Home Agriculture Russian, US scientists develop AgroAtlas

Russian, US scientists develop AgroAtlas

US: Russian scientists in association with the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service developed AgroAtlas, an interactive Russian/English website (www.agroatlas.ru). It shows the geographic distributions of 100 crops; 640 species of crop diseases, pests and weeds; and 560 wild crop relatives growing in Russia and neighbouring countries. The atlas also includes 200 maps that illustrate the environmental variables that affect crop production in that part of the world. In addition to the maps, the Internet-based atlas provides free GIS software and offers colour photos and a wealth of useful information about each species.
Maps and information can be printed individually. In addition, once the free GIS software and atlas data are downloaded, users can build layers of information. For instance, they can determine locations of the heaviest concentrations of insect pests, like Russian wheat aphids, in relation to the geographic distribution of wheat in the former Soviet .
AgroAtlas is the successful result of a proposal that Greene and Afonin submitted in 2003 for funding under a programme coordinated by ARS’s Office of International Research Programs (OIRP) in Beltsville, Maryland, with funds from the US Department of State. Known officially as the “Interactive Agricultural Ecological Atlas of Russia and Neighboring Countries,” AgroAtlas is administered by the International Science and Technology Center, an intergovernmental organisation headquartered in Moscow and comprising 13 member countries, including the US.
Portions of AgroAtlas are managed by Nikolay I. Dzyubenko, with the N.I. Vavilov All-Russian Institute of Plant Industry in St. Petersburg; and by Andrei N. Frolov, with the All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection, Pushkin. To date, more than 60 scientists from 3 Russian research institutes have contributed their knowledge and time to the 7-year project.
“The impetus behind developing AgroAtlas was to promote food security, particularly in the NIS (Newly Independent States) countries, which are challenged with broadening their agricultural base after the Soviet years,” said Greene, who is with ARS’s Plant Germplasm Introduction and Testing in Prosser, Washington. “We wanted to bring together a wealth of agricultural information in a format that was useful to scientists, policymakers, and farmers and to provide tools that would enable the information to be combined and analyzed so it could support agricultural decision making.”
Source: USDA