel) resolution, help users visualise US crop planted area during the last calendar year. Three earth observing satellites were used for the production of this product, including; the newly launched Landsat 8, and Disaster Monitoring Constellation’s Deimos-1 and UK2.