Mississippi State University (MSU) has announced that its Remote Sensing Technology Centre (RSTC) will now oversee management of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station’s (MAFES) Advanced Spatial Technologies for Agriculture (ASTA) program.
This management agreement will enable RSTC and MAFES’ ASTA to draw upon each other’s considerable resources in the area of remote sensing technology and combine their efforts to develop image-based applications and products for precision agriculture. The two organizations will also be able to share funding to finance joint projects.
“Both organizations are chartered to perform work on agricultural applications of remote sensing, and their projects are very complementary,” said Dr. Jon Arvik, Director of Commercial Development at RSTC.
Agriculture is one of three mandated focus areas for RSTC, which receives funding from NASA. For the past three years, RSTC has leveraged the research capabilities of MSU and built strong relationships with the local agriculture industry to apply imagery and computational modelling for detection of crop stress relating to weeds, insects and nutrition.
Working in parallel to RSTC at MSU, MAFES has received funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to lay the groundwork for incorporating remote sensing as a viable tool for site-specific crop management through research and associations with agricultural equipment manufacturers, crop consultants and producers. Projects focus on soil fertility, pest management, agricultural and biological engineering and economics.